The Household Charge explained

The Household Charge explained

It has been dominated by controversy, confusion and resistance. Call it what you may it is a tax by another name, but what is the reality of the new household charge, who has to pay it and how and what are the consequences for non – compliance?

John Leahy of www.irishlandlord.com seeks to bring some clarity to one of the burning and most controversial issues of early 2012.

Is the household charge the same as the (NPPR) Non Principle Private Residence charge of €200?
Unfortunately not, the new household charge is a separate charge that is payable on top of the existing €200 charge.

Who has to pay, the landlord or the tenant?
It is the responsibility of the owner of a residential property to pay the charge. This means that tenants living in rented accommodation are not liable for the charge. The owner of the property (the landlord) is responsible for the payment of the levy. This is in addition to the separate €200 NPPR levy already payable by landlords.

If a landlord owns a property divided into apartments or flats the charge is payable on each individual residential unit. e.g.  If a house is divided into three flats, the charge is payable on each flat.

If you own and live in your own home you are liable to pay the charge unless you qualify for a waiver (see below)

I live in a ghost estate do I have to pay the charge?
It depends, there are some home owners who are not liable to pay the charge:
People in receipt of mortgage interest supplement can apply for a waiver from the charge.
Those living in some ghost estates may be exempt from the charge.  A word of caution, only certain estates come under this criteria. It is important to check the official list of estates on www.hosueholdcharge.ie if your estate is not on the list you are liable for the charge.

If you believe you qualify for a waiver you must still register your property and apply for a waiver.

Exceptions to the charge
There are a small number of property types that are exempt from the charge these include:

  • Mobile homes
  • Properties which are owned by government departments or the Health Service Executive or
  • Properties owned by local authorities or voluntary housing bodies.

How do I pay the charge?
The charge must be paid on a self-assessment basis; this means that you will not receive a letter requesting payment. It the property owner’s responsibility to register for the charge and to pay it before the deadline of 31st March 2012.

The charge must be paid in one lump sum unless you previously registered to pay by direct debit – the deadline for this option expired on 29th February 2012.

The charge can be paid on-line at www.householdcharge.ie or by completing a registration form, which is available in libraries and county council offices and submitting the payment and completed form to your county council office.

What if I don’t pay?
Those who do not pay the charge will be liable to interest and penalties as per the table below:

Delay in payment Late payment fee
Up to 6 months after due date 10% of the amount outstanding
Between 6 and 12 months after due date 20% of the amount outstanding
Over 12 months after due date 30% of the amount outstanding

The future outlook
Property taxes are commonplace in most European countries and it is generally accepted that the current flat rate household charge of €100 is merely the first step on the journey towards the introduction of some form of property tax over the coming years.

There are 10 comments for this article
  1. John Wayne at 12:42 pm

    I got a bill in relation to NPPR. They want €4220 for each flat I have. I registered and paid in 2009 and every year since for the second house I own but now they want payment for each flat in the house. Is that right?

  2. Charles Clayton at 1:26 pm

    The notion of “Owner” is undefined: legally, you don’t “own” anything until you have paid for it — all mortgage holders know that the property is not theirs and belongs to the lender until fully paid.

    How is this addressed in this (very haphazard) piece of legislation?

  3. Regina at 9:50 am

    If the charge is for local services and you already pay management fees to cover costs of cleaning, parks etc is that not a double charge?

  4. John at 9:18 am

    I was under the impression those that received mortgage interest relief were also exempt. Is that correct?

  5. Eimear Lyons at 11:03 pm

    The NPPR is for “Income from the NPPR is used to assist in financing the provision of essential local services provided by local authorities. Internationally, local services are administered by local authorities and financed by local service charges. In Ireland, local authorities are responsible for, among other services, public parks; libraries; open spaces and leisure amenities; planning and development; fire and emergency services; maintenance and cleaning of streets and street lighting. These facilities benefit everyone. (https://www.nppr.ie/Faq.aspx#fk43)

    The household charge: “Revenues from the household charge will support the provision of local services. Internationally, local services are administered by local authorities and financed by local service charges. In Ireland, local authorities are responsible for, among other services, public parks; libraries; open spaces and leisure amenities; planning and development; fire and emergency services; maintenance and cleaning of streets and street lighting. These facilities benefit everyone.” ( https://www.householdcharge.ie/).

    Above the NPPR and Household charge use the same explanation for the uses of this tax.

    I wonder is it legal to have the same tax applied twice? Would you pay PAYE twice? Motor tax twice for the same car? Surely not?

  6. Ms. B at 10:32 pm

    It is my understanding that the tenant is liable for the household charge as is set out in the majority of standard leases. Landlords are not charities and need to make a profit in order to maintain their properties and provide a safe and secure residence for their tenant.

  7. Frank Lahiffe at 5:06 pm

    The article by John Leahy referred to a property owner/landlord being liable to pay the Household Charge, but overlooked the fact that both charges can be passed on to tenants under the specific and standard terms of rental agreements. In the interests of balance, commentary on the Household Charge, or the Non-Principle Private Residence charge, should be accompanied by even a single sentence along the lines of the tenant paying under the “user pays” principle, apart from it being a normal requirement under the rental agreement.

  8. Brian Mc Mahon at 4:14 pm

    Stupid, I know but I paid property tax in the early 90’s for two years. I was one of a very small group that did so. The tax was scrapped.
    When the £3000 is returned to me with the same interest that is proposed with this rediculous proposal, I will pay it…..maybe.

    It is the function of Government to ensure that they collect taxes and spend the proceeds wisely. This does not apply in Ireland and never has.

    A good CEO could run our nation with a few smart executives at his side. There is no rocket science involved here.
    Ireland as we know is corrupt. It’s cost us a hell of a lot of money to know what has been thrown in our faces for years.
    Haughy was corrupt, how the hell did his family manage to hold on to 48 million he left them. Why was it not confiscated and returned to the state coffers?

    I give up….I will fight tooth and nail against what these school teachers and has beings are up too.

  9. colin cunningham at 4:01 pm

    I have spent the last 3 years focused on bringing my annual expenditure downwards and each time I make a saving it seems to be wiped out by the introduction of taxes by government. I am unhappy about the property tax as I dont see the government making the same effort as me and other tax payers to make savings on the other side of their balance sheet. Yes they have made some changes however nothing radically that is needed. Total waste of time and I believe the real objection to this charge is the fact that government is not making the same progress as ordinary people in relation to the costs of government and public services. This message needs to be addressed.

  10. mary at 3:19 pm

    the reality of the new household charge, who has to pay it and how and what are the consequences for non – compliance? I am surprised that you bother to publish these articles – the reality is that people are taking this opportunity to resist the Government and this charge may as well be abolished. – what are they going to do, jail everyone in the country? : ) should be an interesting few months…

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