Could the property tax leave us in a Big Brother world?

Could the property tax leave us in a Big Brother world?

The forthcoming broadcasting charge will apply to all media devices including tablets, laptops, TVs and smartphones

The new property tax is almost upon us and no matter what your feeling on the subject is, it certainly looks like there is no way to avoid it.

Whether you meet next month’s deadline to return your assessment to the Revenue Commissioners or not, they insist they will start deducting the payments from anyone who doesn’t comply from as early as June.

Whether that means taking it from your wages or from your social welfare payments, make no mistake about it – they are determined to get the money.

Equally, anyone who operates on a self-assessed basis will not be tax compliant if they fail to pay.

Either way, it looks like there will be a full property tax database put together by the end of this year.

What is done with that information will be the next concern.

There have been numerous reports in recent weeks that the new property tax database will be used to rollout a forthcoming broadcasting charge. Those reports have been backed up by the Department of Communications, who confirmed recently that they would use “all possible information sources” to track down households for the payment.

For those unaware, the broadcasting charge will replace the current €160 television licence and will apply to any device that can pick up communications. So, not having a TV is no longer an excuse not to pay as the charge will apply to households with laptops, tablets, mobiles and radios.

It is currently estimated that around 15% of households evade the TV licence fee but this will be slashed to virtually nothing using the new database.

Indeed, even renters – who are not liable for the property tax – will not be able to escape the charge as the Private Residential Tenancies Board is set to supply data on them to the department as well.

The new broadcasting charge is expected to increase to €180 and could be introduced as early as late next year.

The question remains though, is it fair that the property tax database be used to bill people for other items?

Yes, the TV licence – whether we agree with it or not – is compulsory and so must be paid. However, what is to stop the government from using this database to load a range of future charges on people.

For years Big Brother was one of the most popular programmes on TV but now people could be forgiven for feeling they live in the Big Brother house as the new database system will allow the government to keep tabs on the population.

Is that right though? What do you think?

  • Should we be trusted to pay bills as in the past?
  • Are you fearful of the property tax database being used to inflict new charges on you and your household?
  • Do you agree with converting the TV licence into a broadcasting charge?
  • Do you feel you get good value for your current TV licence?

Have your say in the comments section below…

There are 34 comments for this article
  1. Brian at 4:10 pm

    Standards of whatever sphere are usually of the utmost importance to all of us who strive to achieve.
    We as a little nation had earned through blood sweat and many tears that right, and for a short time we felt that perhaps we had arrived at a fairly good standard,and you know we were beginning to get out of the ass kicking position,daring to raise our heads when once again we were misled, let down as a fearful God loving Nation deceived by the very people we were supposed to honer and respect.The world knows we Irish are second to none when we earn a buck,we have earned that buck, and have every right to put that to the benefit of our family, and if that means to have two of every thing needed to facilitate work, So Be It.Sadly again our best brains, our cherished young are now being cherished and admired by our trusted overseas friends who have never shrunk from rewarding our young cast offs, yes that s all the respect we have for them, let them go to the four winds and when the get a few dollars together, Lets have a Gathering and try and SCREW them AGAIN.We are and will always be proud of our Irish people all over the world.Resounding achievement in all walks of life. God Knows if we were ever to be so lucky to find a competent leader in this country and for just once reward our hardworking people with the opportunity to see what they can do for our country,and not what has been the headless chicken approach of parochial,church gate Jokers.Lets get real,we have the brains to self govern,we have exported them and seen it happen. Why not elect them here.

  2. Nick at 1:37 pm

    Remember to vote and use wisely at next elections.

  3. Tommy at 7:58 am

    Well…all taxes in Ireland has proper names but are not used properly,
    We have road tax, but only 15-20% spend on roads of that tax, rest goes for 100 diferent things we dont even know, this tax is not fear as all the rest, to make this tax fear road tax should be incl. In the price of petrol, diesel, as much miles you do that much you pay, simple as that.but they dont want that, most of european countries using this scheme, but our goldies dont care!! VRT is the same s***t in the diferent hand, no countries left in europien union that charge inport tax for cars…Ireland does..and does this elegally, cause they paying fines for europien union of every car was charged VRT in ireland around 40% of VRT goes for fine 60% stays in country clever isnt??!! Same story with tv licence not all money gets RTE!!! Its good goverments planned trick!! Once again ~20% to RTE the rest for 100 diferent things and you wouldnt even know, the rest money RTE gets of the ADS!!! No fear for businesses who renting commercial property in Ireland RATES!! This ta x well planned between goverment and local county councils follow by irish law…..the law says” the current tenant taking responsibility for rates of the previous tenant.”so the law made to protect council to get rates no matter what!!! So if the rates wasnt paid of somebody and you got in the unit you have to pay every penny whats left in depth!!! 1000s of units left like that with 5000-20000 e in depth for rates!and there is no law to protect a tenant…whatever I can go on and on …got sick of l this country. Will join my bro in sydney even get better weather.good luck everyone!

  4. David at 12:26 am

    At present I believe that the data protection act will not allow the data collected to be used outside of the taxes and duties payable to the revenue commissioners.
    This is also stated in the rules of conduct regarding the data protection act on the revenue website.
    Rule 3 states ‘Process it only in ways compatible with the purposes for which it was given initially’. (Subsequent laws passed in Ireland extend the rule to cover other duties and taxes)

  5. Lindagar at 7:31 pm

    Further to the above…in regard to the broadcasting fee… I agree with so many here. We are already paying for these services with our Internet and TV packages. I have always paid my TV license and WAS happy to support my home-grown station.. but THIS? The plan obviously is to ultimately tax every single adult and CHILD (via the sharing of departmental information (child benefit etc) , which is already well underway). In fairness to the various Broadcasters… they have taken cuts to their previously exhorbitant salaries and will probably continue to do so.. BUT.. they – are NOT the culprits (“Divide and Conquer anyone?)and people must realise that by blaming these individuals and focusing our anger on them, we are being distracted from real issues!!

    Consider matters… the Government has created a huge and ongoing environment of FEAR…we are all party to it.. but now the time has come to make a stand.

    If (when) this broadcasting charge is introduced, I will be cancelling my direct debit (which like every other new tax and expense I am seriously struggling with) and they can come for me.. I will welcome them with open arms and really don’t mind going to jail.. because I have had enough and want, finally, to start to make a stand!!!

    Imagine if everyone did the same? Our Courts would come to a standstill … This is just one example… who is up for the challenge?

  6. Paddy at 7:18 pm

    There is a thread running many of the comments on this article, it is a sense of fury over a stolen entitlement. So many Irish people have hypnotised themselves into believing they are entitled to a be paid more and enjoy a higher standard of living than justified by the value of their contribution to the economy.
    Young couples felt they were entitled to new houses, fully furnished down to the unused guest room, two new cars outside the door, several overseas holidays, meals in the restaurant at the drop of a hat, €40k weddings, nothing was too good or too expensive for the I’m worth it generation.
    Our businessmen and professionals also felt they were entitled to more so they jumped on the bandwagon by bowering to invest in property-based get rich quick schemes, often using their business and homes as collateral. That is why today 50% of business loans are impaired and the banks will not loan to small businesses.
    The lazy sector of society who will not work hard or study for a qualification feel they are entitled to jobs for which they have no ability. They are too spoiled to do the work now performed by hundreds of thousands of foreigners, but rather live on social welfare in a house or flat provided by the taxpayer. How can we have 450,000 people claiming the dole and every paper seller in Dublin is an African, the petrol stations are manned by Indians and the take-aways by Chinese?
    One sentiment I can agree with is the damming comments on our politicians, they are in general a useless self-serving bunch who enjoy the best expenses and pension conditions in Ireland but are most of the time incapable of logical thought and rational decisions. But we elected them! If a politician stood up and told the truth as I have in this comment how many votes would he receive?
    The reward for excess is a hang-over, and if that’s the pain you feel today, you probably earned it.

  7. Lindagar at 6:58 pm

    We already live in a Big Brother World!

    One recent example was the massive “paperwork” required that had to be submitted simply to RENEW my car tax…. Crazy… but also very, very frightening!

    We no longer have a say in how our country is run. Our “Government” no longer has a say in how our country is run.

    Far from the banks wanting those in distress to contact them in regard to mortgage re-negotiation – the banks are ignoring these requests on a HUGE scale and are not even replying – FACT. Then the mortgage holder is forced into arrears as a result.

    Guess what happens next? The banks take their property because they have not “engaged” and sell it on, profits being made in Dublin, at lease and the owner still owes the balance of the mortgage until they die or go the Insolvency route and deny themselves and their families proper food, health care and education.

    Please wake up to the banks’ sinister “Land Grab” tactics! That the Government is allowing this speaks volumes. Anyone listening?

  8. Peadar MacMillan at 6:45 pm

    Oh – forgot to say – Labour R.I.P.
    Peadar MacMillan.
    Up the Scots { Well Scots Irish anyway}

  9. Brendan at 6:33 pm

    There is no need to change the TV licence to this new charge what is needed is enforcement of the current legislation, as in most cases in this S##t hole of a Country there is plenty of legislation but not enough enforcement,
    regarding TDs wages what is wrong with paying them 50% of the average industrial wage, for attending the Dail for 39 hours per week, if they SIT more hours than this pay them overtime at current industrial rates,if they have to sit past 22.00h pay them an allowance of €75.00 towards the cost of B&B 0n production of a receipt,if they want to run so called clinics to enable them to get elected again then they should do so at their own cost, I drive from Kildare to Dublin to work every day at my own expense so why should TDs be paid to drive to their place of work, if these people are really in politics for the good of the state they will continue to to do so if not well!!!

  10. Peadar MacMillan at 6:24 pm

    The “Rebelllious Irish”. I think they have all emigrated and left behind a herd of sheep. Only 6000 at the Property Tax March last Saturday week -bloody pathetic. The effort the ground troops and organisers put in – was immense – what a dissappointment for all the hard work – I mean you could hardly miss the Posters – they were absolutely everywhere.
    I am embarassed to be Irish these days – the English protest more than we do by a mile. I think I will reclaim my Scottish roots and get out the blue paint.
    The Irish are going to be taxed into the ground -wait and see – this is just the start of these nastly little totally unfair unequitable sneaky little stelth taxes – Fianna Gael love them – always did.
    By accepting all these taxes and not protesting -basically the Irish are issuing a licence to whatever Irish Paddy Government to do whatever they want – as Paddy will roll over and take whatever shi– is heaped on them as they graze on the hillside looking for a scrap of decent grass.
    Wake up and get out there protesting – a lot of people are putting a lot of effort into organising these marches – all you have to do is spread the word and attend – if enough protest – the Government will start to quake – but the numbers are needed.
    Remember Fianna Gaels 1st item of manifesto at the elections – “Burn the bond holoders” well the only ones getting burned is poor old paddy.

  11. Barbara Seligman at 5:36 pm

    Unfortunately I am old, but if I was young I would get the hell out of this country as quickly as I could. It is time that politicians went to college and learned how to run a country instead of primary school teachers!!
    I don’t mind the property tax providing everyone pays. THe holiday home tax was totally unfair, people who bought holiday homes in Ireland and supported the home economy were penalised for being patriotic whereas those that bought homes in Liverpool, Spain and Dubai paid nothing. They earned their salaries in Ireland and exported it to economies in other countries. I’d bet anything that is where the Government invested in their second homes. With regard to the TV. It should be pay as you view a programme.

  12. Mary Ella at 4:04 pm

    Agreed Mary No,17,Except we were deceived into voting this lot in to Government, and therefore do not deserve what we got.As children we were taught to tell the truth and all would be right with conscience and God. Were we misled then,? Seems the bigger the Lies the better the Rewards.
    All our young brains gone again,scattered to the four corners,the only ones left behind weakened by either debt or old age are not the material necessary to carry out mass demonstration.
    Maybe the Teachers should bring the Children with them next time and fight the battle.
    Oh to be young and free again and a little wing preening and you know what comes next,Yes and The Lady is not returning to this god forsaken Greedy
    Land.How we long for the nature and welcome we boasted about in times past.
    That unfortunately was replaced some time ago, with the screw you mentality.
    Looking forward to someone coming forward with just a smidgen of credibility & honesty to restore a measure of fairness,Leadership & equity to our once proud Land. A yes wishes again,sometimes come true.

  13. joe bangles at 3:21 pm

    There’s a way out of this. Contact the School of Commonology.

  14. Gareth O’Toole at 3:19 pm

    Inventing a tax to bail themselves out!? This ‘Government’ HAS TO GO!

  15. Andrew at 3:16 pm

    We are a little Island with a total population of less than most European Cities and what do we have that we appear to refuse to let go of?

    Political representation, 29 County Councils with 753 Councillors PAID on Average €35,000 P.A. (possibly a pension thrown in).

    Not counting City Councils, Town Councils, more Paid Councillors, County Managers and a long line of duplicated services who today will tell you they don’t have money to buy materials therefore can’t do the work they are paid to do.

    Dail with 166 TD’s, Minimum Pay €100,160 Seanad with 60 Senators, Minimum Pay €70,000.

    Never forget Enda Kenny sat in opposition for the entire Celtic Tiger era and all he appeared to do was try thinking of bigger giveaways than the party in power.

    The Country is over populated with Leeches who haven’t even got the common sense to make the Dail appear as if the members are working to bring this country back to some form of normality, instead they one side snipes at other who whines in reply “Look at the mess you left behind”

    Just like various tax’s and charges implemented, the substantial pay cuts by what can only be called income tax increases because that is what they are, NOT universal social charges.

    Now we have Revenue wielding the axe at the behest of all of the above for a tax no home owner budgeted for since CJH removed rates.

    A septic tank charge that was introduced with the threat that you won’t get any Grant that may be introduced if it wasn’t paid by a set date.

    Now we have Public Sector workers being threatened with across the board pay cuts and redundancies if they don’t vote for an agreement they don’t agree with?

    Hitler and Mussolini would not have dared to try to introduce such threats and they were dictators?

    What has happened to the people of this country?

    Was there an overnight Spinalectomy performed on the majority that caused so many to lie down and take the beating like whimpering dogs?

    Of course they will use the information to accurately estimate and collect any tax or charge this or any future Government wishes to introduce.

    Actually I would be the first to criticise Revenue if they did not use the tools available to them.

    Doesn’t mean I’m going to comply with these unjust tax’s by paying them.

  16. Patrick at 1:57 pm

    We are all a lovely placid people,doing the best we can with the little we have.
    I guess most of us bitch and moan, and I feel we will carry on in the same old mode, no change, because we are just nice,and believed what we were being told the truth.
    A classless society,everybody equal they said,well only in the eyes of the Lord, they say.
    When it comes to economics/money we then begin to see the classless society.
    Anyway back to basics, RTE why should we continue to pay to watch advertising.
    We already pay for the use of Broadband & Internet services, why should we have to pay again.
    Establishment of effective database for all people
    is a good thing if we all share the burden of state costs,but then we know that will not happen.
    We will still have one law for the Super Rich and
    one for the Rest.
    It is now,and ever shall be for as long as this Planet exists.In the meantime,lets continue to moan and bitch,and maybe in the light of the recent Union Ballots,the occasional NO NO NO catches attention.
    Enough Already.

  17. Socrates at 1:51 pm

    I don’t watch television.
    I also don’t eat pork or drink alcohol.

    I believe it’s unhealthy/conflicts with a healthy lifestyle.

    Why must I pay this charge as though I do?
    Why must I subsidize others who are free to make this choice, yet I have no choice?

    This is not socialism.
    This is dictatorship.

    Why do we have ever growing choices in virtually all areas of our lives, except politics?

    The political system is terribly outdated.
    I wish google would invent a new one!

  18. mary at 1:23 pm

    I am totally despondent with this country, which until recently I was very proud to be a citizen of.

    What kind of a people are we that sits back and
    allows this despotic government fleece us while
    rewarding those who are culpable for bringing
    this situation about?

    All we do is moan. What we need is Mass demonstrations on the streets to bring about change
    as in other countries.

    Unfortunately, that is not in our physic! NO!
    we vote in Fine Gael once again in Meath, award
    huge salaries to Bankers, pay the Media Celebs outrageous packages, promote cronies to Europe,
    standby while a whole generation is lost to emigration and allow the rest to be robbed by
    whatever method this immorral government dream up.

    IRELAND WE GET WHAT WE DESERVE

  19. damiangibney at 1:03 pm

    you do not have to pay property tax join up with attack the tax .com once you become a member ,you are immune from prosecution,we have a case before the courts and this will end up in Europe so for the next five years they cannot prosecute you ,see for your self at attackthetax.com

  20. Kevin at 1:01 pm

    Anytime you give any information to anyone now, there is a possibility that the government will use the law to access that information to levy more taxes on you. Confidentiality doesn’t exist anymore, they can access your gas, electric and presumably phone billing information, how long before confidential census returns are also used for this purpose, nothing is sacred anytmore.

    The Broadcast Charge is a tax, as they freely admit that you will have to pay it whether you have a TV or not, whether you actually watch TV programmes on your computer or whether you have a phone capable of watching tv programmes/digital content. You don’t pay a charge for a service you don’t use. I don’t agree with the Broadcast Tax, it was supposed to cost less than the TV licence as everyone would be paying it, but now they are saying it will cost €180 per year instead of €160 for the TV licence. I think RTE offers poor value for money and that when introducing Saorview, they should have made RTE a subscription or pay per view service, then those who watch it could pay for it and you’d only pay for what you watch. Many weeks I wouldn’t even notice if all the RTE channels were off the air, apart from the sport, most of the home produced programmes are rubbish and the imported programmes are already available on other channels.

  21. wendy williams at 12:57 pm

    all the fees and bills are constantly going up we just pay up as usual and do nothing but moan . i hate payin the tv people it’s all REPEATS anyway , so we are charged for watching the same rubbish over and over ……. why not make the executives take a pay cut , or bring a few to live on the poverty row for a while see how they fund a lavish life style on a couple hundred euro’s a week , if ur lucky ha and film it , that would make good tv ……..

  22. anthony at 12:54 pm

    i want my stamp duty back, 100,000+.
    9% for nothing, legalise robbery.and now have
    to pay again, i did not create the state the
    country is in.
    the over paid people that run the country did.
    with there over paid friends the bankers.

  23. Mary at 12:22 pm

    It is depressing to see our political masters being so far removed from real life. The awash-buckling behaviour is reminiscent of that of French aristocrats before the French Revolution. I have listened to politicians talking and not once have I been convinced that they know what is happening in the real Ireland. It’s very hard to take when a man ( or woman) earning over €2,000 euro a week+expenses (minimum politician’s wages) has the audacity to tell someone on trying to rear a family on 1/3 of that amount that they have to contribute more to pay for Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen’s pensions and also to send money abroad as part of a food fund. Aren’t they great fellas altogether! How much do the ordinary people of the country have to earn to generate €7.5m to send abroad?
    Let Bono and his ilk look after their pet projects!
    Ireland is on its knees. People are dying everyday under the strain. No one gives a damn.

  24. Rita at 12:10 pm

    Of course the Government will use their database to inflict more charges on us. They don’t seem to grasp the fact they pay themselves too much, they give themselves too many expenses and they waste the taxpayers money. I heard Noel Curran on the news this morning saying the RTE is underfunded because advertising revenue is diminishing, now there’s a surprise and the Government will have to decide how RTE is going to be funded into the future. Again, stop paying Exorbitant salaries paid to Pat Kenny, Ryan Tubrity, Marian Finuchane, etc. We are a population of 4.5 million and we are paying our so called celebrities way beyond the means of the licence payer. Why have RTE set up a children’s TV channel and children’s radio channel, what is the need for this? It will be interesting to see what viewing/listenership this farce gets. RTE need to lower their budget instead looking for additional money from the hard pressed licence payer. I’m sick to death of this Government looking for more taxation instead of cutting costs!!!! Any company in the private sector has had to cut their costs to stay in business, they don’t have the luxury of hitting the punter for more money. Sick to death of the way this country has been and is being run but hey will it change, no because the Government are always looking at the next election and the next vote to stay in power!!!! Lead by example, cut your own costs first.

  25. Ger at 12:05 pm

    Lets just think about our leader said “In the Dail, MR. Kenny pointed out that public sector workers would only be protected against the prospect of compulsory redundancies under the Croke Park II deal and the threat of compulsory redundancies”. We are becoming a communist state with Enda as our Dictator and Labour stand idly by agreeing to every thing they want to implement. Now we face the threat of taking money out of our bank accounts for to pay the local property tax and then the water tax and next up the broadcasting licence. They have also informed us of what it will cost to live on every week.Next they want us to work until seventy before we get a pension. THEY NEVER TOUCH THEIR OWN PENSIONS, WAGES,ESPENSES VOUCHED AND UN-VOUCHED,NIGHT ALLOWANCE AND EVERYTHING ELSE THEY GET.

  26. Dermot Kearns at 12:01 pm

    RTE should be a private company and not supported by the Taxpayer and licence fees.

    This government need to go now before it totally destroys our childrens future.

    Come on the shinners

  27. Pamela at 11:40 am

    Let the government and the bankers lead by example and cut their huge salaries and pay for their own luxuries eg government cars etc. They need to live on the dole for 6 months with no acdess to their vast wealth and see how they’d manage.

    The government are constantly looking for ways to inflict new charges on the ordinary household while they are still allowing banks to pay themselves almost €1 million after they wrecked the country between them!!

    I totally disagree with the TV licence being turned into a broadcasting charge and in fact disagree with this charge completely as it benefits RTE only and RTE don’t have any programmes worth watching. This should be changed to an RTE charge and if you don’t watch it, you don’t pay. In fact I’m aready paying to get these stations from my TV service provider even though I don’t watch them so why should I have to pay again?

  28. Brian McMahon at 11:28 am

    I have no problem with the Authorities using any data base to pursue those who avoid their responsibilities. Why should compliant tax payers subsidise free-loaders in our society?

  29. Fi Wyse at 11:26 am

    I have no tv as it is to keep costs down and cut out on the so called luxuries the banks give out about so that I can keep my mortgage paid and on time every month, yet this new broadcasting charge means that well something else will have to go.

    Maybe it’s time to start defaulting!

  30. Paddy at 11:25 am

    As a long suffering PAYE and PRSI payer every cent I earn is known to the taxman, why should there be different rules of disclosure for other taxable income and assists? Any tax avoided by businessmen, bankers, property speculators and the buy to rent sector is made up by taking more from the traditional soft targets in the PAYE sector.
    In order to make the taxation of society fair it is necessary to spread the tax net as broadly as possible. Those complaining loudest are not thinking of the home owner with his semi-D paying a few hundred in local property tax. The real motivation is the preservation of preferential treatment of the rich property investor at the expense of the PAYE paying sucker in the street.

  31. patricia molloy at 11:22 am

    tv licence should not be converted into a broadcasting charge. We get good value for our current tv licence.
    there is no doubt in my mind the Government will use this website to drain every penny out of this country. They are a DISGRACE….THEY SHOULD ALL BE FIRED

  32. ajm at 11:21 am

    Just another way of collecting tax

  33. david at 11:16 am

    The TV charge is particularly galling given the exorbitant sums paid to people like Pat Kenny on top of the fact that I don’t watch TV at all.

    If they’re going to do this then RTE should be pay per view, they know our IP address. That way if we don’t watch the crap and “personalities” on RTE we don’t pay!

  34. alan Kennedy at 11:13 am

    as i said before, i want my stamp duty back!! 20,000 plus then i;ll pay

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