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…