Property Tax website ‘misleading’ on Kilkenny homes

KILKENNY CASTLE, if it were privately owned, would be valued at under €200,000 according to the property valuation guide on the Revenue website.

All houses in the city and county built before 2000 are valued at less than €200,000 according to the Revenue figures.

There is one exception to this - for detached houses built after 2000 with houses in Burnchurch in the €200,000 to €250,000.

This is surprising considering that a number of houses sold in the city and county in excess of €400,000 in the past two years according to the Property Price Register.

In February 2012 a house in Mount Juliet sold for €1.5million but according to the valuation guide detached houses in this area have an average value of between €150,000 and €200,000.

Meanwhile in the city and it’s environs only semi-detached houses in St Canices, Dunbell and Burnchurch are estimated to have a value in excess of €150,000. Semi-detached houses in the rest of the city are considered to be worth less than €150,000.

Senior Tax Advisor with Christine Reily said that people were finding the Revenue estimates ‘misguiding’.

“I don’t think that it is intended to be but people will find it misleading as they will expect to find an answer and won’t. The expectation is that Revenue will tell them the value. This is dangerous as the onus is on people to self-assess and people don’t realise that.

“Anyone who undervalues their property is putting themselves at risks and there is also likely to be audits down the line. Also in future when people are selling property they will be obliged to hand over details of how much property tax paid they paid. It is important that people realise that a significant amount of people’s property is either well below or well in excess the estimated figures.

“The onus is on the taxpayer to self-assess the tax owed on their property. The problem is that a lot of people have never done this before and the risk is that people will take these estimates as fact and pay them,” she added.

The value estimates are established using stamp duty figures from the past three years.

A Revenue spokesperson pointed out that the tax is a self-assessed tax.

Property owner must decide

“This means that the property owner must decide the market value of his or her property. We don’t know your house - what size it is or what condition it’s in. If you follow Revenue’s guidance honestly, we will accept your assessment and your valuation will not be challenged. However, if you feel that the guidance is not indicating a reasonable valuation for your property, you should make your own assessment,” she said.

“The online interactive guide provides average indicative values for different property types for example detached, semi-detached and apartment based on the age of the property and the average price of the type of property for each Electoral District.

“It provides a guide to the average market values of properties in a given locality. It does not provide market values for individual properties. The guidance is primarily bsaed on the market value of the properties sold since the year 2010 but there will always be properties in an area that differ from the average.

“Self assessment requires property owners to honestly assess the market value of their own property. If a property is smaller or larger than the average for the area, is in a significantly poor state of repair or has exceptional or unique features then they have to be factored into the assessment of the valuation band of the property,” she added.

All homeowners should receive a form from the Revenue over the coming weeks which needs to be filled out and returned by May.