The Tax man cometh

independent.ie/national-news … 29422.html

If someone knocked on my door and asked me how much rent I’m paying I’d tell them to piss off.

Have we really gotten to the 21st century and revenue officials have to drive around knocking on doors to find out who owns properties?

-Rd

independent.ie/national-news/revenue–use-estate-agents-to-catch-tax-dodgers-1429425.html

THE Revenue Commissioners are to use estate agents to find out if investors are evading tax by under-declaring the amount they received for the sale of land or property.

If tax officials suspect they have been given incorrect information, valuers will be called in to calculate the market value of buildings or land so the correct amount of capital gains tax (CGT) can be levied.

It looks like the revenue has been given carte blanche.

I’d be very reluctant to speak to anybody at the door. At one stage I was renting a room off a friend/work colleague of mine. He had literally just bought the house. The TV licence guy showed up at the door, I explained that it was not my house, and that I did not own a tv (both of which were true). I did not give the landlords name as I felt it was inappropriate, Any authority doing an investigation such as this should at the very least have a list of names and addresses. Anyway thought no more of it until I started to receive a number of increasingly threatening letters from An post. Now granted they were just mass produced, photocopied over and over again generic letters, however they was addressed to me and there was a threat of court proceedings. I’d already told the guy I didn’t own the house or the TV. Never again.

Property sells for 500K

Seller declares sale at 500K

Revenue asks EA how much it sold for:
EA claims it sells for “In the region of €1m”

Let’s see the EA’s argue that they should be allowed to lie, and they can’t tell the truth because of teh Data Protection Act.

Again this is all complete bollox.

We pay a f*****g fortune in stamp duty surely to goodness some overpaid civil servant somewhere along the process can figure out the sale price of each property and scribble it in a notebook.

Instead of putting in place a simple solution where the actual price is recorded centrally, we’re going to have Revenue being told how much something sells for, and then ringing an Estate Agent for comfirmation.

Why oh why are we so determined to make simple things complicated?

It’s almost like we’re trying to engineer solutions that always leave a little wiggle room for the fraud and deception that keeps the country running.
If we just captured the price of every transaction it would take all the fun out of trying to game the system.

-Rd

Understandable, however, if a member of the Revenue Commissioners identifies themselves and proves their idendity, then why not? If your land lord is not paying all due taxes then they are stealing money from the State and hence from you.

There in lies part of the problem, no such list exists.

If you had no device capable of receiving and displaying television signals, then there was nothing for you to worry about.

Personally, I think this is a long overdue development and welcome it. I can’t remember if whether you are and owner-occupier or renting was a question on the census. Can anyone recall?

Blue Horseshoe

I’m sure my landlord isn’t, but I would still tell them to piss off.

I think the book should be thrown at landlords who don’t declare their rental income, but I object to this half arsed bullshit excuse for a way of dealing with the situation.

Where does it end?

Knock on Door: Excuse me sir, we’re here to check that you have energy efficient heating and insulation, and those fancy new bulbs, if you don’t you’ll have to pay a fine.

Knock on Door: Excuse me sir, we’re here to check that you haven’t left your TV on standby, yes I know it’s 2AM, but that’s when most TV’s are on standby. Oh! little red light, you’ll have to pay a fine.

Knock on Door: Excuse me sir, we’ve run out of things to check, could you just give us whatever change is in your pocket.

Go and figure out a proper system for recording who owns properties, how much they last sold for, and which ones are rented.

If there are specific grounds for checking out a specific house/apartment because the owner claims it isn’t rented, then fine.

How much will it cost to pay these numbskulls to go around knocking on doors. Lookie here, I’m more than 30 miles from home, better claim my overnight rate.

It would be cheaper to just offer €100 to anyone willing to contact a hotline and say I live at this address, I rent for this much per month, and this is my landlord. Oh wait! they’re doing that too with rent relief.

-Rd

Yes, it would of course, but, this is Ireland, the Public Sector can’t be seen to be doing things in an innovative way now can they? Computerise the system without any reduction in head count or change in productivity?! Roll up multiple agencies into one without any reduction in head count or change in productivity!! , Efficiency? Clear Thinking? Ease of Use? Any one … someone?

Outsource the lot I say … out source it now!!

Blue Horseshoe

Are you kidding? Jaysus what would we do with all the money we’d save. :open_mouth:

You need to read the whole Article Rd.

It sounds like revenue are specifically targeting individuals who have sold a house to a friend or family member for an artificially low price. The revenue are after the stamp duty on the ‘true’ value of the house.

I think the article is badly written, but what revenue are actually trying to do can be taken from the following quote in the article.

So of course revenue know how much a property sold for. They aren’t depending on the honesty of people’s CGT returns to determine this, cause they can (and presumably do) cross check it.

However I could deliberatly sell a house (that was an investment property) to my son for less than the “market value”. As well as him getting a cheap house, I also pay less CGT. Revenue want to find out whether I offered my son a discount. If so, they are entitled to claim CGT based on the “market value” of the house. Hence the desire to rope in EAs to determine the market value.

Edit: And as fishfoodie said, they also want the stamp duty on the true value of the house (assuming purchaser isn’t a FTB buying a PPR).

Question? If they find that house you bought six months ago has fallen by €100,000 will they refund the extra stamp you paid as a result?

You don’t need to own the house or the TV to be liable for the license fee. I assume since you say ‘the’ TV then there was one present and the inspector knew that.

As it happens, the same happened to me only I was the person who owned the house. My tenant offered my name to the inspector but the letters still came to her. (Disclaimer: I’m in favour of public funded broadcasting :slight_smile: though the collection method is questionable)

I wouldnt read too much into either of these articles.

Re the CGT They are simply outsourcing a function previously done by the valuations office. Lots of connected transactions - family (where you pay half stamp BTW) and other stuff such as transfer of company assets to shareholders etc.

Re the rent, the revenue do samples all the time to assess whether it is worth pursuing compliance. I know for a fact they did a fairly broad test a year or two ago in Dublin checking the properties of people who availed of FTB SD exemption. Knock on door, Mrs Malarkey please, No she doesnt live here. Ta v much. Letters issue, tax is collected.

If there is not much yielded, they wont waste their time broadening it.

Thing about the income tax on rent is is anyone bought a property in the country in the last ten years and assuming it was mostly borrowed, as they mostly were, then there would be likely no taxable rental income after interest. Isnt that what this site is about?!

To clarify I was just renting a room in the house. The owner of the house also lived there. Yes there was a tv in the house. I did not own the house or the tv, nor was I the custodian of a rented TV, how could I possibly be held accountable for the licence fee? Because I was the smuck who opened the front door?

I wouldn’t know a real ID from a fake one. And that would be the line I’d take. I would not welcome any unsolicited calls at the door seeking private sensitive financial information. Unless of course I had a particular problem with a landlord. Let the revenue do their own investidations. I do not really condone the whistle blower mentality.
I certainly would not like to be audited, on the strength of someones whim who suspects that I’m not paying tax (I am referring to a general whistle blowing culture, not necessary the specific case of a tenant blowing the whistle). FYI I’m not a landlord, and I do pay my taxes :wink:

In a word, yes!
(ok, I’m not a lawyer, but the situation you describe is exactly what happened in my case too. My tenant opened the door, was only renting a room and didn’t own the TV, but since the inspector now knew that she lived there, and there was a TV on the premises, she became responsible for making sure it had a license)

There are two different stories going around (yes I have a problem with both of them).

The issue of connected people selling houses to each other is the one they are using the EA’s for.

The knocking on doors is being done to find rented accomodation that hasn’t been declared.

I have a problem with both. Deeds have to be stamped when they change hands. Enough money is paid in stamp duty to pay someone to actually take note of the parties involved and the amount of the transaction. This should be automatic. Every transfer of deeds should have a price and two parties attached to it, and when those deeds next change hands we’d have two prices to use for CGT.

When it comes to the prices being earned for houses we know that Estate Agents can not be trusted, why on earth would we make them part of the process?

The issue of undeclared rental properties is a little harder, but if the above system was in place this one would be easier. If your name is on
the deeds of a property then revenue should be able to see that.

Nothing will happen. 20 years from now we’ll still be farting about with inefficient solutions that keep as many people as possible busy while delivering the least possible amount of clarity.

-Rd

That being the case the law is a piece of ass. I’ll never speak to one of those guagers again. The least they should do is persue the responsible person, not the person who happens to open the door. That is ridiculous.
Happened to a friend of mine -yer man said he was a TV licence inspector. She advised him that she was not comfortable talking to him and closed the door 8)

This is wrongful act under law and Privacy Violation. I could not comment and close the hall door. Let them write all the letters they want and if a registered letter arrived I would leave the matter with my solicitor on the grounds of Privacy Violation. Let them seek court order. Ass wipes!

Rd raises an interesting point re: Revenue trusting estate agents.

I would imagine that establishing the “market value” of a property inherited or gifted over the last 6 months or so would prove very difficult, depending on the area the property is in.

If no house has sold in a particular area in a few months, how the hell can the market clearing price be determined for a particular day? With prices arguably plummeting daily?

I would expect justifiably successful challenges to Revenue’s valuations on the basis of the above.

Why don’t the revenue just check the ‘affordable housing’ lists with the county councils? I can guarantee they will find lots of these being rented out (un-declared) with the ‘owner-occupier’ no where in sight!