Local Property Tax Parliamentary Questions Answered

Week Ending 24th March 2013

230. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Finance his views on whether local authority emergency or transitionary housing, unoccupied local authority units awaiting demolition or regeneration are liable for local property tax. [12818/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): For Local Property Tax (LPT) purposes, a residential property is defined as any building or structure (or part of a building) which is used as, or is suitable for use as, a dwelling and includes any shed, outhouse, garage or other building or structure and includes grounds of up to one acre. The Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) provides that a liability for LPT will arise where a person owns a residential property on the liability date which will be 1 May 2013 for the year 2013 and for subsequent years 1 November in the preceding year.

The Act provides that local authorities will be liable to pay LPT on their properties in the same way as any other residential property owner, unless the properties are used to accommodate people who have special housing needs. Special housing needs refers to the provision of housing and support for people who have a particular need in addition to a general housing need to enable them to live in the community. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they are currently drawing up guidelines that will facilitate social housing providers, including local authorities, in identifying which of their properties are used to provide special needs housing and are, therefore, exempted from the charge to LPT. In keeping with the Department of Finance’s mission to play a central role in the achievement of the Government’s economic and social goals, as set out in my Department’s Annual Review of 2012 , officials of my department, along with the Revenue Commissioners, are actively engaging with social housing providers, including, for example, Focus Ireland, in this regard.

It is not possible to give a definitive view on whether local authority emergency or transitional housing will be exempt from LPT without further information on the nature of the housing and any supports provided.

As already stated, one of the criteria for liability to LPT is that a building is suitable for use as a dwelling. The fact that a building is unoccupied will not of itself mean the building is exempt from LPT. It will be a question of fact in each case whether a particular building awaiting demolition or regeneration is suitable for use as a dwelling. It is not possible to provide a general reply that will address each case; for example, a perfectly habitable property may be awaiting demolition simply because a local authority intends to re-develop an area.

The Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) provides that where local authority owned properties are not exempt from LPT, the market value of any such property will be deemed to fall into the lowest valuation band of €0 to €100,000 up to and including 2016. This will result in an LPT charge of €45 per property for 2013 and €90 per year for 2014 to 2016. In addition, section 119 of the Act also gives local authorities until 1 January 2014 to pay the 2013 tax.

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that they are liaising with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to establish how local authorities will provide the Revenue Commissioners with information in relation to their LPT liability and the timing and manner of the payment of this liability.

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201. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Finance if there will be exemptions on property tax for persons living in unfinished housing estates. [13634/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Section 10(2) of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) provides that a residential property shall be exempt from the local property tax where it is situated in an unfinished housing estate. Section 10(1) of the Act defines an “unfinished housing estate” as a development of two or more buildings that is specified in a list prescribed, under section 10(3) of the Act by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government for the purposes of the Act. Section 10(4) of the Act prescribes a range of circumstances to which the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government shall have regard for the purposes of that Section.

209. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the actions a homeowner should take if they disagree with the Revenue assessment of their property value; the evidence that homeowners will be required to produce to substantiate their valuation; if he has considered on a one off basis making a tax credit available to allow homeowners to undertake a professional valuation of their property; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13693/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) sets out how the Local Property Tax (LPT) is to be administered and how a residential property is to be valued for LPT purposes. As I have previously stated, the Revenue Commissioners will not be involved in valuing individual properties. LPT is a self-assessed tax so in the first instance it is a matter for the property owner to calculate the tax due based on his or her assessment of the chargeable value of the property. As values for properties under €1 million are organised into valuation bands for the purposes of LPT, property owners will not be required to provide a precise value for their property.

The Revenue Commissioners have prepared valuation guidance which, taken together with the owner’s own knowledge of the property, will assist him or her in assessing its value. The guidance, which is now available on the Revenue website, includes an on-line guide that provides indicative property valuation bands depending on the property type, age and location. If a property has certain unique features, is smaller or larger than the average for the area, is in a significantly poor state of repair or has exceptional features, property owners will have to factor this into their assessment of the valuation of their property. Where property owners consider that the on-line valuation guide is not indicating a reasonable valuation for their property, they should make their own assessment of its value. As I have previously advised the House, where the Revenue guidance is used in an honest manner, the valuation made by a property owner will not be challenged by the Commissioners in accordance with its normal Customer Service Charter.

I am further advised that additional sources that a property owner would find useful to help them with their property value assessment include the property prices register, the property section of local newspapers, information from local estate agents and property websites.

It is a matter for the property owner to decide whether they should have their property professionally valued. However, it is expected that, for the vast majority of properties, the guidance provided by Revenue will give the owner sufficient information which, when combined with their own knowledge of their property, will allow them determine the valuation band for their property. Consequently I do not believe that a tax credit to have a residential property professionally valued is necessary.

Finally, I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that a copy of the information sources used by the property owner to inform their self-assessment of the value of their property should be retained as proof of compliance with their LPT obligations. This might include a paper record of the property section of their local newspaper, information downloaded from the property price register regarding the sales price of a similar house sold in the area, information downloaded from property websites or details taken from Revenue’s valuation guidance.

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220. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Finance the minimum cash payments the Revenue Commissioners will accept from persons paying weekly instalments at a local service providers for the property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13898/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that a number of different payment options have been put in place to assist people in meeting their Local Property Tax (LPT) obligations, including the facility to pay by cash. Revenue’s strategy in this regard is to ensure taxpayers have a choice of payment options available to them from which they can choose the method, which is most suited to their individual circumstances. Revenue has appointed a number of payment service agents, An Post, Payzone and Omnivend Systems Ltd, to provide cash payment facilities for LPT. The payment service agents will not apply any minimum threshold for cash payments but will charge a transaction service fee, which will be borne by the customer. The three payment service agents have extensive networks and are easily accessible across the country. Taxpayers who choose to pay by cash on a phased basis should ensure that the full amount of LPT is paid by the end of the year in which the tax is due. Revenue has outlined details of the various payment options in its Guide to Local Property Tax .

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24. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will carry out an impact assessment of the property tax on social housing service providers. [14060/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Section 7 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) provides that local authorities and other providers of social housing will be liable to pay the LPT on their properties in the same way as any other residential property owner, unless the properties in question are used to accommodate people with special housing needs such as the elderly or people with disabilities. Special housing needs refers to the provision of housing and support for people who have a particular need in addition to a general housing need to enable them to live in the community. To avail of the exemption from LPT, the social housing provider must operate as a charity and must have a general tax exemption granted by the Revenue Commissioners. The Revenue Commissioners and officials from my Department have had extensive contacts regarding the LPT obligations of social housing providers either directly with the providers themselves (e.g. Focus Ireland) or indirectly through the Irish Council for Social Housing. Guidelines are being developed which clarify what constitutes special housing needs and support in order to assist local authorities and other social housing providers to determine whether their properties are exempt from the charge to LPT. Input was sought and received from representatives of social housing providers in connection with the development of the guidelines. The draft guidelines are currently being considered by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and the Irish Council for Social Housing.

Where a property owned by a local authority or other provider of social housing is not exempt from the charge to LPT because it is not used to provide special needs accommodation, the Act provides that the market value of any such property will be deemed to fall into the lowest valuation band of zero to €100,000 up to and including 2016. This will result in an LPT charge of €45 per property for 2013 and €90 per year for 2014 to 2016. It will be a matter for local authorities and other social housing providers themselves to decide whether they will pass on the LPT liability to their tenants in the form of an increase in rent or whether they will absorb the liability without recourse to their tenants. In addition, the Act also gives local authorities and other social housing providers until 1 January 2014 to pay the 2013 tax.

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they have liaised with the social housing sector to establish how local authorities and other social housing providers will provide them with information in relation to their LPT liability and the timing and manner of the payment of this liability. All local authorities and social housing providers affiliated to the Irish Council for Social Housing have been contacted in this regard. Revenue is anxious to ensure that any social housing providers who have not already done so should contact it as soon as possible.

Furthermore, the Commissioners have also confirmed that in order to minimise the administration burden on these bodies, it is Revenue’s intention to require each social housing provider to complete and submit a single LPT Return in respect of all the residential properties it owns, rather than seeking a separate Return for each individual property. In view of the engagement that has taken place with the Irish Council for Social Housing and the specific arrangements made for the sector both in the law and in the administration of the tax, I do not propose to carry out an impact assessment.

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41. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Finance the process by which Revenue will deduct the local property tax from non-cooperative eligible citizens and the month in which this will happen. [14082/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I believe the vast majority of people will want to be compliant with the Local Property Tax (LPT), as they are with other taxes legislated for by the Oireachtas. Revenue is making it as easy as possible for people to comply with their obligations to submit an LPT return and either make arrangements to pay their LPT charge or avail of a deferral of the charge if they are eligible. A wide range of payment options will be available to liable persons, which will allow them to pay their LPT liability in full or to pay the tax in equal instalments beginning in July 2013. For those liable persons who choose not to make an LPT Return, the Revenue Commissioners have a duty, in the interests of fairness and equity to those who are compliant, to take effective follow-up action to recover the tax from the non-compliant.

As part of the general issue of LPT Returns that began last week, liable persons are also receiving a Revenue Estimate of LPT. The Revenue Estimate is not based on a valuation of individual properties; nor, since LPT is a self-assessed tax, should it be regarded as an accurate calculation of the amount of LPT that a liable person should pay. The Revenue Estimate is an amount of LPT that will be pursued by Revenue, in accordance with the LPT legislation, if the liable person does not complete and submit their LPT Return.

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that their initial compliance focus will be on the completion of the register and they will decide on the precise details, phasing and timing of the compliance campaign depending on the profile of the non-compliant population. In the first instance, the Commissioners will pursue payment of the Revenue Estimate by mandatory deduction at source. In these cases the non-compliant liable person will be notified prior to any such mandatory deductions taking place and an instruction will issue from Revenue to the liable person’s employer, pension provider or to certain Government Departments to deduct the appropriate amount of LPT from the liable person’s employment income, occupational pension or from certain Government payments. These instructions will be the same irrespective of whether the deduction payment option has been voluntarily selected by the liable person, or mandatorily imposed by Revenue. If a liable person subsequently files the LPT Return and confirms the amount of LPT due based on her/his assessment of the value of the residential property, Revenue will notify her/his employer, pension provider or Government Department, as the case may be, if the amount of LPT due for payment has changed.

As regards timing, the objective will be to spread the deductions evenly over as many pay periods as possible. In this context, it is anticipated that the compliance campaign will commence in the second half of June, and will focus initially on income from employment and occupational pensions with a view to beginning deductions from July pay dates. A second and later phase will focus on Government payments, and in this regard the Deputy should note that if a person’s sole income is a payment from the Department of Social Protection, her/his income will be below the thresholds to qualify for a deferral of the tax. The timing of deductions from payments from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will depend on the timing of the relevant payments.

Where deduction at source is not feasible, which will generally be in the case of self-assessed taxpayers, a liable person who submits their Income Tax or Corporation Tax Return but has not by then submitted their LPT Return or paid or entered into an arrangement to pay the tax will automatically incur a 10% surcharge on the Income Tax or Corporation Tax liability for the particular year of assessment or accounting period. This will be the case even where the Income Tax or Corporation Tax return is itself filed on time. Where the liable person subsequently submits the outstanding LPT Return, the surcharge will be capped at the amount of the LPT liability. The timing in the case of Corporation Tax will vary, but for income tax the relevant date is 31 October 2013 for paper filers, and such later date as the Commissioners may announce as the filing date for e-filers, usually within the following two weeks.

I am further advised that the normal compliance and debt recovery provisions apply to LPT as apply to the collection and recovery of other taxes and duties under the care and management of the Revenue Commissioners.

Finally, any unpaid LPT will attach to the property, and the liable person will not be able to sell or transfer the property without paying the LPT, interest and penalties due. The Revenue Commissioners are discussing the details of the processes with the Law Society, but it is envisaged that solicitors will be in a position to verify that LPT has been paid to enable them to properly complete conveyancing.

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185. Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Finance the reason persons who adapted a home for use by a disabled person prior to 2001 are excluded from the relief offered to those by section six of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Bill 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14153/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Act 2013 on 13 March introduced a number of amendments to the original Act, including the relief referred to by the Deputy. Section 15A of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) provides for a reduction in the market value of a residential property that has been adapted for occupation by a disabled person where the adaptation has been grant-aided by a local authority. The person with the disability must occupy the property as his or her sole or main residence after the adaptation is completed. The reduction in value is limited to the lesser of the chargeable value attributable to the adaptation work carried out on the property and the maximum grant payable under the relevant local authority scheme. The relief ends on the sale or transfer of a property that has been adapted, unless the person with the disability continues to reside in the property.

A person who adapted a home before 2001 is not excluded from this relief. The relief is dependent on local authority grant aid being paid under S.I. No. 607 of 2001 or S.I. No. 670 of 2007. The 2001 regulations cover adaptation work carried out on or after 1 March 1993 and on foot of applications received by a local authority up to 1 November 2007, at which stage S.I. 670 of 2007 came into effect.

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72. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Finance if the same exemptions apply in respect of liability for the property tax as do in relation to the non principal private residence tax as they relate to property owned but occupied by family members on a rent free basis as provided for in a deed of transfer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14390/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Non-Principal Private Residence (NPPR) Charge is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government. Section 4(6) of the Local Government (Charges) Act 2009 provides an exemption from payment of the NPPR Charge in the case of a residential property that is occupied as a sole or main residence by a relative or relatives of the owner of the property on a rent-free basis. A condition that must be met for this exemption to apply is that both the property that is occupied by the relative(s) of the owner of that property, and the property that owner occupies as his or her sole or main residence, must be situated on the same property or within two kilometres of each other. I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that this exemption does not apply in the case of the Local Property Tax (LPT). In this regard, it should be noted that the NPPR Charge, as its name suggests, applies only to properties which are not a principal private residence of the owner, whereas the LPT applies to all residential properties with very few exceptions. Therefore, in the scenario described by the Deputy and assuming that no other type of exemption applies, either the owner of the property or the occupants of that property will be liable to pay LPT. Which party is liable depends on the particular arrangements that exist between the owner and the occupants in relation to the occupation of the property. If, as appears to be the case in the scenario envisaged by the Deputy, a deed of transfer may have given the occupants an exclusive right of residence for life or for the life or lives of one or more other persons or for a period that may equal or exceed 20 years, then the occupants would be the persons liable to pay the LPT.

67. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance if he will confirm if all houses within estates affected by pyrite will be exempt from property tax; if he will confirm if he is insisting on homeowners having fully certified pyrite test complete before being able to apply for exemption to property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14608/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): My Department is engaging in preliminary discussions with a number of financial institutions facilitated by the Irish Banking Federation with a view to securing a loan facility which the not-for-profit entity (to be established by the construction stakeholders) would draw down to permit the earliest possible commencement of pyrite remediation works. The detailed negotiations with the prospective lenders on the terms and conditions of this facility will be concluded by the not-for-profit entity. The loan facility is intended to defray the costs of pyrite remediation work and ancillary costs only and cannot be used for any other purposes.

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11. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Finance the cost of website from the Revenue Commissioners designed to give indicative values for properties subject to the property tax; and his views on whether it is fit for purpose compared to others. [14066/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan: The Local Property Tax (LPT) is a self-assessed tax. This means that the property owner must decide the market value of his or her own property and make a return to Revenue. In the absence of a national residential property valuation system, the valuation guidance developed by Revenue is designed to help property owners in self-assessing the market value of their property by giving them average, indicative values for their area. The Revenue guidance is based on a detailed analysis of all property sales in the State since January 2010. The guidance provides a benchmark to help people consider whether their particular property is more or less valuable than the average in an area. This guidance will be helpful in the majority of cases but there are always properties in an area that differ from the average.

The valuation guidance explicitly states that: "This service provides a guide to average market values of properties in a given locality and offers an indicative valuation band for properties depending on type, age and location. It does not provide market values for individual properties."

This guidance should not be used in isolation but together with other sources of information and the property owner’s knowledge of their neighbourhood and their own property. In this regard, I welcome that there is a range of guidance now available to property owners to help them self-assess.

Revenue has made the guidance as simple as possible – users need only know their property’s type, age and location. The Revenue valuation guidance website combines two aspects – a simple point and click option to get an average valuation for an area (electoral district), combined with a ‘heat map’ showing relative valuations across electoral districts.

The valuation guidance website is a successful collaborative project between Revenue and Ordnance Survey Ireland, the national mapping authority. The site was developed by Revenue at a cost of €48,250 including VAT. This includes the development cost, external advice on the choice of system and an estimate of the project management and quality assurance time. For completeness, this does not include the staff time and costs attributable to the Local Property Tax project overall which could not easily be disaggregated and would have been incurred even if the valuation guidance website had not been developed.

The Revenue guidance follows similar methods to those used by tax administrations in other countries and meets internationally accepted standards for this type of work. In addition, it compares favourably to research in Ireland, including work by researchers in the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). Other valuation guidance and models in Ireland, for example those produced by some property or real estate listings websites, also use similar methods to providing average valuations.

I am completely satisfied that the Revenue valuation guidance is fit for purpose and performs at least equally well, if not better, than other sources of valuation information that are available. I am confident that the Revenue valuation guidance will be useful for the majority of property owners in assisting them to value their homes. Furthermore, the use of the online mapping application, to provide the guidance, is an excellent example of the public sector using GIS (Geographic Information System) technology in a new and innovative manner.

Finally I would point out that all Revenue is asking – and all I am asking, as Minister – is for property owners to take a reasonable view of the value of their own property, and to be honest. The level of public debate this week on property valuation suggests that most people are engaging with the Local Property Tax, have a good general sense of the value of their property, are carrying out research to enable them to do their self-assessed return, and I welcome that.

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15. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Finance if he is satisfied with the logistical planning undertaken to date to administer the local property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14045/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Introducing a new tax regime for residential property in such a tight timeframe has been a significant challenge for the Revenue Commissioners along with all of their other responsibilities. Enacting the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act in December 2012 provided the basis for the development of the necessary systems. A small number of amendments were made to the original Act, which included some further exemptions from the charge and new types of deferral arrangements. These amendments were included in the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Act 2013 which was signed into law by the President on 13 March 2013. The Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) sets out how Local Property Tax (LPT) is to be administered and how a residential property is to be valued for LPT purposes. Since the Government’s announcement last July that the Revenue Commissioners would be responsible for the administration of this new tax, the Commissioners have had extensive contacts with a wide range of Government Departments and Agencies through the Interdepartmental Group which was set up last August to help plan the introduction of LPT.

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that a wide range of payment options have been made available to liable persons, which will allow them to pay their LPT liability in full or by way of phased payments. Bi-lateral meetings have been held with the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to ensure that the deduction at source option from certain payments administered by these Departments would be available to property owners. Meetings to assess progress on the necessary developments required to implement the deduction at source options are ongoing.

In addition, detailed discussions have also taken place with a number of private sector stakeholders including payroll administrators and payroll software specialists regarding the implementation of the deduction at source option and these groups are actively working to meet agreed timelines. A key element of the design of the tax is that property owners will have as much flexibility as possible to spread the payment of tax in equal instalments throughout the year and this is why the facility to deduct the tax at source is of such importance. Payment of LPT can also be made by single debit authority, debit/credit card, direct debit and cash. The Revenue Commissioners recently published details on their website of the payment service providers who will accept cash payments of LPT at their premises and they are An Post, Payzone and Omnivend. The three organisations concerned have a major nationwide reach that will ensure the widest possible availability of facilities where LPT payments can be made.

The additional resources required by Revenue for 2013 are noted in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Expenditure Report 2013. The Employment Control Framework includes 100 additional posts approved by my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, in the context of the introduction of LPT. The Commissioners further advise that a Local Property Tax Branch, under the Office of the Collector-General, is now fully established in Ennis, Co. Clare to manage all aspects of the administration of the tax for both resident and non-resident customers. The Commissioners are deploying additional staff to this Branch by reconfiguring their District structure in the South West and relocating functions from Clare to Limerick. In addition, Revenue has contracted for external service delivery of some data capture and call centre services. At this point, Revenue’s dedicated LPT Helpline (at 1890 200 255) is fully functional and will be resourced appropriately to handle the anticipated high number of contacts.

A key aspect of the work undertaken by Revenue was the development of a comprehensive Register of residential properties in the State which is the cornerstone of the new tax. The Register was developed using data drawn from a range of sources including Revenue’s own databases, the Local Government Management Agency database and data from utility companies. This Register is being used to issue correspondence to property owners and work is still in progress to refine the Register and ensure, as far as possible, that all property owners will be contacted. The use of multiple databases does, however, bring the risk of duplication and the Commissioners have made every effort to lessen this risk. Another important aspect of the logistical preparations for introducing LPT has been the development of the IT systems for administering and collecting the new tax and its incorporation into Revenue’s existing IT infrastructure. I am advised by the Commissioners that these systems are also in place.

The Commissioners have prepared valuation guidance which, taken together with the owner’s own knowledge of the property, will assist him or her in assessing its value. The guidance includes an on-line interactive valuation guide which provides indicative property valuation bands depending on the property type, age and location. This facility was made available on the Revenue website on 10 March and has seen extensive use with almost 600,000 “hits” recorded in its first four days of operation.

The Deputy will also be aware that last week Revenue began the general issue of LPT Returns, an explanatory booklet and related information to the owners of 1.66 million properties who will be obliged to file their Returns by the relevant deadline - 7 May for those filing paper Returns and 28 May for those filing their Return on-line. The first property owners to have received the correspondence occurred on Wednesday 13 March and up to Friday 15 March, 178,941 letters had been posted by Revenue. The general issue of correspondence, given the volumes involved, is likely to run for four weeks.

I am also advised that property owners will have the option of completing and submitting their LPT return in paper or by electronic means. Revenue has developed a secure on-line system for filing LPT Returns that is user friendly and easily accessible on the Revenue website. This on-line system also went live on 13 March. From the taxpayer’s perspective, using the on-line system is the quickest and most straightforward way to complete and submit their LPT Returns, particularly so where there are multiple properties involved, as the system automatically calculates the LPT due for the individual properties, makes it easy to select a payment method from the wide range of options available and provides immediate access to Revenue’s on-line valuation guide. I am assured that all the processes and procedures required to handle the completed LPT return forms from property owners by the relevant due dates of 7 May 2013 for paper forms, and 28 May for online forms, will be in place.

To coincide with the issue of LPT Returns to property owners, a public information campaign was launched on 7 March with a Press Conference delivered by the Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners. This was followed by a number of radio and television interviews with Revenue spokespersons. Over the coming months Revenue will make spokespersons available particular to local radio to provide advice. A publicity campaign targeting radio and the print media has also just commenced. The Revenue website contains extensive information on how the tax will operate and the obligations for owners of residential properties, including Frequently Asked Questions which are updated regularly. Revenue is also working closely with the Citizens Information Service to optimise the opportunities for property owners to get advice and assistance in completing their LPT Return.

I am fully satisfied with the logistical planning undertaken by the Commissioners and am very pleased with the progress made to date. I am confident that they will deliver all of the necessary milestones prior to the commencement of the new regime on 1 July 2013.

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69. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the an Aire Airgeadais cén fáth go bhfuil na mapaí ar an suíomh idirlín Gaeilge don Cháin Mhaoine Áitiúil i mBéarla i bhfianaise obair an Choimisiúin Logainmneacha agus an Bhrainse Logainmneacha thar na blianta agus i bhfianaise na hoibre atá déanta ag Suirbhéireacht Ordanáis Éireann ar mhapaí Gaeilge; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [14363/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan: Comhairlíonn na Coimisinéirí Ioncaim dom gur tionscadal rathúil comhoibritheach idir na Coimisinéirí Ioncaim agus Suirbhéireacht Ordanáis Éireann (SOÉ), an Ghníomhaireacht Mhapaíochta Náisiúnta, é an suíomh idirlín um threoir luachála. Comhairlítear dom freisin go bhfuil gach iarracht á dhéanamh le cinntiú go bhfuil an leagan Gaeilge den treoir ar aon dul leis an leagan Béarla, agus ar an ábhar seo, tá aistriúchán iomlán déanta ar an téacs mínitheach uile agus ar na ceisteanna uile a iarrtar ar úsáideoirí na treorach a chomhlánú chun cabhrú leo teacht ar bhanda luachála táscach don chineál, aois agus suíomh maoine atá acu.

Tuigeann na Coimisinéirí Ioncaim ón SOÉ nach féidir leagan go hiomlán i Gaeilge a chur ar fáil faoi láthair don scála is mó (sin é, an mapa is mionsonraithe) ionas gur féidir le húsáideoirí díriú isteach ar thoghcheantar ar leith. Tá dul chun cinn sontasach déanta ag an mBrainse Logainmneacha leaganacha Gaeilge de logainmneacha a chur ar fáil agus tá obair leanúnach á dheanamh acu logainmneacha Gaeilge uile sna contaetha ar mhapa mórscála na hÉirinn a bhailíochtú. Cé go bhfuil seirbhís mhapaíochta mheánscála ar fáil i nGaeilge a úsáideann sonraí a bhfuarthas ó Fhiontar in Ollscoil Chathair Átha Cliath, níl an áis aistriúcháin Ghaeilge seo ar fáil faoi láthair ag an scála níos ísle sin a bheadh ag teastáil ó úsáideoirí le díriú isteach ar shuíomh ar leith, ar spéis leo luacháil maoine a fháil ann. Meastar go mbeadh sástacht úsáideoirí leis an dtreoir i mbaol dá rachfaí beo don phobal le seirbhís mhapaíochta a bheadh cuid i nGaeilge agus cuid i mBéarla. I gcásanna áirithe, d’fhéadfadh sé seo bheith ina cúis mhearbhaill.

Comhairlíonn na Coimisinéirí Ioncaim go gcoimeádfaidh siad an t-ábhar faoi athbhreithniú agus, ag comhoibriú leis an SOÉ, nuair atá seirbhís mhapaíochta ar fáil go hiomlán i nGaeilge do na scálaí uile atá ag teastáil ó úsáideoirí chun díriú isteach ar shuíomh ar leith, go ndéanfaidh siad nuashonrú ar an leagan reatha den chuid Ghaeilge dá suíomh idirlín.

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