household charge (DOC)

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     Please first select a section then a question to view answers to frequently asked questions. The

     contents of these pages are provided as an information guide only



            The Legislation and General Information

     o               What is the household charge?

     o               How much is the charge?

     o               How can I pay the household charge?

     o               Does the charge apply to residential property outside of Ireland?

     o               What types of properties are liable for the household charge?

     o               What are the exemptions from liability to pay the household charge?

     o               What are the waivers from payment of the household charge?

     o               Does the household charge apply to those who are paying the €200

         charge on Non-Principal Private Residences?

     o               Is a building divided into flats or bedsits liable for the household

         charge?

     o               Is a house let as one unit to a number of occupants liable for the

         household charge?

     o               I own a mobile home. Is this liable for the household charge?

     o               What will the household charge finance?

     o               By what date must it be paid?
    o               Can I pay it by instalments?

           Unfinished Housing Estates

    o               What is an Unfinished Housing Estate Waiver?

           The Charge, liability and Late Payment Fee

    o               What happens if I don't pay or don’t pay on time?

    o               When do I become liable to pay the household charge?

    o               Who is liable to pay the charge where a property is jointly owned?

    o               I am a landlord and rent a property to a person receiving Supplementary

        Welfare Allowance (SWA) Rent Supplement. Am I liable for the household charge in

        respect of that property?

    o               How do I prove that I have paid the household charge?

    o               What is the position where a sole owner of a property dies?

    o               How can I pay the charge and who do I pay?

    o               What details do I require to register and pay the household charge?

           Payment Online

    o               Can I register and pay for more than one residential property online?

    o               Do I use the same Account Reference Code every time I pay for my

        property charge online?

    o               Why is a security question required?

    o               My Computer crashed while I was paying – what do I do?

    o               Will I receive a payment receipt?

    o               What details do I require to register and pay the household charge?

    o               What is the procedure for online payments?

    o               I've lost my Account Reference Code, what do I do?

    o               I've forgotten my Account Reference Code and the email address I

        supplied when I registered my account. What do I do?

    o               How can I pay the charge and who do I pay?

           Removal of a Property
    o                I no longer own a property – what should I do?

           Refunds

    o                How do I apply for a refund?

           Forms

    o                Downloadable Forms

           Offences

    o                Offences




    The Legislation and General Information

    What is the household charge?

    The EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland commits the Government to the

    introduction of a property tax for 2012. The Programme reflects the need, in the context of the

    State's overall financial position, to put the funding of locally delivered services on a sound

    financial footing, improve accountability and better align the cost of providing services with the

    demand for such services.


    In light of the complex issues involved, a property tax, requiring a comprehensive property

    valuation system, would take time to introduce and accordingly, to meet the requirements in the

    EU/IMF Programme, the Government decided to introduce a household charge in 2012. The

    household charge is an interim measure and proposals for a full property tax will be a matter

    for consideration by the Government in due course.


    The Household Charge is an annual charge introduced by the Local Government (Household

    Charge) Act 2011which is payable by owners of residential property. It is a matter for owners of

    residential property to register and pay the household charge after the 1st of January.


    How much is the charge?
    The Household Charge is €100 per residential property


    How can I pay the household charge?

    An online system - www.householdcharge.ie - is in place to enable home owners to pay the

    household charge by credit card/debit card. In addition, home owners can make the payment

    by cheque, postal order, etc through the post to the Local Government Management Agency

    who operate a bureau and administers the charge on a shared service/agency basis for all local

    authorities. In addition, payment will be accepted in the offices of your County/City Council.


    Does the charge apply to residential property outside of Ireland?

    No. The charge only applies to residential properties situated in the State.


    What types of properties are liable for the household charge?

    Owners of residential property on the liability date of 1st of January 2012, subject to a limited

    number of exemptions and waivers set out below, are liable to pay the household charge by

    31st of March.


    What are the exemptions from liability to pay the household charge?

    The exemptions are as follows:



           Residential properties that are part of the trading stock of a business

     and have not been sold or been the source of any income since

     construction,

           Residential property vested in a Minister of the Government or the

     Health Service Executive,

           Residential property vested in a housing authority, including property

     where households are purchasing their homes under the Shared Ownership

     Scheme and where the local authority still retains an ownership stake,

           Voluntary and co-operative housing,
           Residential property to which commercial rates apply,

           Residential property owned by a charity or comprised in a

     discretionary trust, and

           Residential property where a person has to leave their house due to

     long-term mental or physical infirmity (e.g. a person that has moved into a

     nursing home).


    What are the waivers from payment of the household charge?

    The waivers from payment of the household charge are as follows:




           Owners of residential property entitled to mortgage interest

     supplement

           Owners of residential property located in prescribed unfinished

     housing estates (see Unfinished Housing Estates section for more detail)




    Please note that all waiver claims will be validated. Persons who make false or misleading

    declarations in making a claim for a waiver will be liable to penalties under the legislation.


    Does the household charge apply to those who are paying the €200 charge on Non-

    Principal Private Residences?

    Yes. The household charge applies to residential property generally, including those properties

    that are liable to the €200 charge on Non-Principal Private Residences.


    Is a building divided into flats or bedsits liable for the household charge?

    Yes. The household charge is payable by the owner of the building in respect of each unit of

    residential accommodation. Where a building is divided into a number of flats or bedsits, the
    charge applies to each flat or bedsit e.g. if the dwelling is divided into four bedsits, four

    household charges are payable i.e. €100 x 4 = €400.


    Is a house let as one unit to a number of occupants liable for the household charge?

    Yes, the charge is €100 for the dwelling.


    I own a mobile home. Is this liable for the household charge?

    No. A mobile home is not liable for the household charge.


    What will the household charge finance?

    Revenues from the household charge will support the provision of local services. Internationally,

    local services are administered by local authorities and financed by local service charges. In

    Ireland, local authorities are responsible for, among other services, fire and emergency services,

    maintenance and cleaning of streets, street lighting, planning and development services, public

    parks, libraries, open spaces and leisure facilities, etc. These are essential local services which

    benefit all members of the public, including business.


    By what date must it be paid?

    31st of March 2012 or where a person opts to pay the household charge in instalments, the

    Direct Debit Mandate must be set up by 1st of March 2012.


    Can I pay it by instalments?

    Yes. The household charge can be paid in four instalments of €25 by direct debit.


    Dates for 2012 are as follows:



           Instalment number 1:           13th March 2012

           Instalment number 2:           14th May 2012

           Instalment number 3:           13th July 2012

           Instalment number 4:           10th September 2012
Unfinished Housing Estates

What is an Unfinished Housing Estate Waiver?

The legislation provides that an owner of residential property which is situated in an unfinished

estate, within the meaning contained in the Local Government (Household Charges) Act 2011,

on the liability date (1st January) is entitled to a waiver from payment of the Household Charge

in respect of that property for that year.


A national survey of unfinished housing developments was carried out in 2011 by officials from

the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, in conjunction with the

Planning Departments of the various local authorities. As part of this survey, all unfinished

developments were examined and categorised along the following lines:


Category 1: the development is still being actively completed by the developer;

Category 2: a receiver has been appointed;

Category 3: a receiver has not been appointed and the developer is still in place but effectively

inactive; and

Category 4: the development has been effectively abandoned and is posing serious problems for

residents.


A person who, on 1 January 2012, is an owner of a residential property in an unfinished

development contained in the prescribed list (estate categories 3 and 4 only) is entitled to a

waiver from payment of the household charge in 2012.


If you have a query in relation to the estates which qualify for the waiver, please contact the

Planning and Housing Policy Section of the Department of Environment, Community and Local

Government at one of the following numbers:


(053) 911 7398

(053) 911 7402

(053) 911 7397
    (053) 911 7399




    The Charge, liability and Late Payment Fee

    What happens if I don't pay or don’t pay on time?

    An owner of a residential property who does not pay a household charge or an instalment

    thereof by the due date will be subject to late payment fees and late payment interest.


    The late payment fee to apply in the case of a household charge paid:



           not later than 6 months after the due date, is 10% of the amount

     outstanding;

           later than 6 months and not later than 12 months after the due date,

     is 20 % of the amount outstanding; or

           later than 12 months after the due date, is 30 % of the amount

     outstanding.


    In addition, late payment interest of 1% per month or part thereof will apply to unpaid amounts.


    Furthermore, both the €100 charge and any accumulated late payment fee will be a charge

    against the property concerned and will continue to be such for twelve years after the charge or

    late payment penalties concerned became due. Any household charges or late payment

    penalties due on a residential property will have to be discharged, in full, before a transfer or

    sale of the property can be completed.


    When do I become liable to pay the household charge?

    As set out in the Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011, liability to pay the charge is

    determined on the basis of ownership of the property in question on a single day each year.

    This date, which is called the "liability date", is the 1st of January. The charge must be paid
within three months (31st March) of the liability date in order to avoid late payment penalties.


Who is liable to pay the charge where a property is jointly owned?

Liability falls on all co-owners but payment by any one co-owner discharges the liability of all

co-owners.


I am a landlord and rent a property to a person receiving Supplementary Welfare

Allowance (SWA) Rent Supplement. Am I liable for the household charge in respect of

that property?

Yes. Owners of residential properties which are rented to persons receiving SWA Rent

Supplement are liable to the household charge.


How do I prove that I have paid the household charge?

You will receive a receipt acknowledging payment of the household charge. Furthermore, you

can request the LGMA to provide you with a certificate of discharge. This will be evidence of

payment and will confirm that the household charge in respect of the year concerned has been

paid. The certificates are important documents and will be required on sale or transfer of the

property concerned.


What is the position where a sole owner of a property dies?

Where a person who is the sole owner of a residential property dies, and at the time of his/her

death, household charges and late payment fees and interest were due, no further household

charges and related fees or interest shall accrue during the period from death to the issue of the

grant of representation of the estate of the deceased.


Penalties and interest which had been accruing up to the point of death cease and no further

penalties are applied, provided that the personal representative of the deceased discharges the

full amount of the household charge, late payment fees and interest due up to the date of death

within 3 months of the date of the grant of representation to the estate of the deceased.


How can I pay the charge and who do I pay?
You can register and pay the household charge on the website www.householdcharge.ie.


What details do I require to register and pay the household charge?

You will be required to complete a statutory declaration which will require the following

information:


-name of the owner of the residential property (in the case of multi-owners only one name is

required)


- address for correspondence


- address of the residential property for which payment is being made


- personal public service number (PPSN) of the owner of the property


- tax reference number of the owner where the owner is a company


- payment details - credit/debit card(bank account details if opting for direct debit)




Payment Online

Can I register and pay for more than one residential property online?

Yes, you can pay for multiple properties online.


Do I use the same Account Reference Code every time I pay for my property charge

online?

Yes, you will use your Account Reference Number and password to login to the Household

Charge online system. Your Account Reference Code is quoted on any payment receipt(s) you

have received.


Why is a security question required?

The security question and answer provides you with a second level of security. The Household
Charge System protects accounts from unauthorised access and will require verification of your

account information, such as First Name, Last Name, PPSN and security question. If you require

technical support, or have questions about your account, a Household Charge Support Team

member will ask you to verify the answer to a security question.


My Computer crashed while I was paying – what do I do?

On the Household Charge system’s details page you can check whether a payment was

successful for a registered property. If you are unable to do this or you have any technical

difficulties please contact Household Charge technical support at support@householdcharge.ie.


Will I receive a payment receipt?

You can print off your receipt from the online system when you complete payment or a receipt

will be emailed to your email address if you have provided one during registration. If you do not

have an email address the receipt will be sent in the post. Please retain your receipts.


What details do I require to register and pay the household charge?

You will be required to complete a statutory declaration which will require the following

information:


-name of the owner of the residential property (in the case of

multi-owners only one name is required)

- address for correspondence

- address of the residential property for which payment is

 being made

- personal public service number (PPSN) of the owner of the

 property

- tax reference number of the owner where the owner is a

 company

- payment details - credit/debit card(bank account details if

 opting for direct debit)
What is the procedure for online payments?

When you enter www.householdcharge.ie you will have the following two options to pay:




NEW CUSTOMER


If you are a new customer please click the “Create Account” button. You will be brought through

a step by step process for creating your password, registering your property and paying the

charge(s).




An Account Reference Code will be generated for you. Your Account Reference Code is a unique

number for your account. It will be displayed on screen and you should take note of it for future

use. It will also appear on your payment receipt.


If you provide your email address in the registration process, your account reference code will

be emailed to you (please check your email settings to ensure that you receive this notification

i.e. that it is not recognised as spam/trash).




This Account Reference Code and Password can be used in any future interaction with the

household charge system. If you experience any difficulties accessing these codes please

contact the Household Charge Bureau at 1890-357357 or 01-2224000 to obtain your account

reference number.


 EXISTING CUSTOMER


If you are an existing customer please click the “Login” button. Please note that you will require

your Account Reference Code and Password.


I've lost my Account Reference Code, what do I do?
If you are an existing customer and you have forgotten your Account Reference Code please

click the "Lost Reference" button on the Login screen. You will be prompted to enter your PPS

Number / Tax Reference Number and email address. Once you have clicked the “Send” button

you will receive your Account Reference Code by email.


I've forgotten my Account Reference Code and the email address I supplied when I

registered my account. What do I do?

You should contact the Household Charge Customer Service where you'll be asked a number of

security questions (previously supplied by you) to validate your identity. If validation is

successful, your email address will be confirmed to you and your account reference code will be

emailed to you.


How can I pay the charge and who do I pay?

You can register and pay the household charge on the website www.householdcharge.ie.




Removal of a Property

I no longer own a property – what should I do?




If you no longer own a property that you previously registered in the system then you may

remove your details from your household charge account. This may be completed online

through the “Charges” page where you will be asked to select a reason for removal from a

dropdown list. If you do not have access online then complete the HC12D form and return it to

the Household Charge.


If the sale closes after the Liability Date, the vendor is liable for the charge that year and late

payment fees will continue to accumulate on any unpaid charge or charges.
    Refunds

    How do I apply for a refund?

    Applications for refunds are dealt with by the Household Charge. If someone applies to

    Household Charge for a refund for a property and if a refund is due, then the Household Charge

    will issue payment for the appropriate amount to the person. Application can be made through

    contacting the Household Charge and requesting the Refund form HC12B. The main reason for

    seeking a refund is where a duplicate payment has been made in error.




    Forms

    Downloadable Forms


           Declaration new Account Registration

           Additional Properties to be Added.

           Additonal Properties to be Removed.

           Request for refund




    Offences

    Offences

    The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 provides for a number of offences related

    to the household charge. The main offences relate to failure to declare a liability to a household

    charge, failure to pay it and to provide information that is false or misleading. The Act also
provides for fines and other sanctions for persons found guilty of offences.


             Household Charge - Online payment system - Funding your local services

				
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