Kerby urges people to get their homes valued before the government does

Kerby urges people to get their homes valued before the government does

Jill Kerby

A leading financial expert has encouraged homeowners to get their home valued before the government does.

Jill Kerby issued the warning in her column for the Kilkenny People in the build up to the introduction of a new property tax next year.

Ms Kerby, who writes for the Sunday Times, said that it was unlikely that a site value tax would be used to implement the impending charge and, as such, various tax bands would be created.

Commenting on the matter, Ms Kerby said: “Irish politicians being what they are, they’ve opted for the ‘simple,’ quick property tax option – that is, to send inspectors around the country to value streets, neighbourhoods and hinterlands full of houses and/or check the latest sales data from the property registrar they’ve set up.

“Then they can tell the compliant taxpayer to slot their property into (probably) one of three or four value bands and then pay the assigned tax per band by a certain deadline.

“Anyone who has registered for the household charge or second property charge will automatically go onto the property tax list.

“The tax per value band will, I suspect, probably loosely work out at a percentage value of the property and that percentage will eventually rise to between 0.75% and 1% of the value, which is roughly in keeping with most Anglo/American-type market value property taxes systems.”

Ms Kerby said she expected there to be a number of exemptions called for by back-benchers and with this in mind the burden of paying could fall on a smaller number than expected.

“They will all want the unemployed, long-term social welfare recipients exempted, including all pensioners earning below the tax-free income limits of €18,000 for an individual and €36,000 for a couple, as well as all homeowners in arrears (over 100,000) and anyone who paid high stamp duty on houses they purchased during the property bubble years.

“Since this will probably eliminate a vast number of households, it will be in your interests if you don’t fall into any of those categories, to at least make sure that your house, holiday home or buy-to-let property is as accurately valued as possible before the tax starts rolling out from next January.”

She said that most estate agents were happy to give people a free valuation but warned that these free valuations may change if everyone suddenly wants one. As a result she called on people to do so now rather than wait.

“If the government opts for the self-assessment tax bands, there will be widespread undervaluation.

“If they slot our homes into the bands and send out their own valuations, then you will need your own independent valuation to challenge theirs plus other evidence: the rental yields of nearby similar properties to your own, for example.”

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