Split among taxpayers around vacant homes tax
More than half of taxpayers are in favour of the Vacant Homes Tax, a new survey has found.
But almost three quarters of respondents who support it think that it should be higher than it is.
The research by Taxback.com found that 40% support the tax and think it will have a positive impact.
A further 15% think it is a good idea, but that it should be levied at a level higher than the 0.3% rate.
Just over a quarter of those polled said they are not in favour of the tax as people should be allowed to do what they want with their properties.
17% are against the tax as they think it will not solve anything.
“The 0.3% rate at which the VHT is set has attracted much criticism of late, with some politicians recently describing it as ‘tokenistic’,” said Marian Ryan, Consumer Tax Manager of Taxback.
“Our survey shows that even amongst those who support the tax, there is widespread dissatisfaction around the rate.”
“The VHT was introduced to increase the number of homes available for rent or purchase.”
“Public sentiment appears to be that if the Government really believes that this new tax will increase housing supply and address the severe housing crisis in this country, it needs to increase this tax to a multiple of what it currently is,” she added.
A third of respondents of those who were in favour of the tax said they think the rate is fine as it is.
But a quarter said it should be set at 5% and one in every five said they thought it should be 10%.
15% want it to be 20% while 11% are seeking the rate to be increased to over 20%.
“Recent figures from the Revenue Commissioners suggest that there are just over 57,000 vacant properties in Ireland, with holiday homes accounting for about a fifth of these and another one in five of these properties being refurbished,” said Ms Ryan.
“Properties that are vacant due to refurbishment are not liable for the VHT. Many holiday homes will not be liable for it either, depending on how often they are used.”
“If there are only 57,000 vacant properties in Ireland and a significant chunk of them are exempt from the vacant homes tax, questions must be asked about whether the tax is merited. If not, it could cost more to administer this tax than it actually collects,” she added.