Vacant Homes Tax

Revenue have recently issued guidelines on the Vacant Homes Tax (VHT) which was introduced to encourage vacant homes to be put to use to alleviate the housing crisis.  The tax first applies for the period from 1 November 2022 to 31 October 2023.  The filing date for the return is 7 November 2023 and payment is due by 1 January 2024.  The VHT is charged at three times the standard Local Property Tax charge for the property (before the Local Authority discount is applied) and applies to a residential property: 

  • Which is subject to LPT, and 
  • Which is in use as a dwelling for less than 30 days in the relevant period (1 November 2022 to 31 October 2023).

Residential properties outside the scope of VHT 
A residential property will not be subject to VHT if: 

  • It is exempt from LPT; 
  • It is subject to a bona fide tenancy for a period of at least 30 days; or 
  • It has changed ownership during the chargeable period.

Filing of Returns 
The individual who is the chargeable person for LPT purposes is required to file the VHT return.  A return is only required where: 

  • There is a liability to VHT; 
  • An exemption is being claimed (see below); or 
  • Where Revenue issues a notice to file a return. 

A 5% surcharge will be applied to the VHT liability where the return is filed within two months of 7 November 2023 or 10% if filed thereafter.  Interest will also arise on late payment of the tax.

Holiday Homes 
Where you have a holiday home it will not be subject to VHT provided it was in use as a residential dwelling for 30 days or more during the chargeable period.  Our recommendation is that you keep a log of the days it was used by you or any other individuals during this period.  Revenue may seek evidence by way of electricity or gas bills, waste management bills or where you have a short term letting in place, evidence of this by way of emails or contracts.
Exemption from Vacant Homes Tax 
The following properties are exempt from VHT but the exemption must be claimed by way of filing a tax return by 7 November following the end of the chargeable period: 

  • Property where the owner has died within the chargeable period and it was his/her principal private residence. 
  • Property where Grant of Probate has issued and it was his/her principal private residence. 
  • Property actively marketed for sale. 
  • Property actively marketed for rent. 
  • Property subject to certain court orders whereby it was prohibited for it to be sold. 
  • Property that underwent structural works and occupation would have posed a threat to the health and safety of the occupant. 
  • Property unoccupied due to the mental or physical infirmity of the owner; or 
  • Property owned by a North-South implementation body. 

If you require any further information or have any further queries in relation to this tax, please contact your usual PMQ contact.

This summary is intended as a general guide. No action should be taken without obtaining professional taxation advice.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Purcell McQuillan Tax Partners Ltd on 01 668 2700 or email your usual PMQ contact.

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