NPPR Deadline Only 2 Weeks Away

The NPPR payment deadline is fast approaching – but is anyone paying attention?

I have been amazed there has been so little attention paid so far to the looming 30 June deadline for payment of the Non Principal Private Residence or NPPR charge.

If you are liable, you have only two weeks left to stump up €200 per property/unit by the deadline, or face a late payment penalty. The charge applies to second homes, rented houses and apartments, unoccupied units and other properties, apart from the owner’s main residence, and is in addition to the €100 Household Charge.

NPPR charge deadline

Perhaps the ongoing controversy over the Household Charge is the blame for the lack of media coverage towards the NPPR so far this year.  This is unfortunate, as unlike the Household Charge, the consequences of late payment of the NPPR charge can be serious.

For example, a property owner who has failed to pay their 2009, 2010 and 2011 NPPR liabilities will, by 30 June 2012, owe a total liability of €2,160 in NPPR charges and late fees. As time goes on, this liability will rise sharply. This is because the late payment charge of €20 per month continues to snowball forever until the entire liability is cleared.

For this reason alone, it is vital that you pay your NPPR charge on time, if you are liable to do so.

112 comments

  1. I live in England and I have a flat in Donegal which I use to visit my family once or twice a year. Only just been made aware of this so Im liable for 800 euros plus all the penalties. I think this is shocking in particular the penalties. No effort has been made to make me aware of this. Are you aware of anyone challenging these penalties. I would pay the charge but think the penalties are outrageous. Am considering just registering from this year and see how things work out. Any thoughts?

    Thanks

    1. Hello Neil, you are correct, the severity of the NPPR late payment penalties is shocking. They amount to 10% per month. I am unaware of anyone successfully challenging them, at least as of yet, and I know of many cases where councils have refused point-blank to give even partial penalty concessions to homeowners. Have you thought about bringing a complaint to the Ombudsman? http://www.ombudsman.gov.ie/en/ Best of luck, Tommy

      1. Thanks for getting back to me. What I am considering doing is registering for this year and paying any penalty for this year. Ill pay the other 3 years charge to a local charity. Keeps my conscience clear dont pay the penalties. And I can also be sure that the money paid on the three previous years will be going to local amenities rather than German ones.

        Do the councils have any discretion about the penalties?

  2. Neil, I am in a similar situation so I am keen on your response. I owe for 2010 onwards but I think the penalties are rediculous and would just like to pay for this year onwards but am afraid of what I’ll be faced with if in a few years we can sell the house.

    Have you decided for sure to just pay the NPPR for this year and not the previous years…What will happen when you want to sell your property i.e. will you be stumped with a large bill then for the years you hadn’t paid prior to this year? …I read somewhere that if the NPPR is not paid then it just keeps accumulating and that a charge remains on the property so you will have to pay prior to sale. I think this charge accumulates for 12 years then stops ,but Im not sure where I read this and whether it then dissapears or just remains at the amount accumulated over the 12 years….how much would that amount to?).

    I have also read somewhere that the nppr charge will be stopped in 2014 so if that is the case then perhaps we souldn’t bother paying it at all and hope by the time we may sell our house that its long forgotton about?…. or am I dreamimg and should I just pay it too?

    1. Hi Chris,
      in the end I just paid it and the penalties I incurred for this year. Im hoping theyll just take the lowlying fruit and leave me alone. I may be selling next year so we’ll see but I think I have the clearance cert I need to progress the sale.
      However its wait and see.
      I dont know about them getting rid of it but it must be the easiest to administer tax I ever heard of and the penalties have scared the sh1t out of me into trying to comply.
      There must be thousands in US/GB/ Australia etc who arent aware of it and it will be interesting to see how this is treated in the future when properties have stacked up huge liabilities with tax and penalties and they try and sell on the property.

      I really dont know what to advise – its really a judgement call but you process it on-line and pick the year you wish to pay it from. I didnt have any follow on questions so hopefully it will be OK.

      All the best

      N.comeil

  3. Hello, I Live in UK and have had a house in Cork for several years. Despite being a regular visitor I never heard about this NPPR until a few weeks ago and now faced with a €3,240 bill which is two-thirds late payment charges. Having checked back all my records, the council never wrote in the first instance, did not write at the point of a late payment charge, nor on any anniversary of the charge/late fees. I know of no other organisation that operates this way. It is illogical, unfair a disgraceful way to conduct business (no one in the private sector would get away with this), frankly extortion, and definitely sharp practice. I know if I had the resources to fund a claim against the late payment charges I would win, but I don’t.

    Is there any history of challenges In the courts?

    1. Hi David, I sympathise with your plight. The NPPR was badly operated from the outset, and badly publicised, particularly towards property owners living outside the island of Ireland. In addition, the €20 per month late payment rolling penalty is manifestly unjust. It equates to a 120% interest charge per annum. You are correct in saying that it is a disgraceful way for anyone to conduct business.

      I’m not aware of any court challenges to the NPPR charge (or more particularly its associated penalty regime) although I suspect it will only be a matter of time before people end up challenging ruinous late payment fees in the courts.

    2. David,
      I’m in exactly the same situation. Did you discover any way to challenge this extortion, or have you paid?

  4. Hi David, Mark

    David, your best bet may be a complaint to the Ombudsman.

    From their website, https://www.ombudsman.gov.ie

    “The Office of the Ombudsman examines complaints from members of the public who feel they have been unfairly treated by certain public bodies. The Ombudsman may investigate complaints against, for example, government departments, local authorities and the HSE”.

    I think its quite clear that the NPPR late payment penalty charges are grotesquely excessive and unfair (equal to 10% interest per month). The absence of a waiver system may also represent a further inbuilt injustice within the entire NPPR system.

    Whether this would be sufficient to enable the Ombudsman to uphold a complaint against the NPPR, I don’t know. If any legal expert can illuminate us on this, please feel free to comment.

  5. I have just today heard from the Ombudsman that my complaint about the handling of the NPPR will not be upheld and I am liable for the penalties. My complaint was about the negligence of Dublin City Council in failing to issue reminders. I live abroad and actually registered and paid the tax in 2009. For some inexplicable reason I got the idea that it was a once off and not chargeable beyond 2009 and never paid it after that. My misunderstanding was not helped by the fact that I NEVER received any reminder from DCC (UNTIL 2013) despite them having my email address and mobile number. I literally never thought of it after 2009 until I received the reminder, by post, in 2013. What absolutely galls me is that I am a mature student and rent out my house in Dublin but have to rent where I live…so I am hardly the landed gentry!!! Regardless, I would like to see the Ombudsman’s office ABSOLUTELY FLOODED with complaints on this matter. Keep the bastards busy with it and maybe the powers that be will pay some attention and kick ass where needed. My biggest complaint is not the charge itself but the outrageous penalties and the absolutely disgusting way it is being handled by the local authorities, in particular the LIES told by DCC to the Ombudsman when they asserted that they HAD issued email reminders.

  6. hi all i got a bill last week for 4220 .how in the name of god can they do this ?can i pay them so much a week ?i did not know about this what can i do if i dont pay by 1st sept its 7230 its mad ,

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  8. Hi I am living in the US and spend 3 months a year in my house in Cork. I get all correspondence about taxes and fees mailed to my Father’s house. The household tax bill found me and so did the household fee. But I was never mailed or emailed anything about he NPPR. How in heavens name can a person living abroad as I do be expected to just know about this. My parents didn’t hear much or anything about it as they don’t have a 2nd home and they just assumed my one home in Cork was just that, not a 2nd home. Failure on the part of revenue to notify people must stand for something. My bill is now 4220.00 an first I heard of it was seeing an article in todays Independent online quite by accident. I am now selling my house and will probably have to pay it from all I have been reading since. BUT I will put up one hell of fight. Anyone interested in starting a citizens group to fight this? I may have to pay in order to sell but I would love to help someone else, or even get money back at some point. Unlikely I know as its all gone to Europe, but I would still like to be a pain.

    1. Try the ombudsman. They did nothing for me bit they said that was because i had an agent who should have told me. My agent is not a tax agent but it made no difference to them but that was the ombudsman’s excuse. I would love to know if anyone got any satisfaction from ombudsman?

    2. I’m in a similar boat to you. Did you get any replies regarding a class action court case? I’m up for it. Regards, Paul.

      1. I have heard nothing further on this- but I was live on the Joe Duffy RTE1 show this morning, where the entire show was devoted to this topic with other callers in ROI who also never received notification and who just got these letters yesterday. Everybody was really upset. Joe was saying the Ombudsman is saying that the local city councils have discretion and there is a recommendation for overseas owners to pay 50% of the penalty/interest. I still think this is too much, when, as in my case, the local city council was fully aware my property was not my PPR and thus subject to the annual tax, and they had my address- they absolutely could have contacted me and notified me and anyone else whose address they had- long before the 11th hour with this as one caller described it “ambush”. Laying in undergrowth waiting to pounce on us. GCC are on record as saying they stand to gain 15m euro from this “bonanza”. Therein lies the reason no proper written notification was given.

      2. Well done Sarah on your good work on RTE.

        You got it in one – the councils had a massive incentive to ensure that as many people as possible failed to pay the NPPR charge on time. This has the makings of a massive scandal.

      3. It will be very interesting to see where things go. My heart broke for the other callers on the segment with me. People are very shocked and distressed with these demand letters. I just can’t imagine if this was in the private sector(say the water supply was from a private company, who were collecting the water rates owners are next facing) that they would be allowed get away with issuing no reminder letters whatsoever and be allowed to impose 10% per month on the arrears, and then double it or record it as a lien against the property, without any appellate rights or judicial review. I have to believe some consumer protection arm of the government would be all over it.

    3. Hi Sharon,

      I am in the same position. Living in England with a holiday home used only by my family, in Limerick. I paid the same cost as you and have had no information about this tax – outrageous! There was an article in one of the national newspapers in Ireland that someone sent me stating certain county councils were considering a reduction in penalties for overseas owners but I have heard nothing since. Pleas to the council at Limerick have fallen on deaf ears. A concerted effort of some kind would at least allow people to let off steam. Lots of complaints to the Ombudsman may be a way forward.

      Terry O’Connor

  9. this is all a shambles that the department of the environment /finance can by law be allowed to inflict this punitive fine on house owners who did not pay on a self imposed tax..Is anyone doing anything about this or is everyone paying up?

  10. I am in a similar predicament to all of you. I live in the US. I own property in Galway which is rented, and has been since 2002. I registered the property as a rental property with the Galway City Council and have a written acknowledgment from them to my american address in 2003. So my address here in the US has remainded the same. The revenue commissioners’s letters arrive timely notifying me of my obligation to pay my income taxes to the Irish govt. Ditto for the Local Property Tax they collected. I have never evaded either. I never heard a word about the imposition of this charge in 2009, nor any delinquency notice for each year since then, until Aug 16th 2014, alleging that I now owe 4,220 euro if I pay by the end of the month, or 7,230 if its after Sept 1.
    I am beside myself. I think it is unconscionable to those owners living outside Ireland to expect them to be aware of this charge, when the only form of notification was to those residing in Ireland via newspapers, radio and tv there. How can that possibly be considered due notification to overseas owners?
    And then to allow the charge to remain delinquent without notification or demand, for each of 2009- 2013, and add exhorbitant late fees and penalties is, as someone said, extortion. I will gladly pay the 200 euro for each year now that I have been notified of its existance, and I have offered the collection agent in Galway to do the same, and am awaiting to hear back, but from reading all of the above, I shouldn’t get my hopes up.
    Nowhere in the western world and probably beyond, would this be allowed, or tolerated.
    I will register my complaint with the ombudsmen.
    Would it have been that hard for the local taxing authorities, designated to collect this charge, to have sent delinquent notices after the first yr to those who hadn’t paid? We wouldn’t have been in that predicament if they did that,as the revenue does for the LPT.
    They certainly had my address and details. I am thoroughly disgusted, to say the least, not to mention sickened at the thoughts of trying to raise this fee.
    Surely to God there has to be some form of appellate procedure.

    1. Sarah, I am not sure how this will work .We need to get a group together. I had no reply from the ombudsman and am awaiting replies from the presidents and taoiseach’s office. I wish to challenge the law.

      This explains a lot regarding attitude by councils and councillors etc- They can all hide behind the law !
      Local Government Reform Act 2014 Non-Principal Private Residence Charge – Outstanding Charge Liabilities Guidance Note for City and County Councils Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government:

      ” Local authorities are encouraged to be as proactive as possible in implementing the Act so as to promote uniformity of application of the charge to properties and owners2
      in respect of which a liability arises and, in the process, maximise the potential revenue yield from the charge.”

      How can we contact each other?

      1. We need a law firm to take up the case. Why one has not done so thus far is beyond me. The free publicity they’d get would be well worth it.

        Are you on Twitter?

        Paul.

      2. My email is smanning@nutter.com. No, I’m not on twitter. I opted not to pay the full €4,230 on Friday. I went on the NPPR online payment site and it wouldn’t allow me pay anything less than the full and I wasn’t about to do that as I fear nothing would ever be returned. I tried to pay €1,000 directly to GCC on their online payment site and it wasn’t working. I had sent 5 emails to GCC disputing the charge, and asking them, like Wexford and Meath, what they were doing about overseas owners. No reply. But, on Friday I did get an automatic reply that said, as long as written contact had been made with them by Aug 31, they would freeze everything at that level, and would be back to each person sometime after Sept 1, to make arrangements for payment details by Sept 26 or to discuss the circumstances. So, my hope is that by the time they get to me, there will be some further direction and input from those higher up in Govt, or the ombudsman, in how to deal with the PIA I’ve become for them. I did get a reply from Taoiseach Enda Kenny, that he was passing it along to Ministers of Environment and Finance. I did also hear from Min. For Environment who said each council had complete discretion as to what constituted hardship. So, if we keep up the pressure, hopefully something will be done. I still think it’s outrageous to even have to pay 50% of the interest charges, but that’s what Meath and Wexford appear to be doing if you can demonstrate:
        1. You lived overseas, and visited Irl infrequently. ( no idea what infrequently to them means)
        2. You didn’t have a property manager
        3. You didn’t do anything to hinder council from finding you by action or inaction.
        4. You own the property in Ireland
        5. The property wasn’t listed with PTRB( no idea why that matters, other than I wonder if they contacted their owners to inform them of NPPR).

        I too would love to see a constitutional challenge to this law, as I strongly believe the notification by publication in local public media that the Govt instituted cannot be deemed fair or equal notification to the class of owners who reside outside of ROI, and thus we were deprived of the opportunity to pay this tax without extortionist interest rates, unlike our counterparts residing in ROI, who were on notice and thus got to pay timely.

      3. I do have a property manager but not a tax agent in Ireland and that is the basis on which the ombudsman turned me down. So this list of conditions is not good news for me. But I think it is outrageous that this tax applied to owners of one single property who just happened to live elsewhere, as was the case for me. I don’t believe it was ever intended to catch people like me in the net but it was clearly badly drafted. A rush job.

  11. Hi Sarah

    The absence of a meaningful appeals procedure is another point which should add weight to an appeal to the Ombudsman.

    You also make a very good point in relation to the limited publicity campaign in Ireland (and very limited it was, as it failed to reach thousands of property owners actually living here) and how the local authorities clearly erred in relying upon it as a sole means of communicating with property owners abroad.

    I remember Donegal County Council mounting some publicity via the Northern Ireland media to communicate the NPPR obligations to NI residents who owned second homes in Donegal, but I am unaware of any similar efforts being made in respect of non-ROI resident owners based elsewhere.

    Good luck with your appeal.

    Tommy

  12. Tommy- I also think there is discrimination in how this law wasn’t uniformly implemented- case in point- from reading other blog entries or letters to editor I found online, depending on which county one’s property was located in Ireland, some overeas owners received written notification from the local city councils a few years ago, informing them of the charge and the delinquency they had incurred. Those owners were thus were able to stem the bleed of accruing interest. But in my case, Galway CC who HAD my US address and had knowledge that my property was registered with them as a rental property since 2003, waited until literally 2 weeks before the deadline of Aug 31 before double penalties accrued.
    To have notified one class of owners (those residing in Ireland) via local media is bad enough, but there is an entire class of owner(those of us living overseas) who it cannot be said or construed to have received any notice whatseover until (in my case) 5.8 yrs after this charge was implemented. How can anyone self assess this tax if they received no notice or are totally unaware of its existance? And then to provide no appellate procedure or ability to negotiate to have interest waived, is fundamentally unconstitutional I believe, and I wish we could file a Class Action law suit against the Irish Government and all the local City Councils for their wilful lack of notice and due process in the imposition of this tax.

  13. I have filed a complaint with the Ombudsman, as well as the Irish Consulate General in Boston. I also wrote to Joe Duffy RTE1 show inquiring if anyone is aware of constitional challenges that might be underway challenging the discriminatory practices of the local councils regarding the notification of this tax to those subject to it, particularly as regards what can be deemed notification to those living overseas compared to the notice by publication in local media people received in Ireland in comparison. I also think its unfair that GCC had knowledge that I was indeed subject to the tax, and could have notified me in writing of the delinquency after year one. They they didn’t need to cross check data with LPT list or Revenue Commissioners to notify me. I was registered with them as an owner of rental property and they had my american address!
    There is something very nefarious and devious about how this was all rolled out. I don’t think loan sharks would get away with charging 120% interest per yr on a debt the person didn’t know they had, and let the delinquency mount for 5.8 yrs without notifying the debtor?! And then tell the debtor they have 2 weeks to pay up 4 times the original debt, or else it goes to 7 times the debt and will be registered as a lien on their property!
    Those imposing such extortion would be jailed if this happened in the private sector.
    I am not challenging the tax itself. I am challenging the unequal treatment those of us who lived overseas received. We were not subject to any local media blitz, and therefore deprived of the equal opportunity to timely pay, like our fellow owners in Ireland received.
    Still no reply from GCC with my offer to pay the original charge in full and immediately now that I received notice of it.

      1. Tom, I am not on Twitter. And feel free to quote some of the things I said.
        I don’t want people to think I am some rich yank complaining and whining about my plight. I am not. As I said on the radio, I don’t dispute the tax, or the right to tax. I dispute the lack of notification, due process and the onerous penalties imposed on those legitimately unaware like me, because I reside outside of ROI and not subject to the local media publication.

    1. Sarah, I am exactly the same position was living in the UK from 2008 to end of 2013. The Household charges & Local property tax found me at my registered UK address. Even if it is self assessment as they say, would it have killed them to pop a leaflet in to my annual tax return, which I submitted every year??

  14. If I rent out my house and move back to my parents home do I have to pay this charge and penalties

      1. Hi Paul,

        D o Connell’s query relates to them moving out of their home and moving in with their parents. If they’ve been living in their home between 2009 and 2013, there is, by definition, no exposure to the NPPR as the property is their principal private residence.

      2. It only applies where the owner has been living in the property as their PPR for the years when the NPPR operated, and they now vacate the property in 2014. Leaving the property in 2014 doesn’t expose them to a retrospective charge for the earlier years.

  15. Hi guys what happens if I dont pay and the charges are set for 12 years, after that lenght of time can I sell the house and incur no charges

    1. It would appear so but in the meantime you run the risk of the 2000 Euro fine that the law allows plus 150 Euro a day further fine for not paying the 2000 one.

    1. Any takers to challenge the law on this one?I would like to be part of a class action .I hope some legal people take it up.ive paid but under duress. I think we could get a refund and compensation !

      1. Nobody responded. I too have paid under duress. I read online (it was only someone’s opinion, not a formal piece) that Class Action is not allowed in the a Republic. Can’t see why not?! I have appealed against the Fines (not the Tax) to my local county council and when they probably reject the appeal I’ll appeal to the Ombudsman. If sufficient individuals appeal to the Ombudsman they may be forced take the case to court on our behalf and challenge the legality and legitimacy of this corrupt law.

      2. I heard it was reported on joe duffy show that some refund of penalties might be forthcoming based on recommendations of ombudsman. This is a day time show you can listen to online on http://www.rte.com

      3. Good to hear but surely the Ombudsman has to have letters appealing against the Fines first before they ask the Revenue to issue refunds?!?! The Ombudsman in my opinion needs to be inundated with complaints so that they are forced to act. Before that, a simple appeal letter to your local county council may be a prerequisite of the Ombudsman getting involved as if you’ve not appeal to the council the Ombudsman is likely to say that this should be the first appeal step FOLLOWED by an appeal to them.

      4. I already apoealed to ombudsman with no success. Yes I recommend flooding them with appeals. But I think they have already been flooded. This may be a blanket response to the outcry over letters sent out last week in Ireland to home owners, warning about penalties of 7k plus becoming due this Monday if a lower amount wasn’t paid by Friday gone

      5. Would you be so kind as to email me the reply you received from the Ombudsman? You can black out any personal details if you like? I’d be interested to see how they managed to come to a negative decision so soon!

        Do you normally reside inside or outside the republic?

      6. And in any event the Ombudsman will probably decide (as they are in the pocket of the Revenue) that only those homes that owe the full 2009-2013 Taxes & Fines are due any refunds and NOT anyone else. This will be based on the logic that if (like me) you bought a house in 2010, the law was IN PLACE at that date and it behooved ME to become aware of it.

  16. One possible point of appeal is a notification posted by the authorities in the press which asked the headline question do you OWN a second home? Of course many hit by this unfair tax did not own a second home. I didn’t.

    1. To all wondering about what the ombudsman has to say: here’s the reply I received on Aug 29th to the complaint I filed with them. Bear in mind, I wouldn’t have bothered filing a complaint to begin with had my “appeal” to GCC gone anywhere. As I highlighted for him I was told there was no appeal, the money was owed. End of story. I love the way the buck keeps being passed, ultimately left to be paid by us.

      Dear Ms Manning

      I refer to your recent complaint to this Office in connection with Galway City Council.

      At the outset I should explain that the Office of the Ombudsman may examine certain administrative actions of those public bodies which by law are subject to the Ombudsman’s remit. In pursuing individual complaints this Office must be satisfied that the actions complained of amount to maladministration which has resulted in adverse affect on the complainant. However, before the Ombudsman can examine a complaint it is necessary that the person making the complaint has taken the matter up formally in writing with the body concerned and exhausted all available avenues of appeal.

      If you have not already done so, you should immediately contact Galway City Council and register your dissatisfaction with the imposition of the NPPR charge and associated penalties. If you are experiencing difficulty with meeting the NPPR charge, you may also request a ‘Hardship Form’ from the Council. It is this Office’s understanding that you should make contact with the Council by Friday, 29 August 2014, before additional penalties are applied.

      You should then await the Council’s response, however, if subsequently you are still dissatisfied with the Council’s position you are welcome to contact this Office again at that stage and the matter will be further considered.

      Yours sincerely

      Kieran O’Neill
      Enquiries Section
      Office of the Ombudsman
      18 Lower Leeson Street
      Dublin 2

      Tel: 01 639 5612
      Fax: 01 639 5736

      1. Thanks Sarah. We must keep banging on their door and we have a hope that sufficient complaints and adverse publicity will cave the door in. If not, the European Court of Justice will side with us. Ireland has a disreputable fiscal record already at the ECJ so we will be favourably received there if we can get a law firm to take our case up (which shouldn’t be difficult given the mass of free publicity they would receive). Paul.

      2. We must all keep faith that somewhere along the line, someone will say “this is unjust”. We therefore have justice ON OUR SIDE. We should never lose in the long run with that advantage.

    2. I will email every law firm i can find online in Dublin tomorrow morning, asking them to take up our case. Surely to God one of them with have the gumption to do so?!?

      1. Thank you Paul for your efforts, let me know of you find a law firm. It would be great if we found one willing to take on our case pro bono.
        I suggested to GCC that the Irish govt pay the interest on my tax bill,and I’ll pay the original tax, seeing as they are the ones who deprived me of the ability to pay it timely, by their poorly chosen method of communication of the obligation to self assess in 2009!!!.

  17. There are no class action suits in Ireland, I know this from the pyrite issue we had in our estate in Kinsealy Dublin. I too am in the sh**ts to the tune of €4220. Or should I say a victim of greed by the good old boys of politics in this country. I only hope this has not put anyone over the edge and if there is anyone hurting bad contact one of the many groups for help such as the samarathans.
    I don’t think you will get any law firms to help as they to have to make a buck and the publicity won’t look good if it turns out to be negative.
    I have noticed that RTEs coverage on their web based platforms has been one sided in my opinion, they keep showing how much has been paid almost daily. I question their fair and balanced approach are they unaware of the hardship caused on a daily basis? Should they be also reporting how many owners have complained that they are unable to pay the outrageous fines. They also keep mentioning the 200 figure not the large fines that are the real figures people are dealing with.
    Good luck everyone I just hope the ombudsman, councils and the European govt can all do something to help.

    1. https://mcgibney.ie/2012/06/14/nppr-deadline-only-2-weeks-away/?replytocom=70480#respond
      Thanks Eamon you put it very well. I agree. I remain dismayed but want to be hopeful that something can be done. It will be interesting to see if there is any legal recourse and what sort of response there will be from the legal profession. I am reading the constitution especially pertaining to private property and justice.What we have experienced does not add up. The levels of stress caused by this action by the state is clear. Bullying and coercion tactics are producing the desired results. Luckily this forum exists otherwise there is little else. A few lines here and there on Twitter does nothing constructive.The newspapers have not engaged with the issues at all other than reporting the haul and success of the scheme. The politicians have gone to ground.A constitutional challenge is possible or the European courts is an option. This country needs a wake up call and I for one have had it.

  18. If there is a reluctance to go down the class action route in Ireland perhaps a test case route would be possible or a series of test cases? I don’t see why or how property owners either inside or outside the state would have “no” recourse to justice. A few bankrupt individuals might make more progress than other individual victims if they presented a case. Surely on the grounds of malfeasance there is a case ? If everyone takes the easy route and does nothing we are lost. There must be legal people out there who are interested in the principles of justice instead of kowtowing to convention, to bad laws and to weak rulers… or am I naive ?

  19. I was living in London from 2008-2014 so completely missed this tax. My property was rented out so I completed a tax return on the rental income every year, was registered with the PTRB and received notification at my UK address for LPT and Household charges, but nothing about this tax. I consider my self a good citizen and would have paid this if I had known about it and the Revenue had my address in the UK for all those years.

    Moved back in January and received a letter 1 month ago to say I owe the full €4220. Have paid it to avoid fines but can’t get a response from Fingal County Council on how I can appeal?

      1. Hi Paul. I’d be interested in hearing what excuses they are using for rejecting appeals. They said my appeal failed because I had a property agent in Ireland. I wonder what they would have said if I had had no agent, as I am sure many people do not.

      2. I’ll let you know if I hear anything but without the voice of a law firm we are not going to get hardly any consideration. If we had a law firm on our side we could advertise and get people to join us.

  20. There seems to be a very slow response from the legal eagles regarding the injustice of the NPPR TAX and penalties etc. I hope this changes very soon? My letter to the Ombudsman from last April 2014 got no reply. My initial appeal letter to the county council April 2014 was not responded to at all until I demanded a reply – at that point (8 weeks later)I got a designated hardship form which wanted details of my past financial records etc. I objected to this on principle- on the basis of not knowing where and who in the county council was going to assess this information and “act with discretion”. As far as I know this information is for Revenue or my accountant or my bank only. I learned then that the directive from the Dept of the Environ to the County Council was to maximize the take.Anyhow I paid up “under duress” and have put a cover note to say I will want a refund and compensation when and if this fiasco is sorted out. I note there was no method of paying the tax arrears without agreeing to pay the full whack of the penalties too. The Constitution has a section on Property and it is worth a read. I believe there must be a Constitutional challenge to this NPPR TAX and the means that have been employed to charge the fines and the extent of the fines etc . I think it is grounds for malfeasance

  21. The more I think about this NPPR fiasco:
    (1) The rate of penalties should comply with the principle of proportionality. This requires that both the tax as a whole, and the penalty imposed , comply with the principle of proportionality. There is no proportionality regarding the NPPR
    (2) The taxing process as a whole is flawed because there is such an excessive penalty. Moreover, taking into account the proper lack of notification to the house owner regarding the liability the penalty is not a proportionate response to the gravity of the default which it seeks to penalise; and
    (3) In the absence of any power to mitigate or otherwise reduce a disproportionate surcharge, the only possible course of action open to set aside the penalties and start again
    (4) Revenue don’t want to deal with any queries regarding NPPR they want you to deal with the Councils who have been directed to maximize the haul.If the County Councils have discretion they should use it and set aside the penalties

  22. To all wondering about Appeals to the Ombudsman. As you may recall, I was one of the owners residing overseas who received the demand letter out of the blue on Aug 16th 2014. Galway City Council have consistently stated to me that they have NO discretion to waive the back interest despite my offer to pay the 200 euro 09-’13 obligation now that I have been made aware of it.The best they said they could do for me is to spread out the 4,220 total due over 48 months- but they want my signed payment plan by Sept 10th. I did appeal to the ombudsman, who has interceded on my behalf.
    Below is the reply I received this morning which adds a very disturbing insight to this whole mess. I bet Wexford and Meath,who are providing a 50% reduction, are following the recommendations mentioned below- why isn’t every local authority? I had asked the Minister for Environment to please issue guidance to all the LA’s on this topic- but got no reply. It is obvious that this was indeed Bonanza time for all the LA’s and rather than comply with the Ombudsman recommendations, they just want to wait and see who is going to pay up in full and walk away because they don’t have the time or interest in fighting this issue. Its appalling and disgusting on so many levels.
    I have asked GCC for their solicitor contact so I can communicate directly with them as a result of the below e mail. Please keep fighting this issue everyone.

    Dear Ms Manning,

    Thank you for your email.

    I requested a report from Galway City Council last Friday and I do not expect to have a response straight away because the Council needs time to consider the issues I raised with them. In this regard the Ombudsman met with the County and City Managers’ Association this year to come to discuss the NPPR cases with this Office. As a result of the meeting, a Briefing Note for Local Authorities dealing with the NPPR cases submitted to this Office was prepared. The Briefing Note categorised NPPR cases into Category A, B and C. Category A Complaints describe circumstances like yours where those liable for a charge reside outside the State and had limited opportunities to benefit from public awareness campaigns in relation to the charge. The recommendation for Category A Complaints is for a reduction of the charge provided those complainants satisfy the criteria in the Briefing Note.

    In relation to your deadline of 10 September 2014, you will have to make this decision yourself. However, I would say that if the Council agree that you come within the Category A Complaints, it will refund any excess over the reduction.

    By way of information, the examination of a complaint by the Ombudsman is not designed to hamper or impede an action taken by a body against which a complaint has been made.

    Yours sincerely,

    Jacqueline Moore
    Office of the Ombudsman
    18 Lower Leeson Street
    Dublin 2

    (01) 6395618

    1. Hi Sarah

      Please see my reply from Tipp Co. Co.
      I have decided not to pay.

      ….Unfortunately I am unable to waiver the penalties, however I can freeze them at €4,220 and there is also a 50% reduction in penalties for people living abroad provided they meet certain criteria. I am attaching a copy of these for you to look at, if you are eligible please revert to me and we can then arrange a payment plan. Please state the dates for which you are liable from July 31st, 2009 to March 31st, 2013.

      Here is the critera I’m required to meet..

      Statutory declaration

      I name and address
      aged 18 years and upwards and upwards do solemnly and sincerely declare as follows;
      1. This declaration relates to the dwellinghouse situated at ( full address of the property) ( hereinafter called the property).
      2. I say that I have been resident in …….. since ( insert date) . During that time I returned to Ireland (infrequently – specify periods of visits to Ireland if known).
      3. I say that I only own one property in Ireland, namely the property specified at 1 above, which is liable to the Non Principal Private Residence charge ( NPPR).
      4. I say that during the time I was resident abroad and on the relevant NPPR liability dates, the aforementioned property was not rented out, managed by an agent, nor registered with the Private Residential Tenancies Board ( PRTB).
      5. I say that I had no knowledge of the Non Principal Private Residence charge (NPPR) as I was resident in ( specify), I had limited contact with the Country and had little chance of becoming aware of the charge at the time of its introduction or since.
      6. I say that I received no notification from Tipperary County Council ( formerly North Tipperary County Council ) of any NPPR liability in relation to the property at any time during the existence of the NPPR charge.

      I make this Declaration from the facts within my own knowledge save where otherwise appears and whereso appearing I say and believe the same to be true and for the satisfaction of Tipperary County Council .

      Sworn by the said
      At
      In the County of
      This day of 2014.
      Before me a commissioner for Oaths/
      Practising Solicitor and I know the deponent

      Commissioner for Oaths/
      Practising Solicitor

      I don’t think they know their arse from their elbow.

      Mary B

      1. so it appears that Tipperary too were joining Meath and Wexford in providing some reduction in the back interest.
        I have heard nothing more from GCC, other than Ombudsman’s office said they were awaiting a reply from GCC.
        I presume Paul is right that outcomes from Ombudsman’s office must be awaited before I can make any petition to Oireachtas.
        Its all so disheartening that we have to go to these lengths to get the relief that should be common sense in the situtation we all find ourselves in.
        They know the people who were on the PTRB register, they know the ones who resided in Ireland, they know the ones who a local council communicated with, for the rest of us who resided outside of ROI during the applicable time period, who were not subject to the media campaign, surely to God they can find a way now that the country is not in depths of recession to let us pay the original 200 per yr tax, same as those owners who did receive notification of the obligation and were given the chance to timely pay without incurring this astronomical(even at 50% reduction) fee.

  23. The “two tiered system” is being constructed by the state under our noses. Now the Ombudsman is advising we need to deal directly with the County Councils.

    According to Brendan Howlin’s own web site :
    “We know our core values – fairness, equality and solidarity”.

    What recourse does the citizen have when the Ombudsman can now “disconnect” from answering any queries about the NPPR tax fiasco and the Minister for the Environment can say this practice by the Ombudsman is independent of his department?

    I find it unacceptable and staggering that the Ombudsman is referring people back to the local councils, yet the councils have been given the directive to maximize the haul.
    It’s the Ombudsman’s job and role is to investigate possible maladministration and malfeasance why is it officially acceptable to send people away with their tail between their legs.
    see statement 27th August.
    m.ombudsman.gov.ie/en/News/Media…/NPPR-complaints.html

    Both the department of the Environment and the Ombudsman have opted out of offering the ordinary citizen a fair service because it appears they can officially choose to not answer difficult questions.

    So much for the core values
    If the only option to us is to go a legal route to prove something that is very obvious to any half wit …the government will have the last say because we are being priced out of being able to take legal action and we have no recourse to fairness via the Minister,the Ombudsman or the County Councils. If I could sell my citizenship I would (I would give it away) and look to Scotland. This is a step too far.

  24. The notion of financial “eligibility” as a criteria to determine whether or not you must pay up is wrong i.e. if you have the money you must pay up and if you can prove you don’t have the means to pay then you can pay by installments…! The penalties are wrong and excessive. As for the lack of “demand” for the tax in the first place…this should be grounds alone to abandon the whole fiasco and refund everybody who has paid the penalties whether they are here or abroad…and start again

  25. Just found out I’ve been issued a 7230 fine. I received a letter to an old address in London, which the landlord returned to sender. He then emailed me that something arrived from Dublin council. I phoned them anonymously, and found out what the letter must have been and the lovely 7230 fine. I live in China now and have lived in many countries in the last 10 years. I have never heard of this till now. Anyway, does anyone know what the exact implications of just not paying are? I can’t sell for 12 years anyway, too much negative equity. It says on the dreaded website that the fine will now be frozen? If that’s the case , can they add more to what I owe? Someone mentioned a 2000 further fine, but I can’t find that?

    Im up for joining any groups/cases etc against this. It really is wrong and unfair. I think the European court option made most sense, as nobody else seems interested in helping. You may not believe this but this would not happen in China, and I’ve been here a while!

  26. Sorry Conor to hear of you being clobbered too. We are getting side tracked with the prospect of fines- how much, for how long, how many installments, etc. and how on earth to pay them. The penalty part needs to be dismantled or undone for everyone -and those of us who have paid up- already as it is a fiasco from start to finish. Not too many politicians interested in taking any stand. To me it seems absurd for private individuals to have to go to such expense (to take a legal case)to prove a point that the Act is fundamentally flawed.The Dail resumes next Wed…

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  28. Re NPPR fiasco . There is a “petition” possibility on the Oireachtas Web site -may be worth a try:
    Public Petitions
    The Oireachtas Public Petitions System presents an important new avenue for individuals to participate in the democratic process. Through submitting petitions online and by post, members of the public will be able to take their policy concerns directly to the heart of the Oireachtas.
    http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/

  29. As all Oireachtas petitions have to be considered- is it better to put in a series of individual ones or just one with many signatures? I suspect a series might be effective ? It was a pleasant surprize to see Its very straight forward and easy to do. I put in one already the other day and its awaiting moderation before posting.If many signatures they have to be included at the time of posting..

    1. One of the preliminary questions asked was regarding whether any appeal to anyone (eg the Ombudsman) was pending. I suspect that the petition will reject anyone who still had any outstanding appeal in the pipeline?!?

  30. I too have a property in Limerick I now live in the UK and just recently became aware of this penalty I left in January 2012 what would I owe to date

    1. Sorry John but it looks like a liability of €7230 if you had the property from when this whole thing started in 2009. Your local county council is the agent to pick up this exorbitant penalty Many are in dire straights because of this. This blog seems like the only recourse to communicate as all of us have been stung and now have nowhere to go but to take a costly legal route…which may not be a runner as it costs too much. Lobby your local representatives : (Willie O Dea knows all about it ). Good luck

    2. I paid my liability (and installments to follow) but I wish I didn’t. It will be interesting when the time comes when a council takes a house owner to court for not paying…surely the case would have to be thrown out…??

    3. 1860 Euros if the house in Limerick was not your sole or main residence after Jan 2012. However, you need to read the 2009 Act (it’s not that long) to see if you are actually caught by its provisions.

      1. Has this all gone dead. I was one of the first to comment on this and was wondering if any of the rest of you had made any progress on appealing against the penalties

      2. All dead. I tried to drum up some support from 64 law firms in Dublin but they didn’t even answer my letters. Without the assistance of a law firm we are dead in the water.

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