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Opportunistic estate agents causing unnecessary fear and confusion over property tax – Lawlor

Friday, March 15th 2013

Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, is today (Friday) warning estate agents not to mislead the general public in relation to the property tax. Deputy Lawlor was speaking after recent reports of a well-known estate agent in Kildare, that also has offices nationwide, informing worried home owners that the Revenue Commissioner will only accept an estate agent’s valuation at a cost of at least €70 for the valuation of their homes. This is wholly inaccurate information and is causing great distress to homeowners.

“I think it is highly unprofessional for estate agents to be misleading the general public in this manner. I consider it nothing more than an opportunistic, money grabbing exercise and, to add insult to injury, they are claiming to be offering the property tax valuation at a discounted price to a standard valuation.

“The Revenue Commissioners are clearly offering a number of options to homeowners with regard to how their homes are valued. In an information booklet currently being distributed to each household, it specifically states that when valuing your property ‘you may choose to obtain a valuation from a competent professional valuer’. However, it also clearly states that they will accept valuations based on the Property Price Register website page, the property section of local newspapers and online property sites such as Daft.ie and MyHome.ie. Revenue does not want to force an extra fee on homeowners and are being very flexible in terms of how homes are valued, tax returns are filed and how the tax is paid.

“Self-assessment of your property is required if you believe that the guidance amount being suggested by Revenue in the letters being distributed is inaccurate. Revenue is encouraging home owners to be as honest as possible in terms of valuing their properties, but they are by no means asking people to incur an extra charge in doing so.

“I think it is very cynical and opportunistic of estate agents to be cashing in on homeowners at this time and using the property tax valuation as a means of increasing their revenue. I want to stress to the general public that they should read the information book thoroughly to obtain the correct information about the property tax or contact the Revenue Helpline on 1890 200 255 if they have any questions.”

ENDS