An annual charge applied from 2009 to 2013 in respect of residential property that was not the owner's only or main residence in those years. This Non-Principal Private Residence charge or NPPR was introduced by the Local Government (Charges) Act 2009 to go towards funding local authority services. In 2012 and 2013, it was payable along with other property taxes, as follows:
- For the year 2012, the Household Charge was payable on the property in addition to the NPPR
- For the year 2013, the Local Property Tax (LPT) was payable in addition to the NPPR
From 2014 onwards, the NPPR is no longer charged, but outstanding liabilities and payments will still be collected.
If you have not paid the NPPR
Up to 31 August 2014
If you were due to pay the NPPR on a property in any (or all) of the years 2009 to 2013 and had not paid the charge due, you accumulated late fees and penalties. If you were liable for the full period and had not paid anything, you owed a total of 4,220 on the property.
These late fees ceased to accumulate after 1 March 2014 and the totals due were frozen for a 'grace period', starting on 2 March 2014 and ending on 31 August 2014. During this grace period, no new late penalties applied to existing NPPR liabilities.
Since 31 August 2014
If you did not pay your liabilities in full by 31 August 2014, or agree settlement terms by that deadline, you will now incur additional penalties. If you were liable for the full period, you will owe a total of 7,230 when these penalties are applied.
There will not be any further increase after 1 September 2014.
Any outstanding amount of unpaid NPPR and penalties will remain as a charge on the property for 12 years from the date they fell due.
All charges must be cleared before the property can be transferred.
Section 7 of the Local Government (Charges) Act 2009 provides that if the property is sold without paying off outstanding charges, the new owner could be liable for the outstanding charges. Any such liability would end 12 years after the charge was due.
Who was liable to pay the NPPR?
If you owned residential property on the liability date in any of the years 2009 to 2013, and it was not your only or main residence on that date, you were liable to pay the charge of 200. The first liability date was 31 July 2009. For each year from 2010 to 2013, the liability date was 31 March.
There were some exemptions to the charge, for example, for mobile homes, caravans or granny flats.
The charge applied to all residential property that you owned on the liability date, except for your main home. The onus was on you, the homeowner, to come forward and pay the charge to the local authority in the area in which the property is located. For example, if your main residence was in Dublin and you had a holiday home in Wexford, you pay the charge to the local authority in Wexford.
In summary, you paid the NPPR if:
- You owned more than one home
- You owned only one home and it was not your principal private residence (for example, your main residence was in rented accommodation)
- You lived abroad and owned residential property in Ireland
You did not pay the NPPR if:
- You owned only one home and it was your principal private residence
- You were renting out a room in your home and qualified for tax relief for renting this room
Exemptions from the NPPR
There were several exemptions to the NPPR charge. The main ones were as follows:
Additional family accommodation
If you had a second property, you were not liable for the charge if the person living in it was not paying rent and if:
- They were related to you or to your spouse
- They were a ward of court and had been placed in your care
- You were their legal guardian.
The property must be within 2 kilometres of your home or be a self-contained residence on the same property as your main residence, such as a granny flat or annexe.
Exclusive right of residence
If someone has an exclusive right of residence (free of rent) in a dwelling, this means that (a) the owner does not have the right to live in the property and (b) the occupier has the right to live there on their own. Exclusive rights of residence usually come about as a result of inheritance or a similar legal process.
So, if someone has an exclusive right of residence in a property that you own, you do not meet the definition of 'owner' in the Act, and the property is exempt until the person who benefits from the right of residence dies, or the right is extinguished in some other way.
Moving to a nursing home
If you left your main home and moved to a nursing home, you were not liable for the charge, as long as you did not own the home that you moved into.
There was a limited exemption if you were moving home and, in the process, owned 2 properties for a relatively short period.
The charge had to be paid if you owned a second property on the liability date (31 July 2009 and 31 March each year from 2010 to 2013) even where this had been acquired as part of the process of moving house. However, if you moved from the first property (your main residence) into the second property not later than 6 months after the liability date, you could get a refund of the charge as long as you no longer owned the first property. In order to get a refund, contact your local authority.
Separation and divorce
There was an exemption for people who may have an interest in a second property as a result of judicial separation or divorce.
If you were divorced or had been granted a judicial separation, you were not liable to pay the charge if you were living in what used to be the family home as your main residence. If your spouse or ex-spouse did not reside in the original family home, they were not liable for the charge, if they retained an interest what used to be the family home as a result of divorce or a judicial separation.
Charities and discretionary trusts
Residential properties owned by charities and by certain discretionary trusts were exempt from the charge.
Up to 31 August 2014
The NPPR charge was 200 for each property that you owned on the liability date each year, apart from your main residence - with a handling fee of 10 for charges paid over the counter at local authority offices.
The charge was due to be paid by 30 September in 2009 and by 30 June in each of the years 2010 to 2013. For each annual charge that remained unpaid after the due date, a late fee of 20 was charged for each month (or part of a month) from the due date onwards. These late fees ceased to accumulate after 1 March 2014 and the totals due were frozen for the grace period of 2 March 2014 to 31 August 2014.
If you were liable to pay the NPPR on a property for the full period and had not paid anything to date, you owed a total of 4,220 on the property during the grace period.
Since 31 August 2014
If you had not fully paid or agreed settlement terms by 31 August 2014, an additional late payment fee of 120 per liability date will have been applied on 1 September 2014, and your entire NPPR liability will also have been increased by a factor of 50%. There will not be any further increase after 1 September 2014.
If you were liable for the full period and did not pay (or agree terms) by the 31 August deadline, you will owe a total of 7,230 on the property when these penalties have been applied.
Table of rates
The following table outlines the accumulated totals due in respect of NPPR and penalties for each year that remain unpaid during 2014.
|Charge unpaid in respect of year||Due at 1 January 2014||Due at 1 February 2014||Due at 1 March 2014||Due during period of grace (2 March 2014 to 31 August 2014)||Due at 1 September 2014|