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Inspectors in second home tax spot checks 19.06.13

INSPECTORS are carrying out spot checks on properties in Co Donegal to track down people who are still evading the second home charge four years on.
Donegal County Council has deployed staff working in its Non Principal Private Residence (NPPR) division to inspect properties countywide in a bid to ascertain ownership and liability for the 200 levy.
The council has also recently referred more than 50 cases of non-payment for legal action.
"Properties cannot be sold or transferred until the charge is paid. In recent days, Donegal County Council has referred cases to its legal advisors with a view to taking legal action against property owners who have failed to discharge the liability and the local authority continues to carry out spot checks throughout the county on property owners suspected of evading the charge," said a council spokesperson.
"A person guilty of an offence under the Act may be liable to a fine up to 2,000 in addition to the charge and late payment fees."
The deadline for payment of the NPPR charge is Sunday, June 30, 2013.
Some 15,500 second home owners have registered with Donegal County Council which collected almost 4 million from the levy last year.
Many of the holiday homes in the county are owned by people from the North however the council said yesterday it did not have the cross-border ownership statistics "readily available". The council said the NPPR income was helping to provide essential public services as well as a growing national database.
"Prior to the introduction of the charge in 2009, there was no national database of the number of NPPRs," added the spokesperson. Late penalty fees of 20 per month incur for each month the 200 is not paid.
Late payment fees continue to accumulate as long as the charge remains unpaid and the amount involved "can be very substantial", said the spokesperson. Both the NPPR and the half-year Local Property Tax (LPT) is payable on non principal private residences this year but only the LPT will apply from 2014.
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