Tax on vacant homes to be recommended by the Government

Are you a homeowner and your property is currently vacant? The Government is to recommend a vacant homes tax. Here are a few things to help you understand why.

The Government is to recommend a vacant homes tax while a forthcoming zoned land tax could increase beyond the planned 3% rate, from a new Oireachtas committee report. The report will also recommend an increase in the maximum funding available under the Repair and Leasing Scheme. The current limit is €60,000. The scheme is to help bring vacant properties back into use for social housing purposes.

There are currently 137,000 vacant homes. The debate around vacancy comes at a time when the State is struggling to meet the both pressures of the domestic housing crisis and the efforts to house Ukrainian refugees. Between 150 to 200 refugees continue to arrive every day and are struggling to find accommodation.

The Government should consider introducing such a measure with “reasonable exemptions”. The Government’s Housing for All plan commits to the collection of data on vacancy “with a view to introducing a vacant property tax”. In the coming weeks, the Revenue Commissioners will give new figures on vacancy to the Government ahead of a decision on such a tax as part of Budget 2023.

The Coalition has also committed to a new zoned land tax. Its purpose is to encourage the construction of housing. The tax, which will replace the existing vacant site levy, will target any unused land zoned and serviced for housing, regardless of its size. The new tax will be based on the market value of the land and the rate will be set at 3%.