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Home buyers to be the new revenue watchdogs?

Would you be comfortable being a snitch? Why do I ask you wonder? Well a new “Snitch” clause has been introduced this week by the government which puts pressures on home buyers to snitch! By snitch we mean inform on sellers who have lowered their valuations on their house so that they save money on the new property tax. Under these new rules sellers will have to let the house buyer know what they have valued the house at for the tax authorities.

If the buyer thinks the price seems a little low they are now being encouraged to inform the revenue commissioners. But the buyer will then have to pay the higher rate of tax and then the seller will be hit with a fine of 500 euro for undervaluing, so who wins here? Nobody, well the government does actually. So why should buyers tell? Because the government are leaving them with no other option.  A revenue spokesman stated that, “The seller must tell the buyer what value they put on the house. If the purchaser thought that the value wasn’t accurate, they submit a return to Revenue with the new market value” and “If you don’t fill in those forms, there are fines also”. So they have us at every angle really. The revenue will then pursue the vendor for the tax which was has not been paid. Opposing politicians have slammed the new rules saying that the new “snitch clause” could impact on property values. Michael McGrath says that, “buyers should not be watchdogs”. Therefore this law is basically turning people into “tell tales”. They are being forced to inform on sellers who are trying to save a few pounds by being faced themselves with fines if they don’t. So what other option do they have?

This madness is due to start in July when homeowners will have to self-assess their property’s value and place it into bands from which they will be paying between 0.18pc to 0.25 of the home’s value.

So what do you think about the new ‘snitch clause’?

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