The NPPR was introduced back in 2009 and was charged for just 5 years before it was done away with. The €200 annual charge was applied to all residential properties that were not the main residence of the owner – so it applied mostly to landlords and holiday home owners. See more here about NPPR
NPPR stands for Non Principal Private Residence – it was also know as the “second home tax” but this was misleading because it also applied to homeowners who were living in rented accommodation while they in turn rented out the only home they owned. About 350,000 properties have been registered for the charge and more than €400 million collected.
One of the very unpopular and unfair parts of the NPPR is the high penalty charges. The penalty for late payment was set at €20 per month or 10% a month – this is very high when compared to the late payment penalty on the Local Property Tax which is just 8% a year.
Someone who was a year late paying the €200 NPPR would be charged a penalty of €240 whilst the equvalent penalty on the Property Tax would be just €16 .
But – it gets worse than that for anyone who still hasn’t paid the NPPR ….. from March 2014 the government suspended the addition of the €20 a month penalty until September 2014. So – anyone who was liable for the NPPR but never paid any of it currently owes a total of €4,220.
BUT after August 31st 2014 , if it is still unpaid , those €120 of suspended penalties will then added on and the total amount owing will be increased by 50% . That means that someone who didn’t pay the NPPR of €200 a year from 2009 to 2013 will owe the basic NPPR of €1000 plus a massive penalty charges of €6230 – bringing the total owed to €7230 !
The outstanding amount will then be frozen and no further penalties will be added. (As if there weren’t enough already!)
This 50% increase in the overall charge was introduced as part of the Local Government Reform Bill 2013.
The good news for some people is that- also contained in this bill was legislation giving local authorities powers to reduce outstanding NPPR liabilities by writing off part of the liability.
Good News : Local authorities now have some degree of flexibility when collecting the NPPR charge arrears and can act as they see fit to collect arrears “efficiently”.
The Local Government Reform Bill 2013 contains this in section 76
“a local authority may act as it sees fit to most efficiently collect undischarged non-principal private residence charge and late payment fee liabilities in respect of any such charge including, in the case of an individual being liable, reducing such late fee liabilities in circumstances in which the local authority considers that to do so would be most efficient for the collection of the undischarged charge and liabilities.”
Hopefully the local authorities will see that it is unfair to charge penalties that are six times the original charge – and will write off some of these massive charges.
The NPPR legislation will be repealed in March 2025 – so any penalties and charges will not be chased after that date.
Proof of Principal Residence
By using the data from the Household Charge and Property Tax systems – the local councils have started sending out demands for NPPR to properties that appear to be non principal homes. Theywill have used information such as electoral register, income tax records, motor tax records.
If you get a demand but think you are not liable for the NPPR charge because the property is your principal private residence, it is your responsibility to prove this .
Evidence that could be used to prove a house is your main residence:
• Your Social Welfare or employment address as per your claim/payroll records for the period of liability.
• Driver’s Licence address
• Address where your car was registered on the liability date each year
• Inclusion on the Register of Electors