When the property tax was introduced there were some reductions or exemptions available for people with disabilities who lived in homes that had been adapted to cater for their disability.
These reliefs were restricted to a) homes where a grant had been recieved to adapt it or b) people who had recieved payment of a court award or an award from the Injuries Board .
This week (May 8th 2014) it has been announced that the rules are shortly to be relaxed and therefore more people will qualify for an exemption or a reduction in their property tax. The changes will be backdated to the date property tax first started (July 2013)
In summary –
Owners are still allowed to reduce the valuation of their home for property tax purposes where a home has been adapted for occupation by a disabled person and that adaptation has increased the house value.
Previously this reduction could only apply if the adaptation was grant-aided by a local authority. (The reduction in valuation was previoulsy limited to the maximum grant payable (currently €30,000)) . The changes announced will remove the need to have recieved a council grant for the adaption. (We assume it also removes the cap)
Previously an exemption from property tax could be claimed on a residential property that was purchased or adapted for use as a sole or main residence by an incapacitated individual.
But this was only allowed where either a) an award had been made by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board or a court or b) where a trust had been established specifically for the benefit of the permanently and totally incapacitated individual.
These two restrictions (a and b) will now be removed.
It is not clear yet how Revenue will determine exactly how disabled someone need to be to claim this exemption.
There is no change to the rule that in the case of adaptations to a property, the exemption will only apply where the cost of the adaptations exceeds 25% of the market value of the property before completion of the adaptations.
The legislation will be changed and Revenue will release details of how to claim these reductions and valuations and how to claim a rebate of any overpaid property tax.