Some companies have recently received correspondence threatening legal proceedings if they deduct Local Property Tax (LPT) from employees’ salaries. The Revenue Commissioners, however, have confirmed that any legal proceedings will be strenuously contested by the State.

Section 65 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act, 2012, states that employers are statutorily obliged to comply with any direction that may be issued to them to deduct tax in accordance with the below statutory provision.

“Where a liable person is in receipt of emoluments  … the Revenue Commissioners may direct an employer to deduct, in a period specified in the direction, local property tax payable by the liable person from the net emoluments payable to the liable person by the employer”

Further clarification of what Employers need to know regarding LPT:

Any employee who has not yet paid, or started to pay, their applicable Local Property Tax (LPT) will have mandatory deduction at source from salary or pension imposed. Those who failed to submit their LPT return on time or failed to meet the relevant payment obligations by 1st July 2013 are under scrutiny.

Employers and occupational pension providers alike are obliged to ensure deduction at source. Revenue should have notified the employers/ pension providers of the outstanding sums via the P2Cs (The P2C is the employer copy of the tax credit certificate in respect of the individual employee).

The relevant sum is to be deducted from the employee’s net pay.

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The employer is to commence deducting the LPT after receipt of the relevant P2C (after July 1st 2013). The relevant P2Cs should have been issued to most employers by mid June 2013. The LPT to be deducted is illustrated at the bottom of the P2C. The deductions must be made on a consistent basis over the 6 month period between July and December 2013. If the employee is paid weekly then the LPT deduction should be made weekly and if the employee is paid monthly then the deduction should be applied monthly.

For example if the LPT to be deducted is €300 then an employee who is paid weekly will see €300/26=€11.538 deducted from their weekly net salary (Any rounding should be in favour of the employee) – If an employee owing €300 is paid monthly then he or she is due to pay €300/6=€50 on a monthly basis.

Any refunds of LPT will be dealt with by Revenue – Employers are not to make any refunds of this kind.

If the employer receives the P2C detailing LPT after the July payroll has run then the total LPT should be deducted from August through December – the remaining 5 month period.

Employers are obliged to keep a record of the applicable LPT that they deduct for Revenue and are required to account for the figures on the Forms P30 and P35 in respect of the employees concerned. The employer is also responsible for recording the appropriate LPT data for employees on their payslips as well as P60’s and P45s.

Where there is a Court Order on file prior to the issuance of the P2C this must take precedence over the LPT deduction. However, if the P2C is issued prior to a Court Order being made then the LPT deduction will preside. Where the Court Order and P2C are issued or made effective from the same date the Court Order takes precedence. The LPT payment, however, takes precedence over all non-statutory deductions like Health Insurance.

The Employer/Pension provider cannot take an instruction from the employee to stop deducting LPT from his or her salary – the employer is obliged to deduct the applicable LPT until the P2C shows that no further payment is due. If an employee would like to pay the relevant tax via a different method he or she should contact the LPT Branch and make these arrangements – then the employer will be issued with an updated P2C telling them to stop the deduction from pay/pension. Similarly if the employee feels as though there is a discrepancy in the amount of LPT they are being charged he or she should discuss this with the LPT Branch not the employer. If an adjustment needs to be made to the P2C then a revised directive will be issued to the employer – until such a directive is received the employer should continue to deduct the original LPT figure.

According to Revenue “Where there are shortfalls due to insufficient net salary in a particular pay period(s) the employer should adjust the amount of LPT to be deducted per pay period (for the remaining pay periods in the year) to ensure the full amount of LPT is collected by the end of the year. Once this is done, the employer will not be required to notify Revenue about the shortfall. However, employers must notify Revenue in writing (e.g. by Secure Email to employersLPT@revenue.ie) where there will be insufficient income to satisfy the employee’s full LPT liability for the year, based on the expected income for the employee.”

Revenue has established a helpline for employers and pension providers alike to assist with their queries on how this LPT deduction at source will operate.

The Employer Helpline is 1890 25 45 65.

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