How to design a wealth tax.

Wealth taxes are very popular in general, but not in particular because it usually means that asset ownership gives rise to taxation. One example of this would be property tax.

If ‘wealth’ is going to be taxed it has to be defined, the classical example is to use the accounting equation in which ‘assets minus liabilities equals capital’. The issue after that is where debt is involved because if you owned a home worth €300,000 and had debts on it of €200,000 then your ‘wealth’ is €100,000.

People could potentially try to game the system, it’s not as simple as getting indebted, if you had €300,000 in cash and then bought a property and remortgaged it to the hilt you’d still have to have €300,000 cash somewhere, so the issue becomes one of reporting and valuation.

This puts a weight upon the individual to make declarations and returns which people don’t like doing so a simplified process would be a good thing, where a person can provider a simple number of ‘assets minus liabilities equals wealth’ and file it online.

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TodayFM Last Word features Irish Mortgage Brokers and Joan Burton to discuss bank taxation

We took part in a conversation with Matt Cooper on The Last Word about bank taxation with Joan Burton from the Labour Party. We tried to make the point that short term thinking about bank taxation is a mistake, that we are better off getting the maximum amount of money back to the state rather than losing bank value in order to score a short term political win.

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The Housing Markets most Pressing Issue

Ireland’s “most pressing issue”…

The lack of housing.

Economist Philip O’Sullivan is reported as saying that tens of thousands more houses need to be completed annually to meet current demand. Why is it that there’s such a shortage of homes?

It is on schedule right now that 21,500 homes were built this year and 24,000 for next year. Though, a good number in the race to meet demand needs, it is nothing near the needed 30-50,000 homes being built to sufficiently meet the demand.

The society of chartered survey of Ireland has predicted that this housing crisis could continue for another 10 years. Paul O’donoghue, a writer for Fora sad that drastic measures need to be taken immediately to push for the development of homes.

With too little of homes available to meet demand, it is the law of supply and demand that says the price of the homes will increase as well. Equilibrium is expected to be reached by 2026.

This, falling in line with the prediction of the housing crisis to continue for nearly …

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Claire Byrne Live ‘The Paradise Papers’ explained 6th November 2017

Our compliance manager Karl Deeter was on Claire Byrne Live on RTE 1 last night to explain the ‘Paradise Papers’. This was a cache of documents that helped to expose tax avoidance on a large international scale. He explained the difference between avoidance and evasion as well as asking whether or not these papers were ‘good’ because if a person didn’t break the law should they lose the right to privacy?

These papers are likely to expose actual evasion and on that basis they need to be examined, we are confident that the news coming out of the Paradise Papers is far from over.

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A new tax on rents over €2,500

This year a new tax bill in Dublin was introduced that has not been welcome amongst the public. As we see rents rapidly increasing in Dublin, a 1 percent stamp duty on rents over €2,500 becomes ever more pertinent than before.

 

This 1 percent duty was initially set at around €1,500 month. It was then raised to €2,500 after the financial crisis to help relieve some of the pressure on tenants.

 

However, it has now came to that level where a more massive amount of people are hitting this €2,500 a month target.

 

With housing rates increasing rapidly, an analysis by Goodbody Stockbrokers claimed around 55 percent of three-bedroom Dublin homes are above this €2,500 level on the Daft.ie. A third of all these properties are in the same area.

 

What does this mean for many families?

On …

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Mortgage lending gets tougher in Canada

The Canadian housing market has been growing rapidly in the past few years. Currently, many experts fear that home in cities like Toronto and Montreal are greatly overvalued, a reflection on the general instability in the Canadian economy. While Bank of Canada has yet to announce its well anticipated interest rate hike that will curb the rapidly rising house prices, lenders have already begun tightening lending rules and raising mortgage rates.

 

Early this month, major lenders Bank of Montreal, CIBC and Royal Bank of Canada have all raised rates on various types of fixed rate mortgages. Both Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank of Canada raised mortgage rates by 0.2% and rates at CIBC raised by 0.05%. The higher rates of lending is thought to precede Bank of Canada’s anticipated rate hike, which may come as soon as tomorrow.

 

Accompanying the higher mortgage rates is a series of other lending restrictions put in place by Canada’s banking regulator, The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions …

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Should there be a tax on hoarding land?

There is evidence for property owners hoarding land because there is an expectation for rising house prices in the future. However, this only contributes to the housing shortage crisis. If the budget for 2018 included such a tax for property owners who choose to hoard land, it will give a financial incentive to build on the land now.

Property taxes are supposed to reflect the market value on the properties but all the valuations have been halted leaving a lot of room for political unrest.

Increasing the property tax, according to John Fitzgerald from the Irish Times, will give the government extra proceeds to fund for housing. This will give incentive to better utilize properties and give extra cash to the government to help out with the housing shortage.

It will also allow people with homes help the …

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Warnings on Capital Gain Tax Exemptions

Recent emails obtained under Freedom of Information by Pearse Doherty, Sinn Fein’s Finance spokesman, revealed concerns the Revenue Commission has regarding the Department of Finance’s capital gain tax exemptions introduced in last year’s bill.

 

Revenue has warned the Department of finance that it’s tax exemption measures could cause property fund to hoard and sit on its properties instead of selling them, restricting supply and causing difficulties in the housing market.

 

The five year capital gains tax exemption applied to funds that invest in property for capital gain. It was implemented to encourage these funds to purchase and develop more land to boost housing supply in the market. The tax exemption allows the funds to be avoid any tax charged on the profit made when selling an asset during a five year period.

 

The problem is that due to the tax exemption, property funds are less likely to sell their assets before the five year term ends even through there is a …

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Should we enforce more regulations for the housing market?

In reference to Michael O’Flynn backs tax on those hoarding development land by

Ciarán Hancock on June 21, 2017 in the Irish Times.

Michael O’Flynn, a property developer, gives support to a tax to those who are hoarding land and waiting until the housing prices increase. This tax has to be carefully composed in order to avoid taxing those who can’t build because of issues surrounding planning, lack of infrastructure, or zoning. This would be difficult to police and enforce due to fraud or proof of these issues.

O’Flynn also suggested the government to create a government separate entity to help coordinate the planning and zoning issues as well as manage infrastructure spending. This is so the two processes can better work together and help combat the housing issue.

If the government will reduce the VAT 4.5% from 13.5% to 9%, Michael O’Flynn …

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