Monday, March 17, 2008

Declare that Overseas Property - Or Else!!!

If you're one of the many Irish who emptied their matresses to buy property in Spain back in the mid to late nineties then be afraid, be very afraid.

There was a short, but very interesting, piece by Ian Kehoe on the front of the Sunday Business Post yesterday (March 16th) about the revenue stepping up its investigations into property owned by Irish citizens overseas. It claims that it has received the names of thousands of Irish citizens (directly from the Irish agents as far as we're aware but this isn't stated in the piece). It says it is predominantly targetting Spain and France at the moment but there is no doubt that this will be spread out to cover all the usual suspects such as Portugal, Hungary, Bulgaria, etc. before too long.

In light of the recent rise in co-operation between countries, particularly those in the EU - with relation to taxation, banking and asset ownership - the question at this stage is not whether the Revenue will find out about undeclared money invested in overseas property, it's merely a question of when. If you've got a property overseas and haven't declared it, or more importantly the money with which it was purchased, now might be a good time to bite the bullet and make a voluntary declaration. You'll be treated far more favourably and save yourself all the extra taxes and penalties you'll incur between here and the time your purchase is investigated.

The Revenue is going for the jugular, it's not overly interested in the rental income achieved by the properties in question (although you can be sure it will ask for a declaration on this) what it is specifically targetting is the capital used to fund the initial purchase and where exactly this came from. If it hasn't been declared in Ireland, then bingo, it's hit paydirt.

The article can be found here but it will move to the archive at the end of the week.

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