How Vacant Homes Tax (VHT) applies
When does VHT apply to a property
Vacant Homes Tax (VHT) applies for a chargeable period in which a property is:
- a residential property for Local Property Tax (LPT) purposes
- in use as a dwelling for less than 30 days in a 12-month chargeable period.
The chargeable period is the 12-month period between 1 November and 31 October the following year. The first chargeable period is 1 November 2022 to 31 October 2023.
- Example 1
In July 2022, John inherited a house in rural Donegal from his aunt. The house is habitable, and John paid LPT for 2023. John has left the property empty since inheriting it. The house was in use as a dwelling for less than 30 days in the chargeable period. The chargeable period is from 1 November 2022 to 31 October 2023. This means that VHT applies to John’s property. He will need to submit a VHT Return and pay any VHT due.
- Example 2
Ann bought a house in a scenic part of Galway four years ago. It is Ann’s intention to move permanently to Galway when she retires. Until then, Ann travels to stay in her Galway property every second weekend and for her summer and Christmas holidays. As a result, the house is in use as a dwelling for more than 30 days in each chargeable period. This means that VHT does not apply. Ann will not need to submit a VHT Return and pay VHT.
VHT will not apply where, in the chargeable period, the property was:
- subject to a qualifying tenancy
- exempt from LPT for the year in which the chargeable period ends.
If VHT does not apply to your property for the chargeable period, you do not need to submit a VHT return or make a VHT payment.
However, you should:
- keep a record of the use of your residential property in that chargeable period. For more information on what records you should keep, please see record-keeping obligations.
- review your obligations for VHT during the next chargeable period.
Property sold in the chargeable period
VHT does not apply if the owners of a property change during the chargeable period. This could include a sale, gift, inheritance or compulsory purchase of the property.
Property subject to a qualifying tenancy in the chargeable period
VHT does not apply if a property is rented for at least 30 days in the chargeable period provided that:
- the tenancy is registered with the Residential Tenancies Board
- the landlord and tenant are not related to or connected with each other.
Property exempt from LPT for the year in which the chargeable period ends
VHT does not apply if the property is exempt from LPT for the year in which the chargeable period ends.
If VHT applies to your property for a chargeable period, you need to submit a VHT Return to Revenue for that chargeable period. In certain circumstances your property may be exempt from the VHT charge for the current chargeable period. You should claim your VHT exemption in your VHT Return. For further information on the specific qualifying conditions for each exemption, please see VHT exemptions.
- Example 3
Emily owns a guest house in Wexford which is fully subject to commercial rates. As her property is fully subject to commercial rates, it is exempt from LPT for the year 2023. Therefore, it is also exempt from VHT for the chargeable period 1 November 2022 to 31 October 2023.
Next: Who is the chargeable person