End tax breaks for rent rip-off REITS – Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said REITS and pension funds buying up Dublin apartment complexes should face removal of their preferential tax status. He was commenting after reports that IRES REIT is charging hundreds of euro above the market norm for apartments it has bought in Finglas. He called the behaviour “tax-funded exploitation”.
Deputy Doherty said:
“I am disgusted at the behaviour of these funds in charging excessive rents having been facilitated to buy in bulk by huge tax advantages. Their size allows them to buy apartments and then rent them out at prices above what a mortgage would cost.
“How can a family compete? What is worse is that these funds are aided and abetted by government tax policy enjoying, as they do, an exemption from Capital Gains Tax and a very low Dividend Withholding Tax. Last week, Irish Life bought up prime apartments, leaving many families disappointed. As a pension fund, they also enjoy tax benefits from these purchases. This amounts to tax funded exploitation of the market, while families and individuals trying to put a roof over their heads in Dublin.
“Tax policy must change to send these funds a message. As things stand, they are pricing families out of the market and then renting them back the apartments at a higher price. It is an unacceptable situation.”