Issue: Taxman comes calling to AIRBNB owners.
Comment: It was bad news for AIRBNB owners with the announcement that information regarding their rentals will be passed on to the Revenue. Some owners were under the impression that they had no tax liability from AIRBNB rentals, as they believed it came under the special Rent-a-Room scheme. Revenue has now informed them that this is not the case and that they will be looking for any taxes due from May 1st 2014. This will also apply to Irish Residents who rent properties through AIRBNB, which are located overseas.
Issue: 20% of people now rent their homes as rents rise by up to 20%.
Comment: Recent figures suggest now that 20% of people are renting. In addition rents have risen by up to 20% in certain parts of the country over the last year. This is down to one simple fact namely–supply and demand. There aren’t enough properties to meet the demand from tenants and obviously this has led to increasing rental costs. In addition, I believe there is a section of people of both foreign and domestic Irish workers, who may continue to rent for their lifetime, rather than burden themselves with a mortgage. I do not see the rental situation easing anytime soon, as it will take some time for housing supply to come on stream and at the moment there is no sign of this.
Issue: Economy grows by 6.5% in the first 3 months of 2015, as Visa reports 6% increase in consumer spending.
Comment: It certainly is very good news for the Irish Economy to that it has grown by 6.5% in the first 3 months of this year. Figures from the credit card company Visa, suggest that consumer spending has also increased by 6%, with a particular boom in the hotel and restaurant sectors.
Question: I am in my 50’s and have a Personal Pension Plan. Can you explain to me what my options are when I retire and can I do so at age 60?
Answer: You can drawdown your pension anytime over 60. You are entitled to take 25% of your fund tax free and you can drawdown the balance in a number of ways. Rather than giving you advice now, on how to utilize the balance of your pension I suggest that you get professional advice before you make any decisions.