The Government’s Housing For All – A New Housing Plan for Ireland proposed a new tax to activate vacant land for residential purposes as a part of the Pathway to Increasing New Housing Supply.

The Residential Zoned Land Tax was introduced in the Finance Act 2021. The process to identify land to which the tax applies is now underway and the tax will be payable from 2025.

The objective of the tax is to activate land that is serviced and zoned for residential use or mixed use, including residential use, in order to increase housing supply and to ensure regeneration of vacant and idle lands in urban locations. These locations have been identified within statutory land use plans as being appropriate locations for housing and they have benefitted from investment in the key services to support the delivery of housing.

The RZLT process has two parts:

1) Identification and mapping of the land in scope for the tax. This is undertaken by local authorities through the publication of annual draft and annual final maps – see below.

2) Administration of the tax, which is to be undertaken by the Revenue Commissioners from 2025 onwards.

Criteria for Inclusion of Lands in the RZLT Map

Section 653B of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 states:-

In this Part, a reference to land which satisfies the relevant criteria is a reference to land that—

(a) is included in a development plan, in accordance with section 10(2) (a) of the Act of 2000, or local area plan, in accordance with section 19(2)(a) of the Act of 2000, zoned—

(i) solely or primarily for residential use, or

(ii) for a mixture of uses, including residential use,

(b) it is reasonable to consider may have access, or be connected, to public infrastructure and facilities, including roads and footpaths, public lighting, foul sewer drainage, surface water drainage and water supply, necessary for dwellings to be developed and with sufficient service capacity available for such development, and

(c) it is reasonable to consider is not affected, in terms of its physical condition, by matters to a sufficient extent to preclude the provision of dwellings, including contamination or the presence of known archaeological or historic remains, but which is not land—

(i) that is referred to in paragraph (a)(i) and, having regard only to development (within the meaning of the Act of 2000) which is not unauthorised development (within the meaning of the Act of 2000), is in use as premises, in which a trade or profession is being carried on, that is liable to commercial rates, that it is reasonable to consider is being used to provides services to residents of adjacent residential areas,

(ii) that is referred to in paragraph (a)(ii), unless it is reasonable to consider that the land is vacant or idle,

(iia) the development of which would not conform with—

(I) in a case in which the land is zoned in a development plan, the phased basis in accordance with which development of land is to take place under the plan, as detailed in the core strategy included in that plan in accordance with section 10(2A)(d) of the Act of 2000, or

(II) in a case in which the land is zoned in a local area plan, the objective, consistent with the objectives and core strategy of the development plan for the area in respect of which the local area plan is prepared, of development of land on a phased basis, included in the local area plan in accordance with section 19(2) of the Act of 2000, on the date on which satisfaction of the criteria in this section is being assessed,

(iii) that it is reasonable to consider is required for, or is integral to, occupation by—

(I) social, community or governmental infrastructure and facilities, including infrastructure and facilities used for the purposes of public administration or the provision of education or healthcare,

(II) transport facilities and infrastructure,

(III) energy infrastructure and facilities,

(IV) telecommunications infrastructure and facilities,

(V) water and wastewater infrastructure and facilities,

(VI) waste management and disposal infrastructure, or

(VII) recreational infrastructure, including sports facilities and playgrounds,

(iv) that is subject to a statutory designation that may preclude development, or

(v) on which the derelict sites levy is payable in accordance with the Derelict Sites Act 1990.

The legislation underpinning the RZLT may be found at Part 22A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 as inserted by the Finance Act 2021 and the Finance Act (No. 2) 2023. Guidance in respect of the administration of the tax may be found here.

Guidance on the Residential Zoned Land Tax, as prepared and published by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, to assist planning authorities in publishing the maps can be viewed below:

RZLT 2022

RZLT 2023

RZLT 2024