211. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance if VAT charges will be removed from the rental of disability aids during the interim period when the person is awaiting the delivery or installation of same; the reason that when disability aids are purchased, they are exempted from VAT but VAT is charged when hiring disability aids; and his views on whether this charge should be removed or reimbursed to persons who had to await delivery and installation of the disability aid. (Question 16067/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by The Revenue Commissioners that the VAT rating of goods and services is subject to EU VAT law, with which Irish VAT law must comply. In accordance with the EU VAT Directive, the supply of the rental of a disability aid is considered to be a service of hiring and is liable to VAT at the standard rate, currently 23%. The VAT Directive provides for particular categories of goods and services to which a Member State may apply a lower VA...

128. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 129 of 14 November 2017, if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the State Claims Agency commissioned a retrospective report covering 1980 to 2007 to be carried out by the formation safety office Air Corps on much of Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnell, which was issued on 6 February 2014; if the State Claims Agency carried out actions on receipt of the report such as issuing findings to the Minister for Defence, the Health and Safety Authority, the chief of staff of the Defence Forces or Casement Aerodrome authorities; and if it withheld it for future use or not as it saw fit in legal proceedings being pursued against the State. (Question 53000/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - State Claims Agency)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The SCA have informed me that in answering question 129 of 14  November 2017 it interpreted the request to relate to its audit programme carried out by its Risk Unit. They have also informed me that in August 2013 on receiving a claim in which it was alleged that personal injuries were caused by exposure to toxic substances in Baldonnel, the SCA emailed Litigation Branch and Claims Administration asking that a Liaison Officer (L.O.) be appointed to...

129. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance the reason the State Claims Agency did not seek assistance from the Health and Safety Authority immediately when it discovered in 2013 and 2014 that serious and ongoing breaches of health and safety legislation, including lack of risk assessments, lack of chemical training and lack of personal protection equipment, were causing ongoing harm to personnel of all Air Corps ranks and none; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48048/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - State Claims Agency)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The NTMA have advised me that the State Claims Agency did not undertake audits in the Defence Forces in 2013 and 2014.
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142. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance the options available to vendors who, despite having home insurance themselves, cannot sell their home due to the prospective purchasers not being able to get the required home insurance (details supplied). (Question 25362/17 asked on 30 May 2017 - Flood Risk Insurance Cover Provision)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am conscious of the difficulties that the absence or withdrawal of flood insurance cover can cause to householders and businesses alike, and that is one of the reasons the Government has been prioritising investment in flood defences over the last number of years in order to minimise the risk of flooding.  
However, the provision of insurance cover and the price at which it is offered is a commercial matter for insurance companies and is based on a...

171. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance the reason a person (details supplied) is still being taxed as a single person. (Question 5426/17 asked on 07 Feb 2017 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by Revenue that the person concerned is non-resident but is chargeable to tax on income in the State.
In the case of a couple where both spouses are non-resident but one spouse has income chargeable to tax in the State, that spouse is chargeable to Irish Tax on the basis of separate treatment as a single person.
Where the other non-resident spouse has income outside the jurisdiction, some relief may be due where the Irish tax payable und...

115. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance if payments of local property tax are still accepted in the post office; and if not, when this service was taken away. (Question 19279/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - Property Tax Collection)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Revenue has confirmed that all payment options for Local Property Tax (LPT) continue to be available. This includes the options available through the approved Payment Service Providers (PSP’s) who are An Post, Omnivend, Paypoint, and Payzone.
The PSP option is not and has never been available to owners of more than one residential property because Section 44 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) provides that all such taxpayers m...

83. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance the amount of value added tax the Revenue Commissioners has levied from the public making text donations to charities in each of the years 2013 to 2016 to date. (Question 18050/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016 - Tax on Charitable Donations)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 83 to 85, inclusive, together.
I am advised by Revenue that charitable donations are outside the scope of VAT. This means that VAT does not apply to such donations. In the case of charitable donations made by text, where the full amount of the donation is passed over directly to the charity concerned, the entire amount is deemed outside the scope of VAT. In circumstances where a telecommunications provider charges ...

84. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance why the Revenue Commissioners levies tax on text charity donations but not on other donations and refunds tax for donations over €250. (Question 18051/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016 - Tax on Charitable Donations)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 83 to 85, inclusive, together.
I am advised by Revenue that charitable donations are outside the scope of VAT. This means that VAT does not apply to such donations. In the case of charitable donations made by text, where the full amount of the donation is passed over directly to the charity concerned, the entire amount is deemed outside the scope of VAT. In circumstances where a telecommunications provider charges ...

85. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance if he will consider changing the legislation by which the Revenue Commissioners levies tax from charitable donations made by text so that charities do not get penalised for using this mechanism for fundraising. (Question 18052/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016 - Tax on Charitable Donations)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 83 to 85, inclusive, together.
I am advised by Revenue that charitable donations are outside the scope of VAT. This means that VAT does not apply to such donations. In the case of charitable donations made by text, where the full amount of the donation is passed over directly to the charity concerned, the entire amount is deemed outside the scope of VAT. In circumstances where a telecommunications provider charges ...

209. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance if he will extend the tax relief at source for mortgage interest paid on a home loan, given that many home owners who are eligible under this scheme will struggle to pay their mortgage when the scheme finishes in 2017. (Question 10255/16 asked on 17 May 2016 - Mortgage Interest Relief Extension)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 181 and 209 together.
Section 244 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides for tax relief in respect of interest paid on qualifying home loans taken out on or after 1 January 2004 and on or before 31 December 2012, with relief being available until 31 December 2017.  The mechanism by which relief is given is set out in Section 244A of the Act, which provides for the granting of relief at source by the mortgage pro...

204. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance the number of annual subscriptions to external membership bodies and groups his Department has, including the cost and details. (Question 46753/15 asked on 13 Jan 2016 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The information requested by the Deputy for 2015 for my Department is set out below:
 Number External membership body Subscription (€) for 2015 1 Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland 200.00 2 Bruegel 66,406.00 3 Institute for International & European Affairs  7,000.00 4 ERA - Academy of European Law 75.00 5 Irish Institute of Training and Development 500.00 6 Irish Management Institute 750.00 7 Public Affairs Irela...

205. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance the number of annual subscriptions to newspapers or magazines his Department has, including the cost and details. (Question 46754/15 asked on 13 Jan 2016 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): In response to the Deputy’s question My Department spent €13,924 on newspapers and magazines in the 12 month period December 2014 to November 2015. The publications purchased in the period are listed in the following table:
 Publications Purchased Irish Times Saturdays Irish Times Irish Independent Sat Irish Independent Irish Examiner Sat Irish Examiner Financial Times Sat Financial Times Star Sun Mirror Da...

206. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance the annual cost to his Department of advertisements placed on its behalf in newspapers, magazines, television and radio and social media.. (Question 46755/15 asked on 13 Jan 2016 - Departmental Advertising Expenditure)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): As the Deputy has asked for the annual cost and not referred to a specific year, I am providing the relevant information on the cost of advertisements to my Department for the most recent year i.e. 2015.
The information requested by the Deputy is set out below:
 Cost of Advertisements Placed in Newspapers, Magazines, Television, Radio and Social Media
 Media Advertisements Cost in 2015 Newspapers Advertisement for the position of Governor...

229. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance the total tax forgone relative to tax relief for medical expenses, excluding relief on private health insurance premiums, for each of the past five years; if he will provide a breakdown, with as much detail as is collected, in terms of the purpose of expenditure, for example drugs, doctors fees, etc. (Question 32740/15 asked on 29 Sep 2015 - Tax Reliefs Availability)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the following table gives a breakdown of the estimated cost to the Exchequer of nursing homes expenses and other health and medical expenses. These figures do not include relief on private health insurance.
 Year Nursing Homes €m Other Medical and Health Expenses €m All Health and Medical Expenses €m 2009 23.1 122.4 145.5 2010 21 105.6 126.6 2011 23.1 108 131.1 2012 25.2 108.8 134 2...

252. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance if the social welfare card is acceptable proof of identity when opening post office or bank accounts for the purposes of receiving social welfare payments. (Question 12903/15 asked on 31 Mar 2015 - Photographic Identification)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Firstly, I must confirm to the Deputy that it is not appropriate for me, as Minister for Finance, to comment on or become involved in the detailed position of consumers opening post office or bank accounts.  The National Treasury Management Agency has informed me that a social welfare card does not contain a photograph. 
When opening a bank account the standard documentation which may be used for the purpose of verifying identity is one item of photo...

254. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance his views on the proposal to require all public sector workers under the aegis of his Department who interface with service users to wear a name badge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8657/15 asked on 24 Feb 2015 - Departmental Staff)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): In response to the Deputy’s question I am not aware of a proposal to require all public sector workers under the aegis of my Department who interface with service users to wear a name badge.  In the interest of improving customer service standards I am open to consideration of such a proposal. As the Deputy will be aware some bodies under my aegis, have little or no direct contact with members of the public  while others interface regularly. I expect...

214. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the sale by the National Assets Management Agency of occupied apartment complexes to investors, both national and international, is contributing to rent inflation as the profiteering companies seem to immediately inflate the rent on the day of the rent review, as in the case of rental properties (details supplied) in Dublin 12, which was sold recently by NAMA to a foreign investor, who have hiked rents by 23% from €1,100 to €1,600; and his views on the action being taken to address this inflationary trend. (Question 47953/14 asked on 16 Dec 2014 - NAMA Property Sales)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): In line with the purposes of the NAMA Act and NAMA’s objectives, NAMA has committed to repay 80% of its senior debt by end-2016. To meet this objective, NAMA must realise assets including through the sale residential property portfolios. It is entirely incorrect to claim that the sale of assets securing NAMA’s loans is contributing to rent inflation in the private residential rental market. Rent levels are determined by the interaction of supply a...

168. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance the reason for the delay in issuing a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 their tax rebate by cheque; if this rebate will be issued to them as soon as possible. (Question 46739/14 asked on 09 Dec 2014 - Tax Rebates)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the relevant repayment claim was received and processed on 13 August 2014.  On 14 August a refund was credited by electronic fund transfer to the bank account then on record for the person concerned, the details of which had been previously provided to Revenue by that person.  On 16 September the person concerned advised Revenue that he no longer had access to the account in question and confirmed that ...

194. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Revenue Commissioners have begun to apply VAT to certain food supplements such as probiotics and glucosamine which had been supplied at the zero VAT rate; his views on the cost implications of this for consumers with dietary requirements and deficiencies; and his further views on amending legislation to enshrine the zero VAT rate that had always applied to food supplements that provide sustenance. (Question 46030/14 asked on 02 Dec 2014 - VAT Rate Application)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): VAT is guided by EU VAT law, with which Irish VAT law must comply. The EU VAT Directive generally provides that supplies of goods and services be chargeable to VAT at the standard rate but that lower rates are permitted in very limited circumstances. Food products can only benefit from the zero rating in accordance with Article 110 of the VAT Directive which permits the retention of the zero rate for “clearly defined social reasons” where the produ...

47. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance if water is now considered a utility and has a tax exemption; the reason there is no tax exemption for other utilities such as electricity, gas and so on. (Question 40490/14 asked on 22 Oct 2014 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Irish Water is described as the national water utility. The Water Services (No.2) Act 2013 refers to “the public utility nature of its functions”.  
In recognition of the new charging regime for the provision of water supplies, I announced in the Budget that I would provide tax relief at the standard rate of 20% on water charges paid up to a maximum of €500, resulting in a maximum potential relief of up to €100 per household per annum.
Water is diffe...

165. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance if the Revenue Commissioners will act immediately to proceed to wind up a company (details supplied) in Dublin 1 to satisfy outstanding arrears of tax and PRSI due to the Revenue Commissioners and providing a route for the workers to access the insolvency fund to receive payment of wages and other entitlements. (Question 24403/14 asked on 10 Jun 2014 - Tax Collection)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 165, 190 and 191 together.
I am advised by Revenue that in accordance with Section 851A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, it is precluded from disclosing any information in regard to the tax affairs of any taxpayer or business on the grounds of taxpayer confidentiality.
 ...

65. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide an update on plans to introduce a grant towards the fuel costs of disabled drivers and disabled passengers including the likely start date; the value of the grant that will be paid to eligible persons; the rules and criteria that it is envisioned will govern eligibility and the administration of the scheme; and the anticipated total annual cost of the scheme. (Question 15629/14 asked on 02 Apr 2014 - Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): As the Deputy is aware, following a ruling by the European Court of Justice in April 2013 and subsequent negotiations with the European Commission, the excise relief on fuel element of the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers scheme will be discontinued from the 31st December 2014. Arrangements will be made during the year to provide for a new fuel grant scheme for disabled drivers which will have the same levels of support as the current excise ...

49. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance the commemorative coins he will issue as part of the decade of centenaries 2013-2023. (Question 12541/14 asked on 13 Mar 2014 - Commemorative Coins)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Deputy may be aware that, on 24 September 2013, the Central Bank launched a €15 Silver proof coin commemorating the centenary of the 1913 Dublin Lockout. While there are plans to issue a coin, in 2016, to commemorate the Easter Rising, details have not yet been finalised. The issue of coins to commemorate other historic events has not yet been decided.
 ...

54. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance if he will take into account the extenuating circumstances and consider reviewing the criteria for tax relief or if that proves impossible to consider refunding the VAT in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 10. (Question 9983/14 asked on 27 Feb 2014 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that a person may claim income tax relief at the 20% income tax rate on the cost of gluten-free foods manufactured specifically for coeliacs.  A letter from a doctor is required, which states that the individual, in respect of whom the expense was incurred, has the condition. However, as is the case with all claims to tax relief, relief is dependent on the claimant having a liability to income tax against whi...

114. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance his plans to force banks and credit card companies, as part of their strategy to reduce credit card fraud and theft, to text the card holder after each transactions, thus making them aware instantly that their card has been used or abused. (Question 55484/13 asked on 15 Jan 2014 - Banking Operations)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I have no plans to require banks and credit card companies to text the card holder after each transaction. 
According to the Irish Payment Service Organisation, there are approximately 300 million card transactions each year. Such a proposal would impose significant additional costs on card suppliers. The Deputy may wish to put his proposals to the individual card companies. 
 ...