147. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if the Revenue Commissioners are prepared to facilitate a suitable deferred payment arrangement in the case of a person (details supplied) whereby they discharge their responsibilities over a reasonable period of time by way of monthly payments thus facilitating their ability to trade out of his financial difficulty without being forced to cease trading or to go into bankruptcy, whilst also meeting the requirements of the Revenue Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51922/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Personal Insolvency Arrangements)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 147 and 148 together.
Revenue has advised me that its clear preference is always to engage positively with insolvent individuals who enter into Personal Insolvency or Debt Settlement arrangements and has to date agreed terms in more than five hundred cases since the Personal Insolvency Act was enacted.
However Revenue can only “opt in” to the process where the Personal Insolvency Practitioner on behalf of the insolve...

148. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if it is normal for the Revenue Commissioners to dismiss in a summary manner proposals formulated by a personal insolvency practitioner to deal with the financial circumstances of a person (details supplied), including proposals to pay off all debt due to the Revenue Commissioners; and if these proposals can be reviewed. (Question 51923/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Personal Insolvency Arrangements)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 147 and 148 together.
Revenue has advised me that its clear preference is always to engage positively with insolvent individuals who enter into Personal Insolvency or Debt Settlement arrangements and has to date agreed terms in more than five hundred cases since the Personal Insolvency Act was enacted.
However Revenue can only “opt in” to the process where the Personal Insolvency Practitioner on behalf of the insolve...

75. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if an application for the disabled drivers and disabled passengers scheme by a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49738/17 asked on 23 Nov 2017 - Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that an application under the Drivers/Passengers with Disabilities Scheme was received from the person concerned on 15 November 2017 and that a Certificate of Approval will issue within the next week.
 ...

176. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if a person (details supplied) qualifies for the disabled drivers and disabled passengers scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46556/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that it has no record of an application under the scheme from the person concerned.  If that person contacts the Revenue Central Repayments Office, M:TEK II Building, Armagh Road, Monaghan, Telephone LoCall: 1890 60 60 61 advice and assistance will be provided.
I am advised by Revenue that, in order to qualify for the Drivers/Passengers with Disabilities Scheme, a vehicle must be specially constructed or adapted to take accou...

338. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance his views on the revenue standing in relation to children of a first marriage (details supplied); his further views on whether potential changes to the law could be made to give children from the first marriage equal standing in terms of inheritance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28924/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am informed by Revenue that for inheritance tax purposes, the relationship between the deceased (i.e. the disponer) and the person who receives the inheritance (i.e. the beneficiary) determines the maximum amount known as the “Group threshold” below which inheritance tax does not arise. 
There are three separate Group thresholds based on the relationship of the beneficiary to the disponer. The Group A threshold (currently €310,000) applies, inter ...

286. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance the way in which it is possible for new home owners to avail of the DIRT incentive for first-time buyers, in view of the fact that the incentive is only payable once the property tax on a home has been paid, even though new homes are exempt from property tax for a period longer than the eligible period of the DIRT incentive. (Question 20512/17 asked on 02 May 2017 - Property Tax Exemptions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by Revenue that Section 266A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides for refunds of Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) for first-time buyers who purchase a house or apartment to live in as their home. It also applies to first time buyers who self-build a home to live in.
Refunds can be claimed by a first-time buyer of a house or apartment who purchases or self-builds a property between 14 October 2014 and 31 December 2017. The ...

254. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance his views on increased car insurance premiums for vehicles over ten years old; his views on whether there should be no extra premium for a car based on its age as long as the vehicle passes its NCT; his plans to address this unfairness; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41653/16 asked on 17 Jan 2017 - Motor Insurance Regulation)

Minister for Finance Deputy Michael Noonan: As Minister for Finance, I am responsible for the development of the legal framework governing financial regulation.  Neither I nor the Central Bank of Ireland can interfere in the provision or pricing of insurance products, as these matters are of a commercial nature, and are determined by insurance companies based on an assessment of the risks they are willing to accept.  This position is reinforced by the EU framework for insurance which expressly p...

166. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance the way in which Irish and international artists performing at major concert venues such as Croke Park, the Aviva Stadium, the 3Arena and so on are treated for tax purposes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39732/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am informed by Revenue that Irish resident artistes are taxable in Ireland on their worldwide income. Artistes who are not resident in the State for tax purposes have a  liability to Irish tax on income arising from the exercise of their profession in the State. However, because foreign resident artistes merely have a transitory presence in the State, there are numerous practical difficulties associated with enforcing such a liability. For examp...

78. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if he will re-examine the fairness and rules of allowing persons claim tax back in respect of third level fees, with particular reference to the case of a person (details supplied) who was unable to claim tax back due to not earning enough through being on a low wage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39356/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - Tax Reliefs Eligibility)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): An individual may claim income tax relief at the standard rate (20%) on qualifying fees paid by him or her in respect of approved third-level courses. An individual may claim tax relief on qualifying fees paid in respect of any person as long as he or she has paid the fees. Qualifying fees means tuition fees, but not examination fees, registration fees or administration fees. In addition, relief is not available in respect of any part of the fees ...

47. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance his views on whether any decision to continue the reduced 9% VAT rate for the hospitality and tourism sector should be contingent on those industries complying with Government policy in respect of collective bargaining and wage-setting mechanisms, such as joint labour committees. (Question 22551/16 asked on 29 Sep 2016 - VAT Rate Application)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The 9% reduced VAT rate for tourism related services was introduced in July 2011 as part of the Government Jobs Initiative. The measure was designed to boost tourism and create additional jobs in that sector. The tourism sector is a key sector in the Irish Economy and the introduction of the 9% VAT rate was aimed at reducing costs during a very challenging time for the sector. The objective was to boost tourism and create additional jobs. While the V...

326. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance the list of all vacancies that existed on 26 February 2016 and all positions that have arisen since, including the date it became vacant, for State boards or governing bodies under his control; the names of those appointed since the Government was formed; if the position was advertised and a short-list provided to him by the Public Appointments Service; if the appointments were approved by the Cabinet; the positions under his control which are not subject to the PAS system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26083/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Appointments to State Boards)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): In response to the Deputy’s query, please find in tabular form a list of all vacancies that existed on 26 February 2016 and all positions that have arisen since, including the date it became vacant for State Boards or governing bodies under his control; the names of those appointed since the Government was formed; if the position was advertised and a short-list provided to him by the Public Appointments Service; if the appointments were approved by t...

90. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance his views on the maintenance of the 9% VAT rate for tourism and hospitality related services in budget 2017; his plans to present a case for the retention of the 9% VAT rate to his Government colleagues prior to budget 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23439/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The 9% reduced VAT rate for tourism related services was introduced in July 2011 as part of the Government Jobs Initiative. The measure was designed to boost tourism and create additional jobs in that sector. In my Budget Day speech last year, I suggested that while the case for retaining the measure for the hotel sector in Dublin is diminishing each year with room rates rising particularly during major events, the case for retention of the measure ...

147. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if he is considering permitting those who have paid into private pension funds to release moneys from those funds in certain circumstances before they reach 65 years of age, particularly in the context of debt issues and difficulties experienced by the self-employed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14732/16 asked on 08 Jun 2016 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The State encourages individuals to put funds aside for their retirement by incentivising such savings through the tax system. Ongoing contributions to Revenue- approved pension schemes and personal pension plans are exempt from income tax (within limits) while the investment growth of such schemes and plans are also tax exempt. Retirement benefits are taxable at drawdown at normal retirement age with the exception of the permissible tax-free retirem...

68. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 224 of 2 December 2014, in respect of exemptions from local property tax for home owners of pyrite-damaged homes, if a solution to this matter has been reached; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7586/15 asked on 19 Feb 2015 - Property Tax Exemptions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I made a commitment to examine the Local Property Tax (LPT) and any impacts on LPT liabilities as a result of property price movements.  In that regard, Dr Don Thornhill has agreed to conduct a review to consider and make recommendations, in the context of property price developments, on what adjustments, if any, might be made to the system to achieve relative stability in LPT payments by liable persons.  Dr Thornhill is a distinguished former public...

182. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance the steps he has taken to ensure that the tourism and hospitality sector is passing on the 9% VAT rate directly to consumers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47227/14 asked on 09 Dec 2014 - VAT Rate Reductions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The 9% Vat rate has been broadly welcomed by the tourism and hospitality industry since its introduction as part of the Jobs Initiative.
I indicated in my Budget speech that the 9% VAT rate will remain under review and have made it clear to the sector that if the reduced rate is not passed onto consumers, I will revisit the case for its retention. For ease of reference, I have included an excerpt from my Budget day speech:
“The reduced 9% rate of VAT...

224. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide assurances that homeowners currently living in pyrite damaged homes and who are in the process of, or awaiting to be processed for, remediation through the Pyrite Remediation Board, are entitled to have their local property tax waived, in line with existing legislation, without having to produce a certificate for the laboratory testing of the sub-floor hardcore material which can cost upwards of €2,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46287/14 asked on 02 Dec 2014 - Property Taxation Exemptions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The exemption from Local Property Tax (LPT) based on “significant pyritic damage” has been dealt with in a number of Parliamentary Questions this year, including Questions No. 217 on 18/2/14 (8212/14), No. 121 on 30/4/14 (19698/14), No. 43 on 19/6/14 (26462/14) and No. 14 on 2/10/14  (37016/14). 
Section 10A of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) provides for a temporary exemption of at least three consecutive years from the charge...

67. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if the rate of VAT applicable to traders from outside the State who do not have registered establishments inside the State and who trade in the supply, installation and monitoring of emergency alarm systems is the same as that for domestic traders; if he will confirm that the applicable VAT rate is included in all tenders for alarm contracts with statutory bodies; and if this is a requirement of public sector tendering process for foreign companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31967/14 asked on 16 Jul 2014 - VAT Rate Application)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that under Irish and EU VAT law the place of supply for VAT on services connected to buildings is the Member State in which the building is located. Therefore, the rate of VAT applicable to traders from outside the State that trade in the supply, installation and monitoring of emergency alarm systems, is the same as the VAT rate for domestic traders.  There is no registration threshold for foreign traders s...

41. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if the owners of apartments in Priory Hall have had their credit ratings amended in respect of the mortgage loans on those properties as per the resolution framework for Priory Hall agreed in October 2013; if he will examine the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26393/14 asked on 19 Jun 2014 - Priory Hall Development)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): An Implementation Oversight Group, under the aegis of the Department of the Taoiseach, is in place to oversee the overall implementation of the October 2013 Priory Hall Resolution Framework. The Framework provides, inter alia, that the credit rating of the residents of Priory Hall apartments, in respect of the mortgage loans on those properties, be restored to the position it would have been in prior to evacuation of the complex. I understand from th...

105. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if there is any tax relief available to parents in respect of creche fees; if not, if such a proposal will be considered as part of the budget process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12132/14 asked on 11 Mar 2014 - Tax Reliefs Availability)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Tax relief is not available to parents in respect of crèche fees or childcare costs. However, I can assure the Deputy that the Government acknowledges the continuing cost pressures on parents, particularly those with young children. In recognition of these cost pressures, a number of support measures are in place to ease the burden on working parents. These include the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) programme, which funds community childcare se...

48. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if he will consider widening the terms of the Med 1 medical claims form to include persons who have severe myopia and need specialist glasses for work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11022/14 asked on 05 Mar 2014 - Tax Reliefs Application)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Relief in respect of health expenses is allowed in accordance with the provisions of section 469 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997.  In order to qualify for relief an individual must show that he or she has incurred “health expenses” for the provision of “health care”.
For the purposes of section 469 “health care” is the prevention, diagnosis, alleviation or treatment of an ailment, injury, infirmity, defect or disability.
However, routine ophthalm...

29. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide an update on the recommendation of the Thornhill Group for local property tax paid in respect of a rented property to be tax deductible in a similar manner to commercial rates; when this recommendation is likely to be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10421/14 asked on 04 Mar 2014 - Property Taxation Application)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): As I have indicated on many previous occasions, the Government has in principle accepted the recommendation of the Thornhill Group (that the Local Property Tax paid in respect of a rented property should be deductible for income tax or corporation tax purposes, in a similar manner to commercial rates)  but has not considered the manner or the timing in which this will happen. Any such change would have to be provided for by primary legislation.   
...

30. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if further consideration will be given to offering discounts to persons who have individual loans with the former Irish Bank Resolution Corporation; if this can be done without conflicting with the previously stated need by his Department to protect commercially sensitive information for bulk loan sales; if he will examine the possibility of recommending this to the special liquidators for IBRC; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10422/14 asked on 04 Mar 2014 - IBRC Loans)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): There is an obligation on the Special Liquidators to ensure that maximum value is extracted from the loan sales process for the benefit of all the creditors of IBRC including the State. 
The Special Liquidators appointed PwC as independent advisors to value the residential mortgage portfolio. PwC were also appointed to provide independent advice in developing a robust and credible sales strategy for the sale of the residential mortgage portfolio. Fo...

32. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if his Department has records of the performance of Irish companies in terms of net profit or net loss for the purposes of measuring or indicating economic performance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10510/14 asked on 04 Mar 2014 - Economic Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): My Department does not maintain records of Irish companies for the purpose of assessing economic developments.
The Central Statistics Office is responsible for inter alia measuring economic performance and compiles data from Irish-based companies to do this. 
My Department assesses these economic data with a view to inter alia projecting forward likely trends in the economy.
 ...

52. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance the reason the pensions fund levy did not make a distinction between those members who were still paying into a scheme and therefore have an opportunity to increase payments into their fund and those who are not; if the levy could be amended in recognition of this distinction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51066/13 asked on 27 Nov 2013 - Pensions Levy)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 52 and 53 together.
An annual stamp duty levy of 0.6% applies in each of the four years from 2011 to 2014, to the market value on the valuation date (generally 30 June each year) of assets under management in pension funds and pension plans approved under Irish tax legislation. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that this includes occupational pension schemes, Retirement Annuity Contracts, Personal Retirement ...

53. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if retired pensioners and holders of personal retirement bonds could be exempt from the pensions fund levy in view of the fact that the levy is being imposed on funds they are no longer paying into; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51067/13 asked on 27 Nov 2013 - Pensions Levy)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 52 and 53 together.
An annual stamp duty levy of 0.6% applies in each of the four years from 2011 to 2014, to the market value on the valuation date (generally 30 June each year) of assets under management in pension funds and pension plans approved under Irish tax legislation. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that this includes occupational pension schemes, Retirement Annuity Contracts, Personal Retirement ...