221. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the reason the standard cut-off income rate for PAYE taxation is different for married couples with one income as distinct from married couples with two incomes; if an assessment has been carried out of the discriminatory impact this has on married persons who stayed at home to raise their children; his plans regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15154/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The move towards a system of individualisation commenced in 1999, and is now integral to the overall income tax system. When first announced, the stated purposes of individualisation were to ease the burden on single persons which accounted for 65% of the work force, to take workers on the average industrial wage out of the higher rate of tax and more generally to facilitate a reduction in the numbers paying tax at the higher rate. Prior to this, ...

100. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance if his Department has undertaken a review of the quantum of the reduction in pension benefits payable to persons in the private and commercial sector as a result of the pension levy that was introduced in 2011 since that levy was introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13635/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Pension Levy)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I take it the Deputy is referring to the stamp duty levies applying to the assets of funded pension arrangements introduced in 2011 to pay for the Jobs Initiative, the chargeable persons for which are the trustees of pension schemes and others responsible for the management of pension fund assets. 
Under the legislation, the payment of the levy is treated as a necessary expense of a pension scheme and the trustees or insurer, as appropriate, are ent...

82. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 52 of 6 March 2018, his plans to amend section 730GA of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 to exempt wards of court from exit tax (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12324/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Wards of Court)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I understand that this matter is currently being considered by officials in my Department.
I would say that decisions concerning any changes to tax legislation, generally, are taken in the course of the annual Budgetary and Finance Bill process.
 ...

78. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance when he plans to restore tax relief for trade union membership subscriptions in line with a similar provision is in place for membership of professional bodies by self employed persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11679/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Tax Reliefs Application)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The review of the appropriate treatment for tax purposes of trade union subscriptions and professional body fees was carried out by my department in 2016,and included in the 2016 report on tax expenditures published on budget day 2016.(http://www.budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2017/Documents/Tax_Expenditures_Report%202016_final.pdf).
Regarding tax relief for trade union membership subscriptions, the review concluded that:
 “analysis of the scheme using the p...

51. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance if exemptions from exit tax are available for persons who are permanently incapacitated due to mental or physical disability. (Question 10492/18 asked on 06 Mar 2018 - Tax Exemptions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 52 together.
I am informed by Revenue that the following persons may be entitled to a repayment of life assurance exit tax -
- a permanently incapacitated individual who is exempt from income tax under section 189 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (“TCA 1997”) in respect of income arising from the investment of compensation payments in respect of personal injuries,
- the trustees of a “qualifying trust” with...

52. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the reason exit tax for wards of court, who are exempt from exit tax, is deducted at source and then refunded rather than an exemption being applied. (Question 10493/18 asked on 06 Mar 2018 - Tax Exemptions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 52 together.
I am informed by Revenue that the following persons may be entitled to a repayment of life assurance exit tax -
- a permanently incapacitated individual who is exempt from income tax under section 189 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (“TCA 1997”) in respect of income arising from the investment of compensation payments in respect of personal injuries,
- the trustees of a “qualifying trust” with...

191. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the number of times he or representatives from his Department have met with an organisation (details supplied) in 2016 and 2017. (Question 10032/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Departmental Meetings)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): In response to the Deputy’s question, the number of times that I, Ministers of State of the Department, or representatives from my Department have met with IBEC are 8 in 2016 and 9 in 2017. 
 ...

88. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance his plans to introduce measures to restore pension benefits in the semi-State sectors to levels that would have been established but for the introduction of the pension levy in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4236/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 88 and 89 together.
The levy on pension schemes was introduced in the wake of the financial crash and at a time when the economy was in very serious difficulties. Something had to be done to preserve and boost jobs and it is an unavoidable fact that difficult economic situations require hard and very often unpopular decisions. All sectors of the economy had to contribute to the recovery plan and the levy was designed...

89. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the steps he is taking to end the lifetime reduction in pension benefits for persons in the private and commercial sector as a result of the pension levy that was introduced in 2011 in view of the fact that equitable reductions are harder on lower paid pensioners. (Question 4235/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 88 and 89 together.
The levy on pension schemes was introduced in the wake of the financial crash and at a time when the economy was in very serious difficulties. Something had to be done to preserve and boost jobs and it is an unavoidable fact that difficult economic situations require hard and very often unpopular decisions. All sectors of the economy had to contribute to the recovery plan and the levy was designed...

146. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the number of secondees from businesses (details supplied) working in his Department and each other Department. (Question 4141/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Departmental Staff Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I wish to inform the Deputy that there are no secondees from the businesses (details supplied) currently working in the Department of Finance. 
However, in previous years the Department of Finance did have secondees from some of these businesses and those details can be found on the Department of Finance website at www.finance.gov.ie.
 ...

69. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance his plans to reform the preferential treatment of farmers in regard to VAT. (Question 3746/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - VAT Registration)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that in accordance with the EU VAT Directive farmers may register for VAT or be treated as flat-rate farmers for VAT purposes.
The flat rate scheme is designed to compensate non-VAT registered farmers for the VAT incurred by them on the purchases of goods and services relating to their activities. The scheme sets out a percentage amount (currently 5.4%), known as the flat-rate addition, which unregistered farmers apply to th...

173. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance his views on the fact that in order for a person to withdraw their savings and close their State savings account, they must provide a PPS number even if the account was created before the anti money laundering provisions in the Criminal Justice Acts 2010 and 2013 were enacted and even if the reason the customer is closing the account is in protest at having to provide a PPS number in order to continue using the account. (Question 2979/18 asked on 23 Jan 2018 - Personal Public Service Numbers)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The National Treasury Management Agency (“ the NTMA”) has informed me that it is a ‘specified body’ for the purposes of sections 262 to 270 and schedule 5 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, as amended. This provides the power to the NTMA, acting on behalf of the Minister for Finance, to request holders of State Savings products to provide their PPS Number for the purposes of verifying the identity of such holders.
The NTMA, acting on beha...

180. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the steps his Department is taking to reverse the lifetime reduction in pension benefits for workers in the private and commercial semi-State sector that were brought about as a consequence of the temporary pension levy introduced in 2011. (Question 1909/18 asked on 23 Jan 2018 - Pension Levy)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I take it the Deputy is referring to the stamp duty levies applying to the assets of funded pension arrangements introduced in 2011 to pay for the Jobs Initiative, the chargeable persons for which are the trustees of pension schemes and others responsible for the management of pension fund assets. 
The stamp duty levy on pension schemes was introduced in the wake of the financial crash and at a time when the economy was in very serious difficulties....

223. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the value of American treasury bonds held by the State in 2017. (Question 1201/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - State Investments)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am informed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) that the Exchequer held no American treasury bonds during 2017. 
However, I am informed by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) that as of 31 December 2017, the ISIF held, in its Global Portfolio (which comprises a globally diversified portfolio of investments) American treasury bonds and bills with a value of €11.1m.
 ...

228. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the reason for the change in the number of weeks over which the local property tax is deducted from the State pension from 52 weeks to 50; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1305/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Property Tax Collection)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that the Local Property Tax (LPT) deduction at source payment option, which includes a number of Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) schemes, is a very efficient and cost effective method for property owners to meet their obligations. 
There are no fees or charges associated with the option and once selected it automatically carries forward to following years unless an alternative payment method is...

82. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the estimated additional revenue yield if a publican’s excise licence and on the value of turnover was in excess of €1.270 million increased from €3,805 to €5,125. (Question 53356/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Excise Duties Yield)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that 390 licences were issued to traders declaring an annual turnover in excess of €1.27m during the 2016/2017 licensing year, which ended on 30 September 2017.  The total Excise Licence Duty payable by these traders was €1,483,950 (€3,805 x 390).
If the Excise Licence Duty payable had been €5,125 in the same period the total Excise Licence Duty payable would have amounted to €1,998,750. This would represent an increase of €...

83. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the estimated full year cost of providing ten additional statistician and economist posts for the Revenue Commissioners. (Question 53357/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Revenue Commissioners Expenditure)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that recruitment of analytical staff, such as economists, statisticians or other data analysts, in Revenue is generally addressed through specialist recruitment. As well as direct recruitment or internal promotion of staff with relevant background or experience in these areas, Revenue also benefits from economist recruitment panels established by the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service and the secondment of Stat...

137. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the investigations he has undertaken or plans to take on the use by a company (details supplied) that has actively engaged in tax avoidance activities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51561/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Tax Avoidance)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that having regard to taxpayer confidentiality obligations under section 851A of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, I am unable to comment on the specific case referred to by the Deputy.
 ...

138. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance his plans to investigate the role of a company (details supplied) that has received public funds as part of public-private partnerships and has been revealed to have engaged in active tax avoidance schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51562/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Tax Avoidance)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that having regard to taxpayer confidentiality obligations under section 851A of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, I am unable to comment on the specific case referred to by the Deputy.
 ...

38. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 17 of 24 October 2017, the progress of his examination; if an appropriate framework is in place, to allow persons a simple and effective route to resolve complaints in regard to financial service providers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50802/17 asked on 30 Nov 2017 - Financial Services Sector)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Following the conclusion of my meetings with the CEOs of the main banks on the tracker mortgage issue, I issued a statement setting out the position and the next steps I expected to be taken towards resolution of this issue. I have asked the Governor of the Central Bank to provide me with a progress report by around mid-December on whether each of the banks have made acceptable and sufficient progress in line with their commitments. I have also mand...

54. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance if he has satisfied himself that the Central Bank is sufficiently empowered to identify all persons affected by the tracker mortgage scandal as part of its investigation of same in view of the recent revelation that an additional 6,000 persons had been overcharged by a bank (details supplied) 18 months after the commencement of Phase 2 of the investigation which requires banks to identify persons impacted by the scandal. (Question 50803/17 asked on 30 Nov 2017 - Tracker Mortgage Examination)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As set out in its Tracker Mortgage Examination status update report of 17 October last, the Central Bank advised that assurance work completed to that point raised concerns that two lenders may have failed to identify populations of impacted customer or failed to recognise that certain customers have been impacted by their failures. The Central Bank was of the view that some of these customers were in fact impacted and accordingly entitled to redres...

119. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to companies and persons mentioned in papers (details supplied); if so, the actions he has taken towards these companies. (Question 50234/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Paradise Papers.)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that an analysis of the Panama Papers database was undertaken after it was published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and that a number of individuals, addresses and intermediaries with Irish connections were identified.  All of the individuals, companies and intermediaries concerned have been profiled using both Revenue’s internal systems and open sources, and all necessary enquiries are be...

120. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the amount of profit reported and the amount of corporation tax paid by the top 50 Irish builders over the past 25 to 30 years; and the way in which that compares to reported revenues by the 50 Irish builders over the past 25 to 30 years. (Question 50235/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Corporation Tax)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that what is available is the amount of taxable profits and associated Corporation Tax liability for the top 50 companies in the construction sector for the most recent ten years. Information for earlier years is not retained in Revenue records in a format that facilitates similar analysis. The top 50 companies are selected on the basis of the companies with largest amounts of taxable profits and income as returned on Corpo...

121. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the number of new houses that were built and sold by the top 50 Irish builders over the past 25 to 30 years. (Question 50236/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Construction Industry)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Data on new electricity connections recorded monthly by ESB Networks has been used as a proxy for house completions for many years, as it represents the best available indicator that a residential unit has become available for occupation. However, this indicator does not provide information on the firm responsible for constructing the dwelling. Such data is not available from other sources. As such, it is not possible to identify the number of ne...

122. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance his views on whether public money should be provided to tax-avoiding builders under PPP schemes. (Question 50238/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Public Private Partnerships)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): A Public Private Partnership (PPP) is an arrangement between the public and private sectors with clear agreement on shared objectives for the delivery of public infrastructure and/or public services by the private sector that would otherwise have been provided through traditional public sector procurement.
Public private partnerships are fundamentally taxed in the same manner as a normal trading company. 
There are two rates of Corporation Tax (CT):...