71. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance the reason the €120 million proposal to place a 1c levy on SMS and MMS was not adopted in Budget 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57546/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The total number of SMS and MMS messages sent in the twelve months to the end of June 2012 was in the region of 12.6 billion. This would suggest a yield of c. €126 million from a 1 cent levy on such messages. However, the projected yield from such a levy cannot be directly inferred from the total number of messages sent, as the levy’s imposition could result in considerable behavioural impact among consumers, and could have significant implications...

72. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance the reason a windfall winnings tax, such as the taxes in place in many other countries and recently adopted by Spain, was not adopted in budget 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57547/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The receipt by a person of any sum bona fide by way of windfall winnings from betting or from any licensed lottery including the National Lottery is exempt from Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Capital Acquisitions Tax. A tax such as is proposed in the question could affect income for the National Lottery, the surplus from which may be used for national culture, including the Irish language; the arts, within the meaning of the Arts Act 1951; the h...

84. Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance the cost to the Exchequer of allowing unmarried couples for joint assessment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57610/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that, as unmarried cohabiting couples are not separately identified in tax statistics, it is not possible to provide the precise information requested by the Deputy. However, in the event that a formal registration scheme for unmarried cohabiting couples were introduced, it is estimated that the cost of extending married treatment under the income tax code to such couples could be of the order of €1 million ...

252. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on stamp duty (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57488/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am pleased to inform the deputy that there was no decision to abolish the relief on stamp duty on land transfers for young farmers. This important relief was due to end this year but is once again being extended. The relief plays a vital role in encouraging the timely inter-generational transfer of family farms. Irish and EU agricultural and rural development policies are consistent in providing support and encouragement ...

136. Deputy Ciara Conway asked the Minister for Finance further to recent budgetary announcements if a person (details supplied) may qualify for Capital Gains Tax for agricultural land rollover relief; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 56824/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Relief from capital gains tax was available where a farmer sold land and used the proceeds to purchase other land for use in farming. This relief (commonly referred to as roll-over relief) was a deferral of the capital gains tax until the replacement land was sold or ceased to be used for the purposes of farming. However this relief ceased with effect form 4 December 2002. You will be aware that I announced in Budget 2013 that I am introducing relie...

137. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Finance the rate of taxation to which credit union dividends are subject; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 56214/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that dividends arising on credit union share accounts are subject to tax as follows:
-Regular Share Accounts: The credit union member is required to declare the amount of dividends received on his/her annual tax return form and to pay tax on this amount at his or her marginal rate of income tax. In addition, the dividend income will be subject to the Universal Social Charge at the appropriate rate.
-Special ...

153. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Finance if he will consider modifying the various statements issued by the Revenue to persons so that these would state the total tax paid by a person as a percentage of their income as well as providing the various breakdowns under the different headings. (Question 56488/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am assuming that the Deputy’s question is linked to the proposals contained in the Tax Transparency Bill which he introduced in the Dáil on 29 March last. In my contribution to the debate during the Second Stage on 9 November 2012 I referred to the costs and extensive administrative changes needed to advance the proposals contained in the Bill at the level of individual taxpayers. The position is that the Revenue Commissioners do not issue any st...

184. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance if in the context of double taxation agreement or similar arrangement, a US/Irish citizen having dual citizenship is restricted to entitlement to one pension only either from the US or from this country, if the person opts for one or either he/she becomes debarred from a US pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 56877/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I wish to advise the deputy that, under the terms of the double taxation agreement (DTA) between Ireland and the United States, the rules provide that one or other of the countries has exclusive rights to tax pensions. Broadly, private (i.e. non-government service) occupational pensions are taxable only in the country of residence of the pensioner. Government pensions are generally taxable only in the country that pays the pension— but if the reci...

188. Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide the estimated income that would be generated by placing a 1% levy on each unit of alcohol sold here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 56912/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the information requested regarding a 1% levy on each unit of alcohol is not available. EU Directive 92/83, which governs the structure of alcohol taxation, requires that such taxes are applied by reference to the nature and strength of the product. Therefore, it does not allow for the introduction of such a levy.
 ...

63. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide in alphabetical order, and in tabular form, a list of all double taxation treaties Ireland has with other countries; the date on which it came into effect and was last revised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 56041/12 asked on 13 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 to 66, inclusive, together. 
The details requested by the Deputy in relation to double taxation treaties that are in effect are shown on the table. To date, Ireland has signed 68 double taxation agreements, of which 61 are in effect. 
Revisions of existing treaties
The existing treaties with Canada (2003) and the United States (1997) replace earlier agreements from 1966 and 1949 respectively. The treaty with ...

64. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Finance if there is a need to revise double taxation treaties, especially with regard to other member states of the EU and key trading partners if those treaties have been in place for over 40 years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 56042/12 asked on 13 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 to 66, inclusive, together. 
The details requested by the Deputy in relation to double taxation treaties that are in effect are shown on the table. To date, Ireland has signed 68 double taxation agreements, of which 61 are in effect. 
Revisions of existing treaties
The existing treaties with Canada (2003) and the United States (1997) replace earlier agreements from 1966 and 1949 respectively. The treaty with ...

65. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide in tabular form a list of the double taxation treaties currently in preparation within his Department; the countries involved; when the treaties are to come into effect; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 56043/12 asked on 13 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 to 66, inclusive, together. 
The details requested by the Deputy in relation to double taxation treaties that are in effect are shown on the table. To date, Ireland has signed 68 double taxation agreements, of which 61 are in effect. 
Revisions of existing treaties
The existing treaties with Canada (2003) and the United States (1997) replace earlier agreements from 1966 and 1949 respectively. The treaty with ...

66. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide in tabular form a list of countries with which Ireland does not have double taxation treaties; if there are specific priorities on that list that he intends to address; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 56044/12 asked on 13 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 to 66, inclusive, together. 
The details requested by the Deputy in relation to double taxation treaties that are in effect are shown on the table. To date, Ireland has signed 68 double taxation agreements, of which 61 are in effect. 
Revisions of existing treaties
The existing treaties with Canada (2003) and the United States (1997) replace earlier agreements from 1966 and 1949 respectively. The treaty with ...

67. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Finance the mechanisms available to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare to ensure the continued growth of their company and the requisition of the necessary certificates to ensure such progress; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 56096/12 asked on 13 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners, that in accordance with the provisions of Section 1095 (3) of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997 where a person who is in compliance with the obligations imposed on the person by the Acts in relation to: (a) the payment or remittance of any taxes, interest or penalties required to be paid or remitted under the Acts, and 
(b) the delivery of any returns to be made under the Acts 
applies to the Collector Gen...

144. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Finance if a person had reached a tax settlement with the Revenue Commissioners under the 1994 tax amnesty, would this have included PRSI as well as PAYE; and if so, would stamps be owed as a result of any such settlement including PRSI. (Question 55459/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Tax Amnesty Scheme, provided for in the Waiver of Certain Tax, Interest and Penalties Act 1993, operated on a self assessment basis and comprised two distinct parts, an incentive amnesty and a general amnesty. The incentive amnesty related to outstanding tax, levy and health contribution liabilities in respect of income and/or capital gains of individuals for the period up to and including 5th April 1991. The incentive amnesty did not cover PAY...

151. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Finance if he has considered the merits or demerits of a tax initiative (details supplied). (Question 55682/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Deputy’s question, essentially, is whether everyone might be required to submit a tax return. The position is that in general, individuals whose income is taxed under the PAYE system are not required to submit a tax return annually because by and large it is not necessary. As the Deputy will be aware, the PAYE system successfully operates to deduct the correct amount of tax in a seamless way from the vast bulk of PAYE employees and pensioners, ...

390. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the tax implications, if any that exist in circumstances (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55285/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The tax implications of the transaction depends on a number of factors. There may be several factors involved in individual cases and I would advise anybody in a similar situation to seek professional advice, including advice from the Revenue Commissioners and Teagasc.
Among the possibly relevant tax issues are: 100% Stamp duty relief on the 1% stamp duty that is normally payable; 90% agricultural relief in relation to Capita...

4. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Finance the saving to the Exchequer that would accrue from including child benefit as taxable income. (Question 54999/12 asked on 06 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 and 9 together. 
I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the yield from taxing Child Benefit is fully dependent on resolving a number of significant and complex policy and legal issues before the question of implementing a charge to taxation on this payment can be considered. These policy issues include clearly determining who is the owner of the Child Benefit payment, whether by taxing the payment, there fo...

5. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Finance the different rates of tobacco duty for cigarettes and rolling tobacco; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54824/12 asked on 06 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Following yesterday’s Budget changes, the rate of tobacco products tax applicable to cigarettes is €237.69 per thousand together with an amount equal to 8.83 per cent of the price at which the cigarettes are sold by retail, or €271.91 per thousand cigarettes, whichever is the greater. The tobacco products tax on roll-your-own tobacco is €248.608 per kilogram. Details of the tobacco products tax rates applicable to all tobacco products are available...

9. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Finance the saving to the Exchequer that would accrue from including child benefit as taxable income; if the Revenue Commissioners have the capabilities to do if so directed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54932/12 asked on 06 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 and 9 together. 
I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the yield from taxing Child Benefit is fully dependent on resolving a number of significant and complex policy and legal issues before the question of implementing a charge to taxation on this payment can be considered. These policy issues include clearly determining who is the owner of the Child Benefit payment, whether by taxing the payment, there fo...

4. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Finance if he will abolish the level of VAT levied on student textbooks accessed via tablet computer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54720/12 asked on 05 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The VAT rating of goods and services is subject to the requirements of EU VAT law with which Irish VAT law must comply. In Ireland the zero rate applies to printed books, including atlases, children’s picture, drawing and colouring books and books of music. It is possible for Ireland to apply the zero rate to printed books because Ireland applied the zero rate to these books on and before 1 January 1991, and the EU VAT Directive provides a derogatio...

5. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Finance his views on a residential scheme (details supplied). (Question 54746/12 asked on 05 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The interest restriction of 75% applying to residential lettings was introduced in the April 2009 supplementary budget as part of an urgent revenue-raising package aimed at stabilising the public finances. The context in which the 2009 measure was introduced, i.e. the need to stabilise public expenditure, still exists. Under the terms of the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland, the State is committed to further substantial reductions in...

6. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Finance if he has considered reducing the VAT on newspapers to a similar level as seen in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54753/12 asked on 05 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Any proposed changes in VAT must be considered in the context of the EU VAT Directive, with which Irish VAT law must comply. The zero rate of VAT applies to the supply of newspapers in the UK, as well as in Belgium and Denmark. The VAT Directive provides that where Member States applied a zero rate of VAT to goods and services on 1 January 1991 they are entitled to retain those zero rating provisions, but cannot introduce any new ones. It is unde...

146. Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor asked the Minister for Finance if he is considering the introduction of a profit tax for tobacco companies as included in the Irish Cancer Society and Irish Heart Foundation’s pre-budget submission; if he has assessed what revenue could be generated if their proposal was included in Budget 2013 for 2013 and 2014; if he has assessed if an individual sector taxation or the introduction of a new rate of corporation tax into tax law would diminish confidence to foreign investors of Ireland’s commitment to the headline 12.5% Corporation tax rate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53913/12 asked on 04 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I assume the Deputy to refer to the proposal to introduce a price cap of the pre-tax price of tobacco. Preliminary advice on this suggests that any proposal to interfere with the ability of manufacturers to set the maximum price level for tobacco is a breach of Council Directive 2011/64/EU on the structure and rates of excise duty applied to manufactured tobacco. In the circumstances, therefore, the question of individual sector taxation or the int...

152. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the revenue that would be raised for the Exchequer by increasing the universal social charge by 3% on income in excess of €100,000; and what the impact would be on the average effective tax rate of earners between €100,000 and €200,000. (Question 54083/12 asked on 04 Dec 2012 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the full year yield, estimated by reference to 2013 incomes, from extending the additional universal social charge of 3%, which is currently applicable to self-employed income in excess of €100,000, to all income earners at this level of income would be of the order of €71 million. The Universal Social Charge is an individualised charge and as such, the estimate of yield is based on individual incomes of...