Written Answers. - Tax Relief on Plant/Machinery.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

106 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Finance, in respect of each year since 1987, the estimated cost to the Exchequer in terms of tax foregone under the terms of section 25 of the Finance Act, 1987; the total value of the qualifying plant or machinery in respect of which relief was claimed; if he will list the companies which claimed relief; the value of the plant or machinery in respect of which each individual company claimed; and the value of the tax relief to each individual company.

Section 25 of the Finance Act, 1987, provides that section 52 (1) of the Finance Act, 1986, which restricts capital allowances for machinery or plant by the amount of any grants effectively paid out of Exchequer funds, will not apply in relation to machinery or plant purchased by a company for use by it in the manufacture of processed food for human consumption.

Statistics are not available which would enable an estimate of the cost or of the value of the qualifying plant and machinery to be given. Such information could not be obtained without undertaking inquiries which could be carried out only at a disproportionate cost.

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that their obligation to observe confidentiality in relation to the taxation affairs of individual taxpayers and small groups of taxpayers precludes them from giving the other information requested by the Deputy. In any event, the Revenue Commissioners have not compiled the information sought and a detailed examination of individual tax files which could be carried out only at a disproportionate cost would be required to obtain it.