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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997

Vol. 482 No. 8

Written Answers. - Benefits in Kind.

John Gormley


157 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Finance whether he will continue to tax the giving to employees of public transport tickets or passes by their employers as benefit-in-kind. [19586/97]

It is a general principle of taxation that as far as possible, income from all sources, including benefits-in-kind —BIK — should be subject to taxation. Public transport tickets and passes are chargeable to tax under the general tax legislation dealing with BIK. There are no grounds in terms of BIK legislation for an exemption. To exempt one form of benefit, such as travel passes, from the scope of the BIK provisions would only lead to demands for other benefits to be similarly treated. Furthermore, in the case of PAYE deductions, the statutory provisions and case law specifically exclude a deduction in respect of the cost of travelling to and from work. To exempt public transport passes to employees would seriously undermine this principle. This would lead to a substitution of untaxed benefits-in-kind for taxed cash remuneration.