Written Answers. - Proposed Regulations.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

454 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Finance the proposed statutory instruments being prepared in, or under the auspices of, his Department; the proposed effect of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19621/00]

The following is a list of proposed statutory instruments and the effect of each which are being prepared in, or under the auspices of my Department: designation of the 49 integrated area plans approved by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government under the 1999 urban renewal scheme for tax reliefs; an extension to the qualifying period to 31 December 1998 for the tax reliefs in respect of the East Point enterprise area; designation of Knock Airport enterprise area for tax relief; Civil Service spouses' and children's contributory pension scheme: to give statutory effect to revisions to the scheme which were introduced following agreed recommendations under the scheme of conciliation and arbitration for the Civil Service. The revised scheme provides pension benefits for the spouse of a member of the scheme who marries after retirement and for all children of the member, and raises the age limit for eligible children in full time education to age 22; spouses' and children's contributory pension scheme for members of the Judiciary: to give statutory effect to revisions to the scheme which were introduced in 1998. The revised scheme provides pension benefits for the spouse of a member of the scheme who marries after retirement and for all children of the member; a pension scheme, under the British-Irish Agreement Act, 1999, for the staff of the implementation bodies is being prepared by the Department of Finance and Personnel, Northern Ireland), and my Department; voluntary early retirement scheme: to give statutory effect to certain voluntary redundancy/early retirement arrangements in the Civil Service; professional added years: to give statutory effect to arrangements which provide for certain additions to service for established civil servants appointed to professional, technical or specialist posts; purchase of service: to give statutory effect to purchase of service schemes for civil servants; superannuation scheme for established civil servants: to provide for consolidation of the principal superannuation arrangements for established civil servants into a single scheme; prison officers: to give statutory effect to revised early retirement arrangements for certain grades of prison officer which were introduced following an agreed recommendation under the scheme of conciliation and arbitration for the Civil Service; trans fer of service: to give statutory effect to transfer of service arrangements within the public sector; pensions increases: to give statutory effect to pension increases which have been awarded to civil servants; pension arrangements for MEPs: to give statutory effect to certain revisions to the scheme; draft regulations to bring 17 bodies within the remit of the Freedom of Information Act on 21 October 2000. The bodies concerned are in the social services, voluntary health, environment and regulatory sectors. Further extensions of the Act are planned for 2001; four draft orders are being prepared under the Economic and Monetary Union Act, 1998. The proposed effect of these orders is to withdraw legal tender status from Irish pound notes and coins and to call in the coins from midnight on 9 February 2002, to commence the provisions enabling the issue (through the Central Bank) of euro coins from 1 January 2002, and to specify the design of the national face of such coins; Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income) (Adjustment of Profits of Associated Enterprises) (Republic of Austria, Republic of Finland and Kingdom of Sweden) Order. This order will implement the convention on the accession of the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden to the convention on the elimination of double taxation in connection with the adjustment of profits of associated enterprises (the Arbitration Convention).

The Arbitration Convention provides for a mutual agreement procedure between tax authorities to avoid double taxation in certain cases involving associated companies. Double taxation can arise where associated companies operate in different member states and trade with each other. If one of the tax authorities concerned, having regard to transactions between the companies, makes an upward adjustment of the taxable profits of one of the companies, double taxation will occur unless the other tax authority makes a compensating adjustment in the taxable profits of the other company. Where this procedure fails to resolve disputes, the convention provides for referral to an independent advisory commission. The new convention requiring implementation adds the new member states of the European Union, Austria, Finland and Sweden to the Arbitration Convention. The order is expected to be implemented by the end of the year; Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income) (Adjustment of Profits of Associated Enterprises) Order. This order will implement the protocol amending the convention on the elimination of double taxation in connection with the adjustment of profits of associated enterprises (the Arbitration Convention). The protocol amends the Arbitration Convention so as to extend it for further periods of five years at a time unless at least six months before the expiry of any five year period any of the member states informs the Secretary General of the Council of the European Union of its objection to such extension. The order is expected to be implemented by the end of the year; Offset of Taxes Regulations, 2000. These regulations arise from section 1006A of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, inserted by section 164 of the Finance Act, 2000, which allows the Revenue Commissioners to set any claim for a repayment of tax against outstanding tax liabilities before making any repayment to the taxpayer. Repayments may be offset against any liability to a tax, duty or charge under the various statutes relating to taxation and excise. The regulations made under the section will specify the order of priority of tax liabilities against which any repayment may be set; Appropriation of Payments Regulations, 2000. These regulations arise from section 1006B of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, inserted by section 164 of the Finance Act, 2000, which allows the Revenue Commissioners set payments received against any outstanding liabilities under the Tax Acts, the Capital Gains Tax Acts or the Value Added Tax Acts where no or imprecise accounting instructions accompany a payment. The regulations made under the section will specify the order of tax liabilities against which the payment will be set.