Written Answers. - Enactment of Legislation.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

455 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Finance the Acts or sections or other provisions of Acts under the auspices of his Department or for the commencement of which his Department is responsible which have not commenced by reason of the fact that a commencement order has not been made; if he has any plans to make such an order in each case; if so, when; the reason for the failure in each case to make such an order to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19636/00]

The following is a list of Acts or sections or other provisions of Acts under the auspices of my Department or for the commencement of which my Department is responsible, which have not been commenced.

There are four sections of various Finance Acts which have not yet been commenced, namely: section 45 of the Finance Act, 1998, which relates to changes in the filing dates prescribed under the self-assessment system. The reason why the section was not commenced is that the proposed filing dates were superseded by the filing dates which form part of the scheme to align the tax year with the calendar year.

Section 109 of the Finance Act, 1999, which relates to the consolidation of mineral oil legislation which was included in that Act. The reason for the delay is because secondary legislation required is not yet completed.

Section 96 of the Finance Act, 2000, which relates to the use of low sulphur diesel in passenger transport services. The reason why the section has not been commenced is because of concerns in the trade because of the lack of availability of the product.

Section 64 of the Finance Act, 2000, provides for capital allowances for expenditure incurred on the purchase of long-term rights to use advanced communications infrastructure. This section is subject to the issuing of a commencement order by the Minister for Finance before coming into force. The issuing of such an order is dependent on receipt of clarification from the European Commission that section 64 is not subject to notification under EU-state aids rules. The Department of Public Enterprise has sought and is awaiting such clarifications from the European Commission.
There is one section of the Superannuation and Pensions Act, 1976, which has not yet commenced.
Section 11 of the Superannuation and Pensions Act, 1976, will repeal enactments mentioned in the Second Schedule to that Act. Commencement of the section is dependent on the making of the principal Civil Service pension scheme.
There is one section of the Economic and Monetary Union Act, 1998, which has not yet commenced.
Section 11(2) of the above Act deals with the issue of euro coins which will not take place until 1 January 2002. A draft commencement order is being prepared with a view to its being made later this year in conjunction with other Orders under the Act.
There are two sections of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, which have not yet commenced.
Section 1006A of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, requires that regulations be made by the Revenue Commissioners to give effect to that section. These regulations, called Offset of Taxes Regulations, 2000, allow 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 the excise. The regulations made under the section will specify the order of priority of tax liabilities against which any repayment may be set. It is expected that the regulations will be made before the end of the year.
Section 1006B of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, requires that regulations be made by the Revenue Commissioners to give effect to that section. These regulations called Appropriation of Payments Regulations, 2000, will allow the Revenue Commissioners to 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. It is expected that the regulations will be made before the end of the year.