Thursday, 8 November 2012

Questions (104)

Seán Fleming

Question:

104. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Finance the reduction in tax expenditure that would be achieved from abolishing tax relief for medical and dental insurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49268/12]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

It should be noted that relief for qualifying dental insurance policies is allowed as part of the general relief for medical insurance since 2004 and is not identified separately for statistical purposes. On that basis, I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the cost to the Exchequer of tax relief allowed through the tax relief at source (TRS) system for medical insurance premia in 2011 is provisionally estimated at €404 million. The cost figure above does not include a further cost to the Exchequer of €333 million of the age-related tax relief at source, which is established by the Health Insurance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. The cost of the age-related tax credit is offset by a Stamp Duty on health insurance policies. The tax credit and levy are part of an interim scheme of risk equalisation which was introduced in order to provide direct support to community rating in the private health insurance market and is intended to be Revenue neutral over its duration. It expires on 31 December 2012 and will be replaced from 1 January 2013 by a permanent risk equalisation scheme, provided for in the recently published Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2012.