Tax Collection

Questions (256, 257, 258)

Kevin Humphreys

Question:

256. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Finance if he will confirm that VAT is being collected on sales in Irish airport duty free areas to customers travelling within the EU; whether these sales have been audited in recent years to ensure VAT is applied to these sales; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32037/13]

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Kevin Humphreys

Question:

257. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide in tabular form the amount of VAT collected from sales in duty free areas in our airports in each year from 2008 to the present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32038/13]

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Kevin Humphreys

Question:

258. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Finance the ratio between duty free and duty applied sales in Irish airports from 2008 to the present; the way the application of VAT and other stamp duties was audited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32039/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 256 to 258, inclusive, together.

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that VAT is chargeable and is being collected on sales in Irish airport duty free areas, to customers travelling within the EU in accordance with the provisions of section 3 of the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010 which provides that VAT is chargeable and payable on the supply for consideration of goods or services when the place of supply is the State.

The Revenue Commissioners are not in a position to provide a breakdown of the VAT collected from sales in duty free areas versus VAT on other sales in duty free areas by individual retailers as the information furnished on VAT returns does not require the VAT from particular activities of a taxable person to be separately identified on returns. In addition, the matter of tax payments made by specific taxpayers is a matter for the Revenue Commissioners and in such circumstances is confidential to the taxpayers concerned.

The Revenue Commissioners do not have information on the ratio between duty free and duty applied sales in Irish airports as, again, VAT returns do not require this information to be returned to the Revenue Commissioners.

The Revenue Commissioners, for operational and confidentiality reasons, are not in a position to provide details of risk interventions including audits of individual customers or of how these are managed. However, the Commissioners continue to monitor and review all aspects of risk in relation to the correct application of VAT and duty on sales at Irish airports and appropriate interventions are carried out as required.

Companies Law Issues

Questions (259, 261)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

259. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if the Irish Government made information regarding yearly profits and tax payments by corporations including subsidiaries available to the public or is the Government planning to do so before the end of 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32040/13]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

261. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if the Irish Government is requiring multinational companies including subsidiaries to provide an annual report on their turnover, number of employees, subsidies received, profits and tax payments on a country by country level for all countries in which they operate, or is the Government planning to introduce such reporting before the end of 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32042/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 259 and 261 together.

The issue of "country by country reporting" is topical at EU level at present. Up until now, "country by country reporting" was required only for those companies who were involved in extractive industries (e.g. mining, oil exploration etc.). Under the Irish Presidency of the EU agreement was reached on extending "country by country reporting" to the financial services industry. Measures to transpose the EU provisions into national legislation are expected to be in place in two years time.

The Government has no plans to unilaterally introduce such a scheme before the end of this year. The best way to progress the issue of "country by country reporting" is in a co-ordinated way at EU and international level.

Companies Law Issues

Question No. 261 answered with Question No. 259.

Questions (260)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

260. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if the Irish Government made information regarding the beneficial owners of companies including subsidiaries, trusts and foundations available to the public or is the Government planning to do so before the end of 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32041/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I assume that the Deputy's question relates to proposals for the 4th Money Laundering Directive published by the Commission on 5 February 2013. Article 29 of the Draft Directive provides as follows:

"Article 29

1. Member States shall ensure that corporate or legal entities established within their territory obtain and hold adequate, accurate and current information on their beneficial ownership.

2. Member States shall ensure that the information referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article can be accessed in a timely manner by competent authorities and by obliged entities."

Article 30 makes similar provisions in relation to Trusts and other legal arrangements. Neither Article requires information on beneficial ownership to be made available to the public. The Commission's proposals are currently under discussion in an Expert Working Party of the European Council. The Deputy may be aware that the 3rd Money Laundering Directive requires financial institutions and other designated persons to identify any beneficial owner and take risk based and adequate measures to verify his identity so that the financial institution etc is satisfied that it knows who the beneficial owner is including, as regards legal persons, trusts and similar legal arrangements, taking risk based and adequate measures to understand the ownership and control structure of the customer. The 3rd Money Laundering Directive was transposed into Irish Law in the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010.

Question No. 261 answered with Question No. 259.

Mutual Assistance Requests

Questions Nos. 268 to 270, inclusive, answered with Question No. 98.

Questions (262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

262. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of requests for information regarding tax matters that the Irish Government has received from non-OECD countries in each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32043/13]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

263. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of the requests for information regarding tax matters received from non-OECD countries in each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 which were sent from one of the least developed countries (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32044/13]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

264. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of cases the information requested by a non-OECD country was provided by the Irish Government to the non-OECD country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32045/13]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

265. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of cases in which information was requested by one of the least developed countries and was provided by the Irish Government to the LDC; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32046/13]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

266. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of requests for information regarding tax matters the Irish Government has received from OECD countries in each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32047/13]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

267. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of cases for which information was requested by an OECD country and was provided by the Irish Government to the OECD country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32048/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 262 to 267, inclusive, together.

I assume the Deputy is referring to exchange of information in relation to direct taxes. All of Ireland’s mutual assistance requests in relation to direct taxes take place in accordance with the exchange of information provisions in: Ireland’s Double Taxation Treaties; the EU Council Directive 2011/16 on administrative co-operation in the field of taxation; and Ireland’s Tax Information Exchange Agreements. A full list of Ireland’s Double Taxation Treaties and Tax Information Exchange Agreements is available on the Revenue website www.revenue.ie.

The total number of exchange requests regarding direct tax matters received from non-OECD countries in each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 is as follows: 2009, 23; 2010, 18; 2011, 26; and 2012, 23. Information was provided in all cases.

Ireland does not have an exchange of information provision with any of the countries listed as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) (other than Zambia). No request for information in relation to direct taxes has been received from or provided to Zambia. The total number of requests for information regarding direct tax matters received from OECD countries in each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 is as follows: 2009, 89; 2010, 157; 2011, 176; and 2012, 142. Information was provided in all cases.

Effective exchange of information is a critical tool in ensuring that countries are able to collect taxes owing to them. Ireland has now fully signed up to the joint Council of Europe/OECD Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Ireland’s instruments of ratification were deposited on 29 May of this year and the Convention/Protocol will enter into force on 1 September 2013. The Deputy may wish to note, in particular, that an amending Protocol extends the opportunity to participate in this Convention to developing countries. This enables developing countries, which sign and ratify the Convention, to access exchange of information with an ever-increasing range of countries without having to incur the expense of negotiating individual agreements with each of the Convention countries concerned.

Questions Nos. 268 to 270, inclusive, answered with Question No. 98.

Treatment Abroad Scheme

Questions Nos. 272 and 273 answered with Question No. 98.

Question No. 274 answered with Question No. 175

Questions (271)

Michael McCarthy

Question:

271. Deputy Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Finance if he will review an application for the treatment abroad scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork. [32144/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that with regard to claims in respect of tax relief for qualifying health expenses where the relevant health care is obtained outside the State, the following is the current position: -

(a) the health expenses are allowable provided that the practitioner (GP, consultant or dentist) is entitled under the laws of the country in which the care is provided to practise medicine or dentistry there;

(b) the cost of maintenance or treatment in a hospital, nursing home or clinic is allowable provided the expenses are necessarily incurred in association with the services of a practitioner or refer to diagnostic procedures carried out on the advice of a practitioner.

If the claim relates to the years 2007 – 2009 inclusive, the position was that the cost of the services of a practitioner and the cost of maintenance or treatment in a hospital or similar institution approved for the purposes of the relief by the Minister for Finance after consultation with the Minister for Health is allowable.

With regard to the case specified, the claims in respect of 2007 and 2008 relate to a hospital/clinic that has not been approved. Where an individual has availed of the services of a hospital abroad prior to 2009, they may apply to the Minister for Finance to have it placed on the approved list.

Questions Nos. 272 and 273 answered with Question No. 98.
Question No. 274 answered with Question No. 175