Tax Reliefs Availability

Questions (58)

Dara Calleary

Question:

58. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Finance the tax breaks available to wind turbine owners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42548/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

With regard to VAT, persons who are registered for VAT are entitled to claim input credit for VAT charged on the installation of a wind turbine for use in their taxable activities. In addition, the VAT (Refund of Tax) (Flat-rate Farmers) Order 2012 provides that flat-rate farmers, who are not registered for VAT, can claim a refund of tax borne on the purchase of a wind turbine for the purposes of micro-generation of electricity for use in a farm business, where that wind turbine was purchased on or after 1 January 2012.

In addition, companies carrying on green energy activities (i.e. activities undertaken with a view to producing energy from renewable resources) can qualify for the Employment and Investment Incentive.

There is also corporation tax relief for corporate investment in renewable energy.

The purpose of the scheme is to encourage investment in renewable energy projects and to facilitate the growth of electricity generation capacity using these sources.

The tax relief applies to corporate equity investments in certain renewable energy generation projects. Qualifying investments are eligible for tax relief in the form of a deduction from a company’s profits.

To qualify for the relief the energy project must be approved by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and be in one of the following categories of technology: solar, wind, hydro and biomass.

The value of the investment on which relief can be given is capped at the lesser of 50% of all capital expenditure, excluding expenditure on lands and net of grants, or €9.5 million for a single project.

Investment by a company or group is capped at €12.7 million per annum and unless the shares are held for at least five years by the company, the relief will be withdrawn.

The qualifying period for the scheme of tax relief for corporate investment in certain renewable energy projects runs until 31 December 2014.

Credit Unions Issues

Questions (59)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

59. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Finance if, in the course of a recent meeting with a group (details supplied) in County Kildare, he mentioned a specific figure as being the amount necessary to resolve issues relating to a financial institution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42560/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Question is referring to the proposed combination between Newbridge Credit Union and Naas Credit Union. I wish to confirm that in the course of the meeting with the Newbridge Credit Union Action Group, I did not mention a specific figure regarding the cost of the combination of these credit unions.

As I stated in reply to Question Nos. 35 and 46 last week in clarification of this matter, the only cost figures to which I referred at that meeting were the “tens of millions” as previously set out by the Central Bank and any claims to the contrary are not correct.

Alcohol Pricing

Questions (60)

Finian McGrath

Question:

60. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will support a proposal of an additional €1 tax on cans of beer in order reduce anti-social activity. [42563/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Deputy should be aware that EU Directive 92/93, which governs the structure of alcohol taxation, requires that such taxes are applied by reference to the nature and strength of the product rather than the means of packaging. It does not provide for different tax treatment of alcohol products depending on where the product is sold. Accordingly, the introduction of such a levy would not be possible. The issue of excise rates on alcohol will be considered in the context of the forthcoming Budget.

Budget Submissions

Questions (61)

Finian McGrath

Question:

61. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will support the pre-budget submission from Simon Communities in Ireland to make homelessness a priority issue. [42564/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

My Department has so far received in excess of 500 Pre-Budget Submissions from a wide range of groups and individuals. These are being considered by the relevant officials in the context of Budget and Finance Bill preparation. I can confirm that a submission from the Simon Community has been received. However, as the Deputy will be aware, it is not the practice of the Minister for Finance to discuss the details of measures which may be under consideration as part of the Budget and Finance Bill.

Tax Collection

Questions (62)

Micheál Martin

Question:

62. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance if he will review with Revenue the position on whether taxes can only be paid online by a person; if he will confirm whether it is the case that certain taxes may only be paid online by non-ROS-registered persons; if this is the case, whether he considers this to be reasonable for those who do not have easy online access or limited computer skills; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42634/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the Deputy may be referring to Local Property Tax (LPT), where individuals who own more than one property are obliged by law to file and pay their LPT online even if they are not ROS registered. In the context of Government policy on e-Government and e-payments, and Revenue’s strategic objective of establishing the use of electronic channels as the norm, this seems to me to be a reasonable approach. Filing and paying of LPT is easier and more efficient online and taxpayers get more time to file.

Many owners of multiple properties impacted by this provision are in the business of letting those properties and it is improbable that they are not e-enabled for other purposes. However, recognising the need to provide an alternative service, the LPT legislation explicitly provides that a liable person may nominate another person – such as an agent or family member – to file on his or her behalf. Furthermore, from the outset, Revenue advised that owners of multiple properties could call to a Revenue office where staff would assist them to file their return electronically on Revenue computers. Finally, I am advised that during the LPT filing season Revenue recognised this requirement was causing difficulties in a number of instances where liable persons own small numbers of properties, and they provided a further option to pay and file by telephone.

I am satisfied that Revenue’s response provides an appropriate range of options for owners of multiple properties to meet their LPT obligations.

Customs and Excise Controls

Questions (63)

Finian McGrath

Question:

63. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if the customs and excise section of his Department can speed up or act on delays on containers coming from China because small and medium enterprises are suffering. [42645/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

This is a matter in the first instance for the Revenue Commissioners as the Irish tax and customs administration. I am advised by Revenue that they are not aware of any particular delays associated with the customs clearance of containers from China at any Irish ports or airports. Indeed, I am pleased to say that the clearance regime operated by Revenue conforms to international best practice. If the Deputy is aware of any individual instance of unreasonable delay, he should bring this to the attention of the Revenue Commissioners who will be happy to look into any specific instance of concern.