Disabled Drivers Grant Eligibility

Questions (82)

Brian Walsh

Question:

82. Deputy Brian Walsh asked the Minister for Finance the reason a person (details supplied) in County Galway did not receive a refund of the full amount of VRT and VAT in respect of a vehicle. [11690/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Section 134(3) of the Finance Act 1992 (as amended) and Statutory Instrument No: 353 of 1994 (Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations, 1994 (as amended) provide for permanent relief from the payment of specified maximum amounts of VAT and VRT for persons registered under the scheme. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the person (details supplied) submitted an application Form DD1 under the above scheme, together with a Primary Medical Certificate and other supporting documentation in respect of the purchase and adaptation of a vehicle. The repayment of €6,796.90 already granted by Revenue included a VAT refund of €535.90 in respect of adaptations to the vehicle. Following a further examination of the valuation attributed to the particular vehicle in question, an additional VRT repayment of €1,530 will issue shortly to the person.

Banking Sector

Questions (83)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

83. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Finance in view of the need for an expanded banking sector, if he has been in any discussion with the management of Ulster Bank or its parent bank RBS with a view to establishing what its long-term plans are for its business here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11694/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

In Autumn 2013, following a review of its operations by the UK Treasury, RBS reaffirmed its commitment to the Irish market. As part of that process, Treasury officials engaged with officials from my Department. In February 2014, I met with RBS executives to ascertain their outlook for the bank both here and in the UK. RBS is currently reviewing the operations of Ulster Bank in Ireland with a view to creating a sustainable business model, and on 27 February, RBS re-iterated its commitment to the Irish market. RBS also stated its intention to build on Ulster Bank's current position to be a compelling challenger bank to the main domestic banks and focus firmly on the customer. It is good news that the bank has committed so firmly to the Irish market and I think it shows significant support for expanding Ulster Bank's presence in the Irish market.

From a domestic banking perspective, the continued presence of a viable and active Ulster bank in the Irish market will be important in fostering competition for banking services. It is vital that businesses and consumers have a range of banking options available when using financial services and accessing credit - all of which will become increasingly important as the economy recovers. Officials in the Department of Finance have been in contact with both RBS and Ulster Bank officials and this will continue as the bank finalises its plans for the future.

Tax Rebates

Questions (84)

Jack Wall

Question:

84. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Finance if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare is due a rebate on their tax payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11715/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

 I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that a PAYE Balancing Statement (P21) for 2013 issued to the person concerned on 5 March 2014. This statement is based on the information currently available to Revenue. According to the PAYE Balancing Statement for 2013 an underpayment of income tax arises. Arrangements have been made to collect the amount due by reducing the tax credits of the person concerned for 2015 and 2016. If the person concerned has any further queries they may contact Revenue by telephone on Lo Call 1890 44 44 25.

Tax Compliance

Questions (85)

Billy Timmins

Question:

85. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Finance the position in relation to section 441 surcharges as applied by the Revenue Commissioners to a business (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11727/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I have been advised by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners that this case (details supplied) is the subject of an on-going compliance intervention. As part of this intervention the issue of any liability arising under Section 441 Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997 (TCA) is being addressed. Final liability has not been computed and agreed.

 However, I am advised that the Revenue Commissioners are prepared to enter into an instalment arrangement to facilitate payment of agreed liability over an agreed timeframe, if it has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of Revenue that payment in full is not possible. Such matters can be discussed directly with the Wicklow Revenue District. Tax Briefing Issue 48, June 2002 provides guidance on professions falling within the provisions of Section 441 TCA, 1997. The section is designed to counter avoidance of tax arising from the diversion into close companies of income (usually arising from professional activities), which would otherwise attract income tax at the higher personal rates of tax.

IBRC Mortgage Loan Book

Questions (86)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

86. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he has sought the legal status of the formal agreements with unregulated bodies which had purchased loan books and ascertained whether they are enforceable under contract law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11773/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

In relation to agreements or commitments given by these unregulated bodies in respect of their purchase of loan books, I understand that such agreements or commitments would not generally give rise to an obligation which is enforceable by the mortgagor. The terms of a contract can generally be enforced only by the parties to that contract.

There are some circumstances in which such agreements or undertakings can be enforced by a party not privy to the contract, particularly where that party has acted in reliance on the commitment, but such circumstances are unlikely to apply in most cases. For this reason I have asked my officials to explore the possibility of legislating to address the situation of such borrowers in consultation with the Central Bank and the Office of the Attorney General.

Disabled Drivers Grant Eligibility

Questions (87)

Billy Timmins

Question:

87. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding a DDI number in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11779/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that Section 134(3) of the Finance Act 1992 (as amended) and Statutory Instrument No: 353 of 1994 (Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations, 1994 (as amended) provide for permanent relief from the payment of specified maximum amounts of VAT and VRT for persons registered under the scheme. The person (details supplied) submitted a Form DD1 (Application for Tax Relief in respect of vehicles purchased for use by people with disabilities) on 25 February 2014. An Exemption Notification issued on 6 March which permits the garage to register the vehicle exempt from VRT. On receipt of invoices for the vehicle and the adaptations, the relevant VAT repayment will be processed without delay by the Central Repayments Office, Monaghan.

Tax Code

Questions Nos. 89 and 90 answered with Question No. 61.

Questions (88)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Question:

88. Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin asked the Minister for Finance the legality of charging DIRT at 41% on children's savings in credit unions despite them not having a tax number; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11793/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the legislation governing the operation of Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) is set out in Chapters 4 and 5 of Part 8 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (the Act). Under Section 257 of the Act all deposit takers, including credit unions, are obliged to deduct Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) from payments of interest or dividends made to an account unless the account qualifies as an exempt account. There is no specific exemption in the case of interest or dividends paid on deposit or credit union accounts held by children.

Separately, there is an obligation on a deposit taker to obtain the tax reference numbers of account holders for the purpose of reporting details of certain interest payments to the Revenue Commissioners. The legislation governing this reporting requirement is set out in Section 891B of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 and the Return of Payments (Banks, Building Societies, Credit Unions and Savings Banks) Regulations 2008 (the Regulations). Regulation 7 of the Regulations requires deposit takers to make all reasonable efforts to obtain the tax reference number of any customer who opens a new account on or after 1 January 2009. There is no requirement to obtain a tax reference number in the case of accounts opened prior to this date.

The requirement to deduct DIRT from an interest payment exists regardless of whether the deposit taker is in possession of the tax reference number. Therefore, in the circumstances outlined by the Deputy, DIRT is correctly deductible from the interest payment. I would point out that there is no distinction between the liability to pay DIRT and the liability to the payment by persons, regardless of age, who do not have a tax reference number of, for example, VAT, or other taxes such as CGT or CAT.

Questions Nos. 89 and 90 answered with Question No. 61.

General Government Debt

Questions (91)

Michael McGrath

Question:

91. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if the Exchequer returns for the first two months of the year are consistent with achieving a primary budget surplus in 2014 and a general Government deficit of 5.1% or less; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11820/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The deficit target of 5.1% of GDP to which the Deputy refers is the maximum general government deficit in 2014 that the Government is required to deliver under the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) in the Stability and Growth Pact. This is part of an agreed consolidation path which Ireland will follow in order to return the public finances to sustainability. I should point out that Budget 2014 forecast a deficit for 2014 of 4.8% of GDP, which is consistent with achieving a primary budget balance. In relation to the end of February 2014 Exchequer Returns, I am confident, on the basis of what I have seen to date, we will achieve the targets set out in Budget 2014.

As the Deputy will be aware, this Government has met all of its targets to date and has achieved substantial progress in setting the public finances and the economy back on the road to good health and this has been acknowledged by the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and most economic commentators. My Department will publish updated macroeconomic and budgetary forecasts in April in the Stability Programme Update. These will take account of the latest economic and fiscal data and will give an updated forecast of the general government deficit over the forecast horizon.

IBRC Mortgage Loan Book

Questions (92)

Billy Timmins

Question:

92. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding former customers of Irish Nationwide Building Society which was transferred to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, now in liquidation, who are concerned about what the future holds for them regarding the sale of their loans; the current position on the code of conduct on mortgage arrears that has been applied to the purchasers of these loans in order that the mortgage holders will have some protection; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11835/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Special Liquidators have confirmed that a voluntary agreement has been reached with the potential bidders for the IBRC mortgage book in relation to the application of the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears. This is an important and timely development and will ensure that mortgage holders in arrears will be serviced in line with the CCMA and that customers will continue to be protected by the code in the event that they acquire these loans.

The Government is committed to bringing forward legislation to protect mortgage holders and will work with the Central Bank and the Attorney General to achieve the best solution for mortgage holders. Given that this is a complex legal issue, the legislation will require careful consideration to ensure the general applicability of the CCMA is not put at risk.

It is important to highlight that the contractual terms and conditions of all customer mortgages and other borrowings have not changed as a result of the appointment of the Special Liquidators nor will those terms and conditions change as a result of the ultimate sale of these obligations to a third party. Purchasers of mortgage loans will be required to honour the legal terms of the loan agreements.

Tobacco Smuggling

Questions (93)

Anthony Lawlor

Question:

93. Deputy Anthony Lawlor asked the Minister for Finance in view of proposals to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes, if plans are being made to increase surveillance on the illegal cigarette trade taking into consideration retailers' fears that there will be an increase in such activities; if he is satisfied that the current manner of detection which includes three mobile scanners is sufficient to continue monitoring the illegal importation of tobacco products at ports here; if the mobile scanner van will be augmented with additional units; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11844/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am assured by the Revenue Commissioners that combating the illegal tobacco trade is a high priority for them. Their work against this illegal activity includes a range of measures that are designed to identify and target those who are involved in the supply or sale of illicit products, with a view to seizing the illicit products and prosecuting those responsible. This multifaceted strategy includes ongoing analysis of the nature and extent of the problem, developing and sharing intelligence on a national, EU and international basis, the use of analytics and detection technologies and ensuring the optimum deployment of resources at points of importation and within the country.

Interception of illicit tobacco products is achieved through a combination of risk analysis, profiling, intelligence and the screening of cargo, vehicles, baggage and postal packages. Revenue officers also target the illicit trade at post-importation level by carrying out intelligence-based operations and random checks at retail outlets, markets and private and commercial premises.

I understand that the Revenue Commissioners are satisfied that the standardised packaging of cigarettes will not damage their work against the illicit tobacco trade, as they rely on the tax stamp to identify tax paid tobacco products and the standardised packaging legislation must accommodate the stamp. The tax stamp contains all features possible to minimise the risk of counterfeiting.

The Revenue Commissioners currently have three mobile scanner systems. Two of these are mobile X-ray scanner systems that are based at Dublin Port and Rosslare Ferry Port respectively and which are also available for deployment, on a risk assessment basis, at other ports and locations. The third is a scanner van, a specialist vehicle incorporating an X-ray facility and radiation detection facilities, the uses of which include monitoring baggage and cargo at ports and airports for tobacco, drugs, radioactive materials or other contraband.

The Revenue Commissioners continuously review their detection technology requirements, taking account of developments in those technologies, and have availed of part-funding under the European Union's Hercule II programme to acquire equipment of this kind. I understand that they are generally satisfied with their current scanning capabilities and consider that the container ports are adequately serviced by the two mobile X-ray container scanning systems. I am advised also that the performance of the scanner van since its acquisition is being evaluated on an ongoing basis and that the possibility of augmenting this resource with additional units is being considered.

The Revenue Commissioners will maintain their commitment to acting against all stages of the supply chain for illicit tobacco products and will continue to make every effort to ensure that those involved in the illicit trade are brought to account before the Courts for their criminal activities. A new multi-annual strategy for dealing with the problem is being drawn up, and the Revenue Commissioners will consult with key stakeholders in preparing this document.

Departmental Legal Costs

Questions (94)

Denis Naughten

Question:

94. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Finance if he will set out in tabular form, by reference to each named firm, the amount paid out in respect of legal fees during 2013 by his Department to law firms in or outside the State for services rendered to it; if he will provide in a similar format the amount paid out in respect of legal fees during 2013 by State bodies including commercial or non-commercial and regulatory bodies established by or under his Department, to law firms in or outside the State for services rendered to it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11871/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The information requested by the Deputy is contained in the following table. Information relating to the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) is not included. I will forward it to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Law Firm

Legal Fees including VAT (2013)

Department of Finance

Arthur Cox

€1,728,406.91*

Matheson

€717,923.46

*€986,323.05 recouped from banks

Comptroller & Auditor General

Philip Lee Solicitors

€18,959.22

Financial Services Ombudsman's Bureau

Byrne Wallace

€41,105.92

McDowell Purcell Solicitors

€34,743.21

Eversheds O'Donnell Sweeney

€539,997.61

Credit Union Restructuring Board

Mason, Hayes & Curran

€59,805.00

National Asset Management Agency (NAMA)

to nearest €1,000

Eugene F Collins

€1,888,000.00

McCarter & English LLP

€1,041,000.00

Allen & Overy LLP

€446,000.00

Arthur Cox

€289,000.00

Beauchamps Solicitors

€241,000.00

McCann Fitzgerald

€180,000.00

Ronan Daly Jermyn Solicitors

€102,000.00

Bayern LB

€96,000.00

Quarles & Brady LLP

€88,000.00

William Fry Solicitors

€78,000.00

Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP

€68,000.00

Addleshaw Goddard LLP

€63,000.00

Byrne Wallace

€61,000.00

Eversheds, O'Donnell Sweeney

€48,000.00

Matheson Ormsby Prentice

€46,000.00

Brian Murray SC

€43,000.00

DLA Piper (Paris) LLP

€37,000.00

Cian Ferriter

€34,000.00

Graf von Westphalen

€32,000.00

Crystal Contract Services Ltd

€32,000.00

DLA Piper UK LLP

€30,000.00

A&L Goodbody Solicitors

€30,000.00

John O'Connor

€26,000.00

LK Shields Solicitors

€25,000.00

Gartlan Furey Solicitors

€23,000.00

Simmons & Simmons LLP

€22,000.00

Hayes Solicitors

€19,000.00

Preferred Solutions to Property Liabilities Ltd.

€18,000.00

Corporate Access (Legal Services) Ltd

€18,000.00

Alfred Thornton & Company

€16,000.00

G O'Nuallain & Co

€16,000.00

DLA Piper UK LLP (Germany)

€12,000.00

P.J. O Driscoll & Sons

€11,000.00

Taylor Wessing LLP

€11,000.00

A & L Goodbody Northern Ireland

€11,000.00

Camilleri Preziosi

€11,000.00

Elvinger, Hoss & Prussen

€10,000.00

DLA Piper (Poland)

€10,000.00

Grant Thornton Corporate

€10,000.00

Kerrigan Sheanon Newman Limited

€10,000.00

Gore & Grimes Solicitors

€9,000.00

McDowell Purcell Solicitors

€9,000.00

Taylor Wessing LLP (Bruxells)

€9,000.00

TLT LLP

€9,000.00

Amiens Square Management Co. Ltd

€9,000.00

ilp LR Abogados Global

€8,000.00

Astons Tax & Legal Limited

€7,000.00

VISION NET

€7,000.00

J.W. ODonovan Solicitors

€7,000.00

Arthur Cox Northern Ireland

€7,000.00

Deloitte & Touche

€7,000.00

Hogan Lovells International LLP

€7,000.00

Cyril O'Neill

€7,000.00

Des Gouttes & Associes

€6,000.00

Shook Lin & Bok LLP

€6,000.00

William Abrahamson, BL

€6,000.00

Paul Gallagher

€6,000.00

Weinhold Legal

€5,000.00

Giles J. Kennedy & Co.

€5,000.00

Boyanov & Co

€5,000.00

Barry C. Galvin & Son Solicitors

€5,000.00

Horwath Bastow Charleton Consultants Ltd

€4,000.00

Allied Legal Services

€4,000.00

Jones Day

€4,000.00

Eugene Gleeson SC

€4,000.00

Vieira de Almeida & Associados

€3,000.00

Uria Menedez

€3,000.00

James Dwyer Senior Counsel

€3,000.00

Shaffrey Associates

€3,000.00

Ogier

€3,000.00

IMG Planning Limited

€3,000.00

Callin Wild

€3,000.00

Olwyn Bennett

€2,000.00

Mason Hayes & Curran

€2,000.00

DWF LLP

€2,000.00

Deloitte & Associados, SROC S.A

€2,000.00

Shepherd & Wedderburn LLP

€2,000.00

Avalon Security Services Ltd

€2,000.00

Marston Book Services Ltd

€1,000.00

Salans FMC SNR Denton Europe LLP

€1,000.00

Cheeswrights Notories Public

€1,000.00

CB Richard Ellis

€1,000.00

Martin Canny

€1,000.00

John Redmond

€1,000.00

Thomson Reuters (Professional) Ireland Ltd

€1,000.00

Eversheds LLP

€1,000.00

Catherine Walsh Barrister-at-Law

€1,000.00

Richard Black Solicitors

€1,000.00

CIE (Coras Iompair Eireann)

€1,000.00

Sean Lynch

€1,000.00

Revenue:

The use of legal services in key areas such as tax, customs and general litigation and external service delivery in relation to debt recovery, is an integral part of Revenue's business model.

Alison Keirse, B.L.

€37,533.45

Anthony Aston, S.C.

€79,796.25

Anthony Kerr, B.L.

€5,339.68

Anthony M. Collins, S.C.

€98,398.77

Aoife Goodman, B.L.

€71,278.50

Arthur Cox Solicitors

€27,575.00

Arthur Cunningham, B.L.

€28,290.00

Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon

€1,593.00

Benedict Ó Floinn, B.L.

€35,445.52

Brendan Conway, B.L.

€12,383.64

Brian Kearney BL

€4,821.60

Brian Murray, S.C.

€8,303.73

Catherine Donnelly, B.L.

€3,505.50

Ciaran Ramsay, S.C.

€136,591.50

Clíona J.M. Kimber, B.L.

€2,172.67

Connolly Sellors Geraghy

€43,013.00

Conor Bourke, B.L.

€62,331.48

David Quinn BL

€9,354.15

Dearbhla Cunningham, B.L.

€22,263.00

Denis McDonald, S.C.

€78,351.00

Dermot Cahill, B.L.

€21,820.20

Dermot Sheehan, B.L.

€13,929.75

Desmond Dockery B.L.

€3,198.00

Dorothy Collins B.L.

€9,225.00

Doyle Court Reporters Ltd

€76,144.00

Eileen Finn, B.L.

€34,378.50

Elaine Grier, B.L.

€26,678.70

Elizabeth Cogan, B.L.

€8,382.45

Eoghan Fitzsimons, S.C.

€10,750.20

Eoin Clifford, B.L.

€23,702.10

Eoin McCullough S.C.

€1,845.00

Fergus Ryan B.L.

€28,966.50

George V. Maloney

€558.00

Gráinne Clohessy, S.C.

€184,413.90

Gráinne Duggan, B.L.

€25,015.26

Gwen Malone Stenography Services

€58,122.00

Holmes O'Malley Sexton

€888,107.00

Imogen McGrath B.L.

€5,018.65

Ivor Fitzpatrick

€1,092,108.00

James Dwyer, S.C.

€4,674.00

Jane Hyland B.L.

€922.50

Jeananne McGovern, B.L.

€44,858.10

Jennifer O'Connell, B.L.

€30,319.50

John Byrne, B.L.

€13,049.07

John DonnellyB.L.

€369.00

John Lucey, S.C.

€645.75

Jonathan Tomkin B.L.

€12,730.50

Kelley Smith, B.L.

€126,193.08

Kevin Segrave, B.L.

€4,118.04

Kieran Binchy, B.L.

€15,614.85

Kieran Kelly B.L.

€30,731.55

Lavelle Coleman

€717,487.00

Lees Solicitors

€2,514.00

Lorcan Connolly, B.L.

€4,637.10

Lorcan Staines B.L.

€6,150.00

Lorna Gallagher, B.L.

€20,590.20

Mark O'Mahony, B.L.

€39,540.20

Mason Hayes & Curran

€894,982.00

Matheson

€824,739.00

Maurice Collins S.C.

€15,375.00

McMahon & Williams

€4,851.00

Michael Ramsey BL

€12,300.00

Niall O'Hanlon, B.L.

€17,664.28

Oisín Clarke BL

€1,230.00

Patrick Quinn, S.C.

€64,378.20

Paul Anthony McDermott, B.L.

€8,302.50

Philip Sheahan B.L.

€2,346.84

Pierse Fitzgibbon

€929,781.00

Robert Barron, S.C.

€19,249.50

Robert Cussen & Son

€2,263.00

Robert E. Bourke B.L.

€1,537.50

Rochford Brady Legal Services Ltd

€62,478.00

Rosemary Healy-Rae, B.L.

€18,825.15

Rudi Neuman Shanahan, B.L.

€1,418.19

Sally O'Neill B.L.

€5,043.00

Sarah-Kate Foley B.L.

€307.50

Seamus Clarke, B.L.

€4,416.93

Serena Bennett B.L.

€393.60

Shelley Horan BL

€35,799.15

Thomas Rice B.L.

€2,479.68

Tom Power BL

€39,089.41

Treacy & Co

€7,600.00

Una Tighe, B.L.

€9,938.40

Will Fennelly, B.L.

€3,351.75

Central Bank: I am informed by the Central Bank that the total legal fees paid by the Central Bank in 2013 was €2,600,000 broken down in the following ranges (as across):

McCann Fitzgerald

€1,500,000 - €2,000,000

Arthur Cox , Byrne Wallace

€100,000 - €200,000

Each of 8 Individual Firms/Senior Counsel

€25,000 - €100,000

Each of 28 Individual Firms/Senior Counsel

€0 - €25,000

For reasons of commercial confidentiality, it is not possible for the Central Bank to further break down these amounts.

Tax Reliefs Cost

Question No. 96 answered with Question No. 59.

Questions Nos. 97 and 98 answered with Question No. 61.

Questions (95)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

95. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance the number of claims received by the Revenue Commissioners in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 for relief under section 291(a) of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997; the gross cost of granting the relief in each of the above years; the estimated cost of the relief in 2013 and 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11901/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Section 291A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 was introduced in Finance Act 2009 and enables companies to claim capital allowances for expenditure incurred on the provision of intangible assets (e.g. patents, copyright, trademarks, know-how) for the purposes of a trade.

Allowances are based on the amount charged to the profit and loss account in respect of the amortisation or depreciation of the intangible asset. Alternatively, companies can opt for a write-down of expenditure over 15 years at a rate of 7% per year, with 2% in the final year.

 Allowances may only be offset against income deriving from activities of managing, developing and exploiting intangible assets as part of a company's trade. It should also be noted that these capital allowances are ring-fenced for use against the income arising from the intangible asset on which the expenditure was incurred. This ensures that the capital allowances are only available in respect of income which would likely not otherwise arise. Also, for any accounting period, the aggregate amount of allowances, plus interest on any borrowings to fund the allowable expenditure, may not exceed 80% of trading income (before allowances and interest) of the relevant trade, with any excess carried forward for offset against trading income in subsequent accounting periods.

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the estimated numbers of claims and gross cost of allowances under Section 291A claimed by companies on the corporation tax returns for the tax years 2009 to 2012 are as set out in the following table. It should be noted that the estimated tax cost shown below is the maximum tax cost associated with the claims in each tax year and takes no account of increased economic activity arising from the measure.

Tax Year

Number of Claims

Estimated Tax Cost

2009

180

€1.2m

2010

176

€20.3m

2011

193

€76.2m

2012 (Provisional)

249

€108.0m

The estimated cost of the relief in the tax years 2013 and 2014 are not yet available.

Question No. 96 answered with Question No. 59.
Questions Nos. 97 and 98 answered with Question No. 61.

Mortgage Schemes

Questions (99)

Michael McGrath

Question:

99. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if there is an impact on an individual's legal protection and consumer rights in the event that their mortgage is securitised by their bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11944/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am informed by the Central Bank of Ireland that, although each securitisation is different, in general terms under a securitisation a bank sells a portfolio of mortgages to a special purpose vehicle (SPV). The mortgages are generally not sold to the market and do not change form. When a bank securitises a portfolio of mortgages/debts, it usually transfers the portfolio by way of an equitable assignment or entrustment, which is not the same as a transfer by a bank of its loan book. When a bank securitises a portfolio of mortgages/debts, the beneficial rights to the portfolio are generally transferred to the purchaser, while the bank remains the legal title holder to the portfolio.

The application of the Central Bank's consumer codes depends on the regulatory status of the legal title holder. Where the legal title holder is a regulated entity, it is required to adhere to the consumer codes. For example, the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears applies to the legal title holder of a mortgage portfolio where that legal title holder is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

IBRC Liquidation

Questions (100)

Peter Mathews

Question:

100. Deputy Peter Mathews asked the Minister for Finance if he will confirm further to the special liquidator of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation's statement (details supplied) to the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform that the partner leading the valuation work was from PwC in London and that any PwC people could not have had a prior relationship with IBRC; if he will clarify whether the special liquidators were specially referring to the corporate entity that is IBRC alone or whether he was including the predecessor financial institutions of Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide in the context of that statement; if he will confirm whether any of the partners, executives or staff involved in Project Atlas has anything to do with the valuation work on the IBRC; if he will confirm whether the names of any partners executives or staff involved in Project Atlas were included in the tender document PwC submitted to IBRC to obtain the mandate; if he will confirm whether in the tender document submitted by PwC to obtain the mandate whether it was led by partners from PwC in London or Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11952/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Special Liquidators that the valuation exercise being carried out by PwC is being led by partners in the UK office of PwC and not by partners based in Dublin. As the Deputy will be aware Project Atlas was an assignment carried out by PwC for the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority in 2008 and 2009 and it reflects a fundamentally different assignment from the work currently being undertaken by PwC for the Special Liquidators in this case. I am advised by the Special Liquidators that they are aware of one partner in PwC who was involved in the Project Atlas work for the IFSRA during that time and is also a member of the team carrying our the valuation exercises for the Special Liquidators. PwC have confirmed to the Special Liquidators that no conflict of interest arises in this case.

I am further advised by the Special Liquidators that PwC were appointed following a competitive tender based on both their experience in the loan portfolio space and the cost of the services provided. The Special Liquidators are satisfied that no conflict of interest arises in this case.