Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (214, 215)

Michael McGrath

Question:

214. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of persons who have availed of the exemption from the local property tax on the grounds that the residential property was purchased, built or adapted to make it suitable for occupation by a permanently and totally incapacitated person as their sole or main residence, where an award has been made by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board or a court or where a trust has been established specifically for the benefit of such persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21452/14]

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Michael McGrath

Question:

215. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of persons who have availed of the exemption from the local property tax on the grounds that the property was purchased built or adapted to cater for a permanently and totally incapacitated persons where there was no award from a court or the Personal Injuries Assessment Board or where no public trust fund was established or where no grant was received from a local authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21459/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 214 and 215 together.

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that according to Local Property Tax (LPT) statistics recently published on their website: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/lpt/lpt-stats-0414.pdf, the exemption under section 10B of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) was claimed in respect of about 1,700 residential properties. Section 10B provides that an exemption from the charge to LPT may apply to a residential property purchased, built or adapted to make it suitable for occupation by a permanently and totally incapacitated individual as their sole or main residence, where an award has been made by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board or a court, or where a trust has been established, specifically for the benefit of such individuals. In the case of adaptations to a property, the exemption only applies where the cost of the adaptations exceeds 25% of the market value of the property before it is adapted.

Regarding Question No. 215 (21459/14), a permanently and totally incapacitated person who did not benefit from a court or Injuries Board award or a public trust fund would not have been entitled to the exemption contained in section 10B of the LPT Act. 

Following representations and a review of the exemption by Revenue, I announced on 2 May that I intend bringing forward legislation and to remove the requirement that a permanent and totally incapacitated person must benefit from a Court or Injuries Board or a public trust fund, to qualify for the exemption.

My officials have written to the Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners advising her of my intention to retrospectively amend the legislation. In view of my intention to bring forward legislation the Chairman has advised me that Revenue will apply the exemption in line with the proposed revised legislation, and will shortly publish revised guidelines on the Revenue website.