Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (139, 140, 147)

John Lahart

Question:

139. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Finance his views on the fact that the employees of a company (details supplied) are having their health insurance entitlements taxed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51739/18]

View answer

Brendan Ryan

Question:

140. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance the rationale behind taxing a scheme (details supplied); if an analysis has been undertaken of the ultimate cost if members leave the scheme due to the taxation measures planned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51757/18]

View answer

Clare Daly

Question:

147. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance if the Revenue Commissioners have taken a decision to collect tax on the medical service provided by a company (details supplied) to its 3,000 pensioners from January 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51915/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 139, 140 and 147 together.

The Deputies will be aware that the administration of the tax code is a matter for Revenue. The Deputies will also be aware that, in accordance with the provisions of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 as regards the confidentiality of a taxpayer’s affairs, Revenue does not comment on the tax affairs of individual taxpayers.

The position in tax law is that where an employer provides free access to medical services to employees or provides refunds to employees in relation to medical services paid for by the employees, the employees are subject to tax on the services or refunds received. However, Revenue does not seek to apply benefit-in-kind where employees have free access to a general practitioner employed or retained by their employer. In addition, one medical check-up per year, and check-ups that are mandatory for work purposes, may also be provided. These exceptions are set out in published Revenue guidelines, and they apply as appropriate to all employers.

Where free access to medical services is provided to retired employees by their former employer, these services are not taxable. If retired employees are reimbursed by their former employer for medical services, the amounts reimbursed are taxable.

The relevant tax legislation applies to all employers equally and there are no exceptions to the aforementioned rules for particular employers, employees or retired employees.  The manner in which any company provides services to its employees or retired employees is entirely a matter for that company to agree with their employees and retired employees.