Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (233, 234, 235, 236)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

233. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the annual cost of the commuter Taxsaver scheme allowance in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form. [13860/19]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

234. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of workers using the Taxsaver commuter scheme; and the percentage of scheme participants as a percentage of the workforce in each of the years 1999 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form. [13870/19]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

235. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the average rate of subsidy in percentage and gross terms provided to users of the Taxsaver commuter scheme in each of the years 1999 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form. [13871/19]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

236. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the geographical breakdown of workers using the Taxsaver commuter scheme by county or closest possible unit of measurement in each of the years 1999 to 2018, inclusive, and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13872/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 233 to 236, inclusive, together.

Section 118(5A) of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 exempts employees and directors from benefit-in-kind taxation where an expense has been incurred by an employer on the provision of a monthly or annual bus, rail or ferry travel pass for the employee or director. Section 118B provides that the exemption may also apply to bus, rail or ferry travel passes obtained under a salary sacrifice arrangement.

There is no specific notification procedure for the employers involved, nor for the directors or employees, nor for the transport providers. Accordingly, the Revenue Commissioners do not have statistics on the uptake of the scheme and therefore I cannot give the Deputy any detailed costs or breakdown of its impact.

My Department notes, in the current Tax Expenditures Report, that the cost of the scheme is €3.5m and that it is utilised by 35,000 annually, however these figures are estimated. The report is available at www.budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2019/Documents/Tax%20Expenditures%20Report%202018%20FINAL%2017.10.18%20(002).pdf

Question No. 237 answered with Question No. 176.