Real Estate Investment Trusts

Questions (108, 109, 110, 111)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

108. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Finance the first and full-year cost of abolishing stamp duty for first-time buyers of a residential property. [52559/19]

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Darragh O'Brien

Question:

109. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Finance the estimated additional revenue from a 1% stamp duty surcharge on residential property purchases by REITs, IREFs and section 110 companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52560/19]

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Darragh O'Brien

Question:

110. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Finance the estimated revenue generated by stamp duty receipts from residential property purchases by REITs, IREFs and section 110 companies per annum since 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52561/19]

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Darragh O'Brien

Question:

111. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Finance the estimated additional revenue from a 1% stamp duty surcharge on residential property purchases by non-Irish resident purchasers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52562/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 108 to 111, inclusive, together.

I am advised by Revenue that it is not possible to provide the information requested by the Deputy as the categories of purchaser mentioned (first time buyers, REITs, IREFs, section 110 companies and non-Irish residents) are not separately identified on Revenue’s Stamp Duty system. This is because there is no differential treatment applied to such taxpayers in the application of Stamp Duty on the purchase of residential property.

Real Estate Investment Trusts

Questions (112)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

112. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Finance his plans to review taxation of REITs, IREFs and section 110 companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52563/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Government monitors the actions of institutional investors in the Irish property market and has taken action when abuses have been identified. Action was taken in 2016 to address concerns about the use of section 110 and fund vehicles by foreign investors to take profits derived from Irish real estate without paying Irish tax. This resulted in the introduction of the IREF (Irish Real Estate Fund) framework in 2016. 

The Deputy will be aware that a number of amendments are being made to the taxation of REITs, IREFs and section 110 companies in Finance Bill 2019. A number of anti-avoidance measures are being introduced to the IREF regime to ensure appropriate levels of tax are paid by investors in Irish property by preventing the use of excessive debt and other payments to reduce distributable profits and preventing the avoidance of tax on gains on the redemption of IREF units. In addition, the IREF return filing requirement is being placed on a mandatory annual footing and the information which Revenue can request has been increased to facilitate ongoing monitoring of the sector. 

Several amendments are being made to the taxation of REITs in the Finance Bill 2019 to ensure the regime operates as intended.  The obligation to deduct REIT Dividend Withholding Tax has been extended to include distributions of the proceeds of capital disposals and new measures have been introduced to require the proceeds of property disposals to be re-invested in property assets or distributed within a set period. The deemed disposal provisions upon cessation of REIT status have been restricted to REITs that have been in operation for at least 15 years, in line with the regime's stated objective of encouraging long-term, stable investment in rental property. 

Section 110 sets out a regime for the taxation of special purpose companies set up to securitise assets. A number of amendments are being made to the section 110 regime in the Finance Bill 2019 to strengthen the significant restrictions to the deductions which a section 110 company can claim for payment of profit participating notes to a specified person. The amendments also place the section’s main purpose test on an objective basis, which will enable Revenue to more effectively challenge abuse of the legislation. 

As part of the 2018 Finance Act process I committed to produce a report on REITs, IREFs and section 110 companies as they invest in the Irish property market. This report was prepared by my officials and presented to the Tax Strategy Group in July. 

The importance of institutional investment in the supply of both commercial and residential property must be recognised. Rebuilding Ireland identified the encouragement of the build-to-rent sector as a key factor in improving the rental sector and acknowledged that institutional investors have the potential to provide significant investment in such projects. Increasing the supply of urban apartments is essential if we are to reach our National Planning Framework targets and reduce price pressures for tenants. 

However, where such investment brings profit, a fair share of tax must be paid.  Therefore, as I stated in my Budget speech, scrutiny of activities in this sector will continue and further corrective action will be taken if necessary.

Universal Social Charge Data

Questions (113)

David Cullinane

Question:

113. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Finance the estimated full-year revenue raised by a universal social charge at rates and income brackets (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52648/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Based on the current rate and band structure of the Universal Social Charge (USC), it is projected that the USC will raise €3.9 billion in 2020.

I am informed by Revenue that if the current structure of the USC was replaced with the rates and bands outlined by the Deputy, the estimated amount collected would be €230 million on a full year basis.

This assumes that there would be no exemption from the USC at any level of income, and no surcharge would apply to self-employed income. The reduced rate of USC for medical card holders and individuals who are aged 70 or over whose individual annual income does not exceed €60,000 has been retained but changed to 0.2% in line with the second USC band in the Deputy’s proposal.

These estimated figures are based on projected 2020 incomes, calculated from actual data for the year 2017, and may be revised.

Film Industry Tax Reliefs

Questions (114)

David Cullinane

Question:

114. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Finance the estimated full-year saving to the Exchequer of the withdrawal of section 481 investment in film scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52649/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Section 481 TCA 1997 provides a 32% payable credit for eligible expenditure on film production in Ireland. It is available to Irish and international film production companies that are resident in the State or in an EEA State and carry on business in the State through a branch or subsidiary. The scheme is intended to act as a stimulus to the creation of an indigenous film industry in the State, creating quality employment opportunities and supporting the expression of the Irish culture.

As the level of future investment in the film industry, and therefore future claims to the tax credit, cannot be quantified, the potential saving from a withdrawal of the scheme could only be estimated by reference to the historical cost of film credit. 

The annual cost of the film tax credit can be found under the ‘Investment in Films’ heading in the Costs of Tax Expenditures table published at link: https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/tax-expenditures/costs-expenditures.aspx. This shows a cost for 2016 of c.€75 million and a cost to date for 2017 of c.€23 million.  Due to the manner in which film credit is claimed, the tax costs are provisional and continue to increase over two years. The table, and the figures for 2016 and 2017, will be updated accordingly over time.

The Deputy may also be aware that a cost benefit analysis of the film tax credit was conducted by my Department in 2018, and is available online in the following report: http://www.budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2019/Documents/Tax%20Expenditures%20Report%202018%20FINAL%2017.10.18%20(002).pdf.  This analysis examined the economic cost and benefits of the scheme for the year 2016, while taking into account standard estimates of the shadow price of labour, the shadow price of public funds, and grant deadweight - subject to data availability. The total result of the cost-benefit analysis was a net economic cost to society of €72 million in 2016, before consideration of the cultural dividend and other unquantifiable benefits. The average net economic cost for 2015 and 2016 was €56.2 million.  However, it is important to note that data constraints and the unquantifiable nature of the cultural return to society make it difficult to capture the entirety of economic benefits associated with this relief.

A number of significant changes were made to the credit as part of the 2018 Finance Bill process. In recognition of the nature of the production cycle and the long lead in times needed for productions to be undertaken, the credit was extended from its original end date of 31 December 2020 to 31 December 2024.  In conjunction with this extension, and in order to ensure a robust administration process and oversight of claims, the credit was moved to a self-assessment system, in line with other similar reliefs.  The application process has also been divided between the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to provide an opportunity for earlier engagement on the training requirements associated with the credit, including the quality of training to be provided. The Finance Bill 2018 also provided for a new short-term, tapered regional uplift, commencing at 5%, for certain productions being made in areas designated under the State aid regional guidelines. The regional uplift will be phased out on a tiered basis over 5 years.

Motor Insurance Claims

Questions (115)

Michael McGrath

Question:

115. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if the national claims information database has been fully established; if not, when it will be established; if aggregated data will be published as part of the database; when public and employer liability will be incorporated into the database; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52672/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

As the Deputy is aware, the National Claims Information Database (NCID) is intended to facilitate a more in-depth analysis of annual trends in motor insurance claims.  This is seen as key to developing an understanding of how claims costs are impacting premiums, in particular understanding the relationship between the price paid by a customer for motor insurance and the cost to insurance undertakings.  Following the enactment and commencement of the Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Act 2018, and the subsequent making of the Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Regulations 2019 (S.I. No. 174 of 2019), earlier this year, the NCID has been established in the Central Bank of Ireland. 

The Deputy will be aware that yesterday, 16 December 2019, the Central Bank of Ireland published the first National Claims Information Database Report on Private Motor Insurance, which includes aggregate data from the NCID.  The aggregate nature of the data collected has meant that there are fewer legal and technical complexities involved, and that is why it has been possible to have the NCID established and reporting so quickly. 

Both Minister of State D’Arcy and I commend the work of the Central Bank in bringing this Report to fruition.  We believe it is an excellent report, which provides an objective overview of private motor claims costs including legal costs over the last number of years.

I would hope that going forward the increased transparency brought about by the NCID, along with other legislative changes, can help to provide more stability in the market, thus avoiding the peaks and troughs for consumers in terms of premium pricing.  This should ultimately make the Irish market more attractive to new entrants and I would hope that this might be one of the outcomes of this exercise in time.

I believe that the Report shows that the insurance and legal sectors have both serious questions to answer regarding the difficulties we have faced over the last number of years with the price of motor insurance.

It appears that insurers under-priced in the early part of this decade and then increased premiums beyond levels that were needed to cover losses incurred and consequently are now making significant profits.  At the same time, the legal costs associated with the litigation settlement channel seem disproportionate when one considers that the report indicates that the award levels for those settlements under €100,000 are not much higher than equivalent settlements in PIAB.  In addition, the length of time to settle these claims is nearly two years longer than in PIAB, which in itself drives up the cost of insurance. 

While it is true to say that the nature or severity of the injury claims settled in the different channels can vary significantly and there may be good reasons for pursuing litigation, I believe that this report makes it clear that in overall terms, PIAB offers the most cost-effective settlement channel and I would hope that its settlement rates increase going forward.  This is a key aim of the work of the Cost of Insurance Working Group. 

The NCID Report also demonstrates why we must address award levels in this country if we want to see cheaper insurance premiums and an increased risk appetite from insurers.  In this regard, the NCID Report shows that personal injury claims have been driving the cost of claims in recent years – representing 75% of the ultimate claims costs over the period.  This is not sustainable in my view.  This is all the more concerning as the Report shows that these increased costs are not being driven by a higher frequency of claims.  I believe that our focus therefore must continue to be on the Judicial Council and its publication of the new Personal Injuries Guidelines.

With regard to employer and public liability insurance claims related information being incorporated into the NCID, the Deputy should note that the Central Bank has the power to expand the scope of the NCID to other classes of non-life insurance under the Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Act 2018.  The Deputy will recall that our focus was on ensuring that the NCID was able to collect private motor insurance first and it was for that reason that the CIWG recommended that the Central Bank first undertake a study on the merits and feasibility of expanding the scope of the NCID to employer and public liability insurance claims (recommendation 2).  The Central Bank is finalising its consideration of the merits and feasibility of collecting this data and the CIWG expects to receive the Central Bank’s final view on this shortly in line with the timeframe for the recommendation.   A decision will be made at that stage as to whether the database will be expanded to cover employer and public liability insurance.

VAT Rebates

Questions (116)

Pat Deering

Question:

116. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Finance the rate of VAT rebate at the point of sale paid to regular farmers, feedlot farmers and factory owned feedlots; his views on whether there is an imbalance in the rates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52697/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that in accordance with the EU VAT Directive farmers may register for VAT or be treated as flat-rate farmers for VAT purposes. Farmers who elect to register for VAT have an entitlement to reclaim VAT on costs incurred in relation to the farm business; if they remain unregistered they are entitled to apply a flat-rate addition to their supplies to VAT registered businesses to compensate them for the VAT borne on input costs by such farmers. 

Currently, the flat-rate addition applied by unregistered farmers to their supplies to VAT registered businesses is 5.4%, which is the rate calculated to compensate farmers at the aggregate level for the VAT borne by them in the course of their farming activities. This rate applies to all qualifying farmers across all agricultural sectors, including farmers involved in intensive farming such as farming activities described as feedlots. The VAT registered business treats the flat-rate amount as a normal business input in its periodic VAT return, claiming input credit for the flat-rate amount paid to the flat-rate farmer.

The flat-rate addition is reviewed each year and adjusted where necessary to ensure that farmers who are not registered for VAT are compensated at the aggregate level for the unrecoverable VAT borne on their input costs.

The operation of the flat-rate addition scheme in respect of feedlots has been the subject of previous questions but unless there are structures and contractual arrangements in place to enable the industry to engineer a systematic excess of flat rate addition payments over VAT costs no VAT policy issue arises. I have the power to exclude an agricultural sector from the flat-rate scheme where I am satisfied that, because of the business structures, contractual arrangements or models in place, the application of the flat-rate addition within that sector has resulted in, and would otherwise continue to result in, a systematic excess of flat-rate addition payments over input costs incurred by flat-rate farmers in that sector. I am currently considering such a report from Revenue in respect of the poultry sector. If the Deputy has information about similar structures in any other sector he should refer it to Revenue.

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland

Questions (117)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

117. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Finance if the external review of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland has been completed by the National Treasury Management Agency appointee; if he has received a copy of the review document; if so, if he will publish the report in full and or make it available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52709/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) is Ireland’s national promotional institution. The purpose of the SBCI is to deliver effective financial supports to Irish SMEs to address gaps and potential failures in the Irish SME finance market as well as encouraging competition and innovation, and facilitating the efficient and effective use of EU resources and financial instruments. The SBCI achieves this through the provision of low cost liquidity and risk-sharing guarantee activities that support the provision of appropriately priced, flexible funding to Irish SMEs. 

Following a public procurement process, the SBCI appointed EY on the 9 May 2019 to perform an external strategic review of the SBCI. EY’s task is to complete a strategic review of the SBCI as a policy delivery mechanism and national promotional institution within the context of the state’s suite of supports for SMEs.

I am advised by the SBCI that the EY Review is currently being finalised and is being considered by the Board of the SBCI in the context of the development of the SBCI’s new Strategic Plan. The timing of the publication of the Review and the Strategic Plan will be determined by the Board once they are finalised but it is expected to be early in the New Year.

Tax Data

Questions (118)

David Cullinane

Question:

118. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Finance the estimated full-year revenue raised from a universal charge of 0.1% on total income and gains before deductions and charges on companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52782/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I have assumed for the purposes of this question that the measure of income and gains to which the Deputy refers is adjusted trading profits before deduction of losses, capital allowances and other charges.  I am advised by Revenue that the yield from introducing a new charge of 0.1% on this measure of income and gains of companies, before all deductions and charges, is tentatively estimated to be about €170 million in a full year. This estimate assumes no behavioural change on the part of the companies.

The types of deductions that the Deputy is referring to would include deductions for capital allowances and trading losses. The provision of capital allowances for capital expenditure is a standard feature of both corporation tax and income tax systems.  It recognises the cost incurred by businesses on capital assets that are used in the business over a lifespan of multiple years.  Such costs are amortised in the financial statements of businesses.  This amortisation (depreciation) is added back in the calculation of adjusted trading profits and relief for these costs is allowed instead under the capital allowances system.

It is also standard practice in all OECD countries to allow trading losses to be carried forward into future years, in recognition of the fact that business cycles operate over more than one year.

I would also note that a charge of the nature proposed by the Deputy would not be in keeping with our corporation tax system and the certainty that provides to business, and nor would it be coherent with the income tax system applying to business profits of sole traders and partnerships.

Revenue Commissioners Enforcement Activity

Questions (119)

Michael McGrath

Question:

119. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the policy of the Revenue Commissioners regarding the referral of cases to the sheriff for the collection of debt; the reason for the period of time that has to elapse from a notice of demand for payment before the case can be referred to the sheriff; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52791/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that its primary objective is to ensure that all taxpayers and businesses meet their tax obligations in a timely fashion and pay their liabilities as they fall due. This approach ensures that the Exchequer is funded to meet the needs of citizens and a ‘level playing field’ is maintained for the majority of taxpayers and businesses who are timely tax compliant.

Revenue also accepts that taxpayers or businesses can sometimes experience temporary cashflow difficulties that impact on their ability to meet tax obligations on a timely basis. In such circumstances, Revenue’s clear preference is to work with the taxpayer to agree a mutually acceptable payment solution in preference to deploying debt collection/enforcement sanctions. For example, in 2018, more than 9,000 businesses were granted a phased payment arrangement involving an overall liability of €83 million rather than using debt collection options. Any such arrangement will include a statutory interest component, which Revenue is obliged to apply.

In general, cases are only referred for debt collection/enforcement action where a taxpayer or business fails to engage on the matter and offers no satisfactory proposals towards addressing the outstanding liability. In each case, prior to any debt collection/enforcement action taking place, the taxpayer or business receives at least two notifications from Revenue seeking payment and setting out the consequences of continued non-compliance. These notifications include specified timelines (normally 7 days for each notification) to make payment or to engage with Revenue on the matter.

Revenue has assured me that it will not deploy debt collection/enforcement action where a taxpayer or business fully engages in identifying a mutually acceptable solution. For this reason, it is very important that the taxpayer or business makes early contact with Revenue and does not ignore any notifications or demands for payment. 

Brexit Preparations

Questions (120)

James Browne

Question:

120. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding the recruitment of 30 officers to Rosslare Europort; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52885/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

In September 2018, the Government granted approval in principle for the phased recruitment of an additional 600 Revenue staff to meet the challenges posed by Brexit.  Budget 2019 provided Revenue with the funding needed for 270 of the additional 600 staff to be recruited during 2019 to manage an orderly UK withdrawal from the EU.

Following a Government decision in December 2018 to give greater priority to the preparations for a no-deal Brexit, it was agreed to accelerate Revenue’s recruitment plans. In the period from September 2018 to the end of October 2019, Revenue appointed 588 staff (of the 600 agreed in September 2018) to Brexit related roles. Of these, 30 staff were assigned to Rosslare Europort. I am advised by Revenue that recruitment, training and deployment of staff is subject to ongoing adjustment in light of evolving business needs and Brexit-related developments.

Mortgage Arrears Rate

Questions (121)

Michael McGrath

Question:

121. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if the Central Bank has carried out work to assess the proportion of mortgage arrears cases in which relationship breakdown may be a factor; his views on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52929/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I have been informed by the Central Bank of Ireland (Central Bank) that it has not carried out work to assess the proportion of mortgage arrears cases in which relationship breakdown may be a factor as they do not collect such data. The Central Bank publishes data on Residential Mortgage Arrears and Repossession on a quarterly basis and the data is collected under the headings of arrears timelines, restructuring arrangements and legal activity & repossessions. 

The Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) provides that in the case of joint borrowers who notify the lender in writing that they have separated or divorced, the lender should treat each borrower as a single borrower under the CCMA (except to the extent that an action requires, as a matter of law, the agreement of both borrowers). As with all cases of arrears, due regard must be given to the fact that each case is unique and needs to be considered on its own merits. All cases must be handled sympathetically and positively by the regulated entity, with the objective at all times of assisting the borrower to meet his or her mortgage obligations.

Tax Data

Questions (122)

David Cullinane

Question:

122. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Finance the estimated yearly amount raised by a levy on online digital advertising at 0.5%, 1%, 2%, 3% and 5%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52940/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that the available data in tax returns is not sufficiently detailed to enable a calculation of the likely tax yield resulting from a levy on online digital advertising.

Also, digital advertising taxes can potentially apply to companies not otherwise taxable in Ireland and Revenue does not hold relevant information in respect of such possible liable entities. For these reasons, it is not possible to provide an estimate of the amount that could be raised by the proposal.

Tax Code

Questions (123)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

123. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Finance his plans to introduce specific provisions via legislation following receipt of a detailed analysis report by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners in respect of flat rate tax and possible over-compensation in the poultry sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52955/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Deputy will be aware that Revenue brought to the attention of my Department that the business models and contractual arrangements in the poultry sector created the conditions for the generation of a systematic excess of flat-rate addition payments to farmers in the sector over their VAT input costs. Provision was made in the Finance Act 2016 for the exclusion from the flat-rate addition scheme by Ministerial Order of any particular agricultural sector where such a systematic excess exists, following receipt of a report from Revenue on the operation of the flat-rate scheme in the sector in question. My Department is currently examining such a report concerning the poultry sector.

Tax Code

Questions (124)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

124. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Finance if consideration has been given to tax relief or other forms of incentives on teleconferencing equipment with the objective of reducing emissions by minimising unnecessary travel to meetings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52965/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

It is established Government practice to use exemptions or incentives in the tax system in limited circumstances where there are demonstrable market failures and where a tax-based incentive is more efficient than a direct expenditure intervention. It is not clear that such is the situation in specific relation to teleconferencing equipment.

That said, I am advised by Revenue that an annual allowance (known as a wear and tear allowance) is available for capital expenditure incurred on the provision of machinery or plant for business purposes. The allowances are granted at a rate of 12.5% per annum over 8 years.  The item of plant or machinery must be in use at the end of the period for which the allowance is being claimed. Expenditure incurred on teleconferencing equipment would be eligible for the allowance provided such equipment is used for business purposes.

In relation to travel to meetings, it is a general rule in the public service that only essential travel is undertaken and that the number of officers on any official journey is kept to the absolute minimum and teleconferencing is one means used to reduce travel, both in Ireland and abroad.

For instance, my Department has in place video conferencing facilities which staff can avail of for meetings.  In addition, equipment such as web cameras and headsets, have been rolled out to a number of staff to facilitate video / web conferencing from pcs.

Revenue Commissioners Data

Questions (125, 126, 127, 128)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

125. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Finance the amount of cash seized from persons entering or leaving the State by the Revenue Commissioners enforcement unit at Cork and Shannon airports in each of the past three years and to date in 2019; the amount of cash forfeited to the Exchequer in each year; and the amount returned on appeal. [52966/19]

View answer

Catherine Murphy

Question:

126. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Finance the amount of cash seized from persons entering or leaving the State by the Revenue Commissioners enforcement unit at Dublin Port and Rosslare Port in each of the past three years to date in 2019; the amount of cash forfeited to the Exchequer in each year; and the amount returned on appeal. [52967/19]

View answer

Catherine Murphy

Question:

127. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Finance the estimated monetary value of contraband seized from persons entering or leaving the State by the Revenue Commissioners enforcement unit at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports in each of the past three years and to date in 2019; the amount of cash forfeited to the Exchequer in each year; and the amount returned on appeal. [52968/19]

View answer

Catherine Murphy

Question:

128. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Finance the estimated monetary value of contraband seized from persons entering or leaving the State by the Revenue Commissioners enforcement unit at Dublin and Rosslare ports in each of the past three years and to date in 2019; the amount of cash forfeited to the Exchequer in each year; and the amount returned on appeal. [52969/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 125 to 128, inclusive, together.

Details of all suspect criminal cash which was detained at Dublin Port, Rosslare Port, Cork Airport and Shannon Airport on foot of Detention Orders granted by a Judge of the District Court are listed in tables 1 to 4 below. The detained cash is either returned to the claimant or forfeited to the State on foot of a Forfeiture Order secured at a Circuit Court hearing. Details of the cash returned, and the Forfeiture Orders secured arising from these detentions are also included in the tables[1].    

[1] Section 38 Criminal Justice Act 1994 as amended by the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005 contains provisions that the total period of detention shall not exceed two years from the date the original Detention Order was authorised by a judge of the District Court. Hence the investigation of cash detained in 2018 and 2019 is ongoing in many of these cases.      

Table 1 – Dublin Port Cash detentions 2016 to 2019 

-

Dublin Port Cash Detentions

Resulting Forfeiture Orders / Returns

Year

District Court Detention Orders

Circuit Court Forfeiture Orders

Cash Returned

2019

[Jan. to Nov.].

€189,420

Nil

Nil

2018

€19,439

Nil

€19,439

2017

€42,066

€29,670

€12,396

2016

€67,459

€43,594

€21,365

Table 2 – Rosslare Port Cash detentions 2016 to 2019 

-

Rosslare Port Cash Detentions

Resulting Forfeiture Orders / Returns

Year

District Court Detention Orders

Circuit Court Forfeiture Orders

Cash Returned

2019

[Jan. to Nov.].

€38,568

Nil

€5,800

2018

€57,238

Nil

€27,088

2017

€15,500

€15,500

Nil

2016

€9,385

Nil

€9,385

Table 3 – Cork airport Cash detentions 2016 to 2019 

-

Cork airport Cash Detentions

Resulting Forfeiture Orders / Returns

Year

District Court Detention Orders

Circuit Court Forfeiture Orders

Cash Returned

2019

[Jan. to Nov.].

Nil

Nil

Nil

2018

€70,800

€10,800

Nil

2017

€26,815

€21,115

€5,700

2016

€9,700

Nil

€9,700

 

Table 4 – Shannon airport Cash detentions 2016 to 2019 

-

Shannon airport Cash Detentions

Resulting Forfeiture Orders / Returns

Year

District Court Detention Orders

Circuit Court Forfeiture Orders

Cash Returned

2019

[Jan. to Nov.].

€27,050

Nil

Nil

2018

€12,742

Nil

Nil

2017

€3,617

€3,617

Nil

2016

€20,000

€3,000

€17,000

Details of contraband seizures for Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airports are listed in Tables 5 to 7 below.  The figures include freight and passenger controls. The values of contraband include all types of seizures from excisable products, weapons, controlled drugs, meats, etc. The value detailed is the value of the products excluding excise duty and VAT.

Table 5 – Estimated Monetary value of Contraband seized at Dublin Airport and Cargo 2016 to 2019

Year                                                                                                                                                           

VALUE

2016

€3,457,525

2017

€3,946,862

2018

€8,037,584

01/01/2019 to 30/11/2019

€2,991,350

   

Table 6 – Estimated Monetary value of Contraband seized at Cork Airport 2016 to 2019

Year                                                                                                                                                              

VALUE

2016

€94,115   

2017

€31,760   

2018

€52,695   

01/01/2019 to 30/11/2019

€39,382   

 

Table 7 – Estimated Monetary value of Contraband seized at Shannon Airport 2016 to 2019

Year                                                                                                                                                              

VALUE

2016

€518,937   

2017

€438,104   

2018

€539,106   

01/01/2019 to 30/11/2019

€563,538   

  Details of contraband seizures for Dublin Port are outlined in Table 8.  The figures include freight and passenger controls.

Table 8 – Estimated Monetary value of Contraband seized at Dublin Port 2016 to 2019

Year

VALUE

2016

€13,791,790

2017

€46,619,643

2018

€18,246,348

01/01/2019 to 30/11/2019

€8,974,533

Details of contraband seizures for Rosslare Port are outlined in Table 9.  The figures include freight and passenger controls.  

Table 9 – Estimated Monetary value of Contraband seized at Rosslare Port 2016 to 2019

Year

VALUE

2016

€6,361,986

2017

€145,941

2018

€9,017,513

01/01/2019 to 30/11/2019

€2,885,646