Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (180)

Neale Richmond

Question:

180. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Finance if he has considered implementing a tax incentive scheme on gym memberships or exercise classes when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8866/21]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Taxation based measures are matters for consideration in the context of my Department's Tax Expenditure Guidelines and the annual Budget and Finance Bill process. I have no plans at present for a measure along the lines proposed by the Deputy.

In relation to fitness based measures more generally, I would point to the Cycle To Work scheme, introduced by Finance (No. 2) Act 2008. The scheme specifies that bicycles and associated safety equipment provided by employers to employees will be treated as a tax exempt benefit-in-kind subject to certain conditions being met. One of the benefits envisaged from the scheme was indeed that more people cycling to and from work would improve health and fitness levels. Further, Finance Act 2018 commenced the Accelerated Capital Allowances scheme for Childcare facilities and Fitness Centres. The scheme was introduced to encourage employers to develop childcare facilities and fitness centres onsite for their employees. The scheme provides accelerated allowances for qualifying buildings or structures over a seven year period and accelerated allowances for related equipment at 100% in year 1.

Question No. 181 answered with Question No. 141.