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Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021

Written Answers Nos. 194-210

Greenways Provision

Questions (194)

Michael Ring

Question:

194. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Transport if his Department or Transport Infrastructure Ireland are taking over the completion or progression of a project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61749/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and exchequer funding in relation to Greenways. The planning, design and construction of individual Greenways is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned, it will be vital that any proposed Greenway have the support of the relevant Local Authority as funding is only provided by TII to Local Authorities. This is also subject to the Public Spending Code and the necessary statutory approvals. In this context, TII is best placed to advise you on the status of this project.

Noting the above position, I have referred your question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Rail Network

Questions (195)

Imelda Munster

Question:

195. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport further to Parliamentary Question No. 183 of 7 December 2021, the expected deliver date for the DART extension to Drogheda; and if he will provide an approximate timeline for the project. [61842/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As described in the answer previously provided, DART+ is a programme comprising five separate but complementary projects which are at differing stages of development. Of those five projects, two – DART+ Fleet and DART+ Coastal North – are of particular relevance to the current Northern Line.

This week, following Government approval, Iarnród Éireann has signed a new ten-year framework with Alstom to provide new trains for DART. This DART+ Fleet project will benefit the current Northern Line as 65 of the 95 units ordered this week are for delivery to the Northern Line and will enter service by 2025. These new DART trains will bring Northern Line passengers a greater level of comfort and accessibility than existing fleet and also mean a consistent use of DART fleet across the Northern Line to Drogheda by 2025.

In relation to the overhead electrification as part of DART+ Coastal North, the next significant milestone in that project is next year’s launch of the non-statutory public consultation process. That process will inform the overall development of the project. Once the non-statutory public consultation process has been completed I would expect the DART+ Coastal North project to be submitted for Decision Gate 1 approval under the Public Spending Code, just as the DART+ West project was recently submitted and approved by Government. I look forward to seeing citizens and public representatives input into those non-statutory consultation processes next year.

Ultimately cost and schedule estimates for DART+ Coastal North will not be set until Decision Gate 3 stage and the focus at the moment is on the consultation processes next year and also welcoming the new DART+ Fleet to the Northern Line by 2025.

Driver Licences

Questions (196)

Robert Troy

Question:

196. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport if he will examine the current costs incurred by citizens over the age of 70 in renewing their driving licence for a three year period (details supplied); if he will consider a reduction in the licence fee for over 70s given the frequency with which they must renew and give consideration to the additional medical expenses which must be met as part of the renewal process. [61853/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The fee for a 10 year driving licence is currently €55. Driving licences for people aged 70 and over are free of charge. There are no plans to subsidise costs incurred in meeting the requirements for applying for a driving licence.

Departmental Reviews

Questions (197)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

197. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport the way the members of the steering committee on the Strategic Rail Review were selected; the name and occupation of the chair; and the members of the committee. [61923/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As is standard in such circumstances, the High Level Steering Group for the All Island Strategic Rail Review consists of senior representatives from relevant bodies, albeit in this case it also reflects the all-island aspect of the Review.

It is chaired at Assistant Secretary level from my Department and comprises representatives from -

- Department of Transport;

- Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland);

- Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage;

- Commission for Rail Regulation;

- National Transport Authority;

- Iarnród Éireann; and

- Translink (Northern Ireland).

My Department has also engaged JASPERS, an agency of the EU / EIB, as its technical advisers on the Review.

Bus Services

Questions (198)

Bríd Smith

Question:

198. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport if a commitment will be made to implement the full plan on BusConnects and in particular the infrastructure for connectivity of Chapelizod village; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61933/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The National Development Plan states that construction of the BusConnects Core Bus Corridors is expected to be substantially complete in all five cities by 2030, with BusConnects Dublin the most advanced of all the BusConnects programmes.

The next milestone in relation to BusConnects Dublin is Government approval of the Preliminary Business Case under Decision Gate 1 of the Public Spending Code. The Preliminary Business Case for the BusConnects programme has been submitted to my Department for review and I will bring it to Government for its decision during Q1 2022.

Government approval at Decision Gate 1 will permit the National Transport Authority submit planning applications to An Bord Pleanála in relation to the Core Bus Corridors and the first of those planning applications is expected to be submitted upon receipt of Government approval.

As the Deputy is aware, BusConnects Dublin consists of a number of different elements and alongside the Core Bus Corridors the BusConnects Network Redesign is the next most significant of those elements. Roll-out of the new network has already commenced with the launch earlier this year of the H-Spine (Malahide/Howth to City Centre) and, more recently, the C-Spine (Maynooth/Leixlip/Lucan to Ringsend), which of course includes Chapelizod.

I can assure the Deputy that BusConnects Dublin is a key focus of our investment programme and I look forward to her continued support as the infrastructure and service improvements are delivered in the coming years.

Public Transport

Questions (199)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

199. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the National Transport Authority Connecting Ireland plan provides no public transport on R392 between Ballymahon, County Longford and Mullingar, County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61979/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for securing the provision of public passenger transport services nationally. The NTA also has national responsibility for integrated local and rural transport, including the Rural Transport Programme management, which operates under the TFI Local Link brand.

The Connecting Ireland plan is a major national public transport initiative developed by the NTA to increase public transport connectivity, particularly for people living outside the major cities and towns. It will significantly increase the number of routes and the frequency of existing services across the country.

The Deputy will be pleased to learn that Connecting Ireland proposes to expand the public transport network in rural areas specifically and to increase service levels. Under Connecting Ireland, the NTA proposes an overall increase of approximately 25% in rural bus services as part of the five year Connecting Ireland plan. As a result, hundreds of rural villages and areas will, for the first time, be served by a viable public transport link.

I joined the NTA to launch its Connecting Ireland consultation, which ran from 2 November 2021 to 10 December 2021. I urged everyone to review the NTA's proposals for their area and give their feedback to the NTA to guide the implementation of Connecting Ireland.

I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Tax Code

Questions (200)

Neale Richmond

Question:

200. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Finance if dental services are still VAT exempt including the costs of facilities and infrastructure incurred by a principal dentist; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61175/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The VAT treatment of the supply of goods and services is subject to the requirements of the EU VAT Directive, with which Irish VAT law must comply. Exemptions from VAT for certain activities in the public interest are set out in Chapter 2 of Title IX of the Directive. These provisions are transposed into Irish legislation in Part 1, Schedule 1, VAT Consolidation Act 2010. Paragraph 2(5) of Schedule 1 provides for an exemption in respect of the supply of professional dental services.

The exemption from VAT in respect of dental services is not dependent on the legal form of the taxable person supplying the service. It is the nature of the service that informs the VAT treatment. The legislation which transposes Article 132 of the Directive, and Revenue’s interpretation of the legislation, ensures that the exemption from VAT to the supply of dental services is applied consistently and in a manner which is not dependent on the legal form of the person supplying the service. In accordance with the Directive and CJEU jurisprudence the VAT exemption applies to dental services provided by a clinic, a principal dentist, or by an associate dentist, where those services are provided to a patient.

Where a principal dentist receives consideration in respect of fee sharing arrangements and the nature of services consists of the supply of facilities for the carrying on of a dental practice, Revenue views this as a taxable supply of services within the scope of VAT. The final consumer in this fee sharing arrangement is not a patient availing of a supply of dental services to which the exemption applies.

Revenue has been clear at all times regarding the VAT treatment of dental fee sharing arrangements and has outlined its position in correspondence and meetings with the Irish Dental Association.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Questions (201, 205, 207, 211, 218, 221)

Dara Calleary

Question:

201. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Finance if he will reassess his views on the employment wage subsidy scheme rates and revert to those rates of November 2021 in view of the impact of the CMO statements, of NPHET recommendations and subsequent Government restrictions and their consequences on November and December bookings and business in the hospitality, events and entertainment industry and as a consequence on the taxi and events related services and transport sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61178/21]

View answer

Sorca Clarke

Question:

205. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Finance if he is considering the reintroduction of the employee wage subsidy scheme in view of the current restrictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61226/21]

View answer

Michael Lowry

Question:

207. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Finance if additional supports will be provided to those within the hospitality sector; if he and his colleagues in the appropriate Departments will consider measures (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61248/21]

View answer

Holly Cairns

Question:

211. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Finance if employment wage subsidy scheme employment supports will be restored for hospitality businesses to November 2021 levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61557/21]

View answer

Seán Canney

Question:

218. Deputy Seán Canney asked the Minister for Finance if the employment wage subsidy scheme is not restored to pre-December 2021 rates or eligibility criteria are not changed, his views on whether a percentage of the employment wage subsidy scheme receipts from 2021 should be set against quarter 1 2022 to finance the increased labour costs being incurred (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61658/21]

View answer

Patricia Ryan

Question:

221. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if he will reinstate the employment wage subsidy scheme on full rates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61686/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 201, 205, 207, 211, 218 and 221 together.

The objective of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) is to support employment and maintain the link between the employer and employee insofar as is possible. The EWSS has been a key component of the Government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. It is an economy-wide scheme that operates across all sectors.

In money terms, the overall support provided to-date (9th December) by EWSS is over €6.6 billion comprising direct subsidy payments of almost €5.73 billion and PRSI forgone of €902 million to 51,700 employers in respect of over 696,900 employees.

The eligibility criteria for EWSS are based on self-assessment principles and the legislation provides that an employer must be able to demonstrate that his or her business will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders between 1 January and 31 December 2021, by reference to the corresponding period in 2019, as a result of business disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following the agreement of Government on 3 December 2021, my Department and Revenue sought to develop a proposal to modify the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) to provide for a supplementary subsidy (in addition to EWSS) for businesses which are subject to the latest restrictions on operating. The objective of the modified scheme was to provide targeted, timely and sector-specific support to supplement the reduced EWSS payments to the sector.

However, on further consideration and analysis of the data on CRSS, it proved to be administratively complex to design such a scheme and it would not be possible to have it operational ahead of Christmas as was hoped. The proposed modifications which included a change to both the turnover threshold and the rate, as well as consideration of a higher weekly cap, had the potential to significantly increase the cost of the scheme, particularly in the context of uncertainty around the trajectory of Covid-19 and the impact of the Omicron variant.

Instead, maintaining the enhanced rates of subsidy under the EWSS offers a relatively more efficient and effective way to support affected businesses in the immediate term. As such, the Government decided, and it was announced on Thursday last (9th December), that the enhanced rates of EWSS subsidy would apply for a further two months, December 2021 and January 2022. This will give certainty to businesses when they need it most.

The Government and I have been clear that there will be no cliff edge to supports for employers but we have also been clear that the EWSS cannot run indefinitely, nor is it sustainable to continue with the enhanced rates for a prolonged period of time given the very substantial costs to the Exchequer.

As such, from 1 February 2022, the original two-rate structure of €203 per week and €151.50 per week will apply; for March and April 2022 the flat rate subsidy of €100 per week will apply and the scheme will end on 30 April 2022.

The CRSS will remain in place to support businesses who are required to close or significantly restrict customers from accessing their business premises, and who meet the qualifying criteria. Under the relevant legislation, the CRSS was due to end on 31 December 2021 but is now being extended to the end of January 2022 under the same Government decision of 9 December as mentioned above. Provision is also being made to allow me, as Minister for Finance, to extend the CRSS up to 30 April 2022 by Ministerial Order if deemed necessary.

Amendment to the Finance Bill 2021 are being brought forward this week to give effect to the EWSS and CRSS changes mentioned.

Finally, as has been the case throughout the pandemic, the Government will continue to monitor developments closely.

Departmental Reviews

Questions (202)

Neasa Hourigan

Question:

202. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Finance the gender diversity and make-up of the panel undertaking the recently announced retail banking review within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61198/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Retail Banking Review is being undertaken directly by the Department of Finance, which has assigned a team in its Banking Division to the task. The team will consist of seven officials, To date, five Department officials and one of two officials being seconded from the Central Bank of Ireland have been assigned. The gender breakdown of the six officials is that two are female and four are male.

Tax Data

Question No. 204 answered with Question No. 203.

Question No. 205 answered with Question No. 201.

Questions (203, 204)

Gerald Nash

Question:

203. Deputy Ged Nash asked the Minister for Finance the revenue raised from the eight-year deemed disposal rule from 2016 to 2020, in tabular form; the expected annual cost of discontinuing the eight-year deemed disposal rule on collective investment funds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61218/21]

View answer

Gerald Nash

Question:

204. Deputy Ged Nash asked the Minister for Finance his views on the concerns expressed by a person (details supplied) relating to the eight-year deemed disposal rule; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61219/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 203 and 204 together.

Finance Act 2000 introduced the gross roll-up taxation regime for investments in domestic funds (in section 58) and for investments in life policies (in section 53). While Finance Act 1990 had introduced anti-avoidance rules that are known as the “offshore funds” regime, Finance Act 2001 (section 72) amended the offshore funds regime to provide for gross roll-up in certain offshore funds that were similar to the Irish funds within the gross roll-up regime.

The general thrust of the regime is that there is no annual tax on income or gains arising within the investment. However, exit tax must be deducted on the occurrence of a “chargeable event”. Exit tax applies to the profit element of each chargeable event, and chargeable events originally included –

- the making of relevant payments (which includes any dividend),

- the redemption of the investment, and

- the transfer by an investor of their investment.

Finance Act 2006 introduced the eight-year deemed disposal for all investments that benefited from gross roll-up: that is, investments in Irish funds, investments in life policies and investments in offshore funds that were similar to Irish funds. The eight-year deemed disposal was introduced as a new category of ‘chargeable event’ and is designed specifically to prevent the indefinite deferral of taxation.

In relation to a deemed disposal, the amount to which exit tax applies is the growth in value of the investment. When calculating the amount on which exit tax applies for a deemed disposal, any amounts already paid out as dividends are excluded. Any tax collected on a deemed disposal is available as a credit against any tax arising on a subsequent actual disposal.

Tax on chargeable events is returned to Revenue in three ways:

1. The majority of Irish funds will deduct what is known as “Investment Undertaking Tax”, or IUT, on the happening of a chargeable event;

2. Irish life companies will deduct what is known as “Life Assurance Exit Tax”, or LAET, on the happening of a chargeable event; and

3. Irish individuals account, through their Form 11, for exit tax on the happening of a chargeable event in respect of offshore funds and certain Irish funds that could not have deducted exit tax (such as Irish Exchange Traded Funds where the chargeable event is the sale of the share on a stock exchange).

I am informed by Revenue that they can identify the amounts of IUT, LAET and income tax accounted for in respect of chargeable events, but it is not possible to provide a breakdown of the tax as between the amount relating to the eight-year deemed disposal and the amount relating to the other types of chargeable events. Therefore, it is not possible to provide information on how much tax would be forgone if the eight-year deemed disposal was to be removed.

The table below provides an estimated amount of overall exit tax, including IUT, LAET and income tax on certain offshore investments.

Year

Investment Undertaking Tax

Life Assurance Exit Tax

Income Tax*

Total

€m

€m

€m

€m

€m

2020

121

124

**

245

2019

53

128

22***

203

2018

45

165

14

224

2017

40

184

20

244

2016

37

228

17

282

* The estimate of Income Tax is derived by multiplying the reported gains relating to Offshore Funds in Panel E, row 322, in Form 11 regarding Gains taxable at 41%

** 2020 income tax amounts are not yet available

*** 2019 income tax amount is provisional

Question No. 204 answered with Question No. 203.
Question No. 205 answered with Question No. 201.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Question No. 207 answered with Question No. 201.

Questions (206)

Joe Carey

Question:

206. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Finance if he will review the eligibility criteria for entry to the employment wage subsidy scheme for businesses that started in late 2019 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61242/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Section 28B of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 provides for the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) which is an economy-wide enterprise support for eligible businesses. EWSS provides a subsidy to qualifying employers, based on the number of qualifying employees on the payroll.

As an economy-wide support, the EWSS has played a central role in supporting businesses, encouraging employment and helping to maintain the link between employers and employees since July 2020. To date (9 December 2021), payments of approximately €5.73 billion and PRSI credit of over €902 million have been granted to 51,700 employers in respect of some 696,900 workers.

The EWSS is operated on a self-assessment basis with the onus on applicants to satisfy themselves that they fully meet the eligibility criteria for the scheme as set down in the legislation and to self-declare to Revenue that they correctly qualify.

Generally, for pay dates on or between 1 July 2021 and 30 April 2022, to qualify for EWSS, a business must experience a minimum 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders in the period 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021, due to Covid-19. A business must also have a valid tax clearance certificate.

The reference period for businesses that started trading prior to 1 January 2019, is 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. However, some businesses may have only commenced operations during 2019, therefore, the EWSS provides alternative reference periods for those businesses, with a view to ensuring that they would have the opportunity to qualify for the scheme.

The reference period for businesses that started trading between 1 January 2019 and 31 October 2019 is from their commencement date to 31 December 2019. For businesses that started trading on or after 1 November 2019, the reference period is the projected turnover or customer orders from 1 January 2021 (or when the business started, if later) to 31 December 2021, i.e. as if the pandemic had not occurred. The latter arrangement was put in place because no turnover, or relatively little turnover, in respect of 2019 exists, which should not be the case for businesses that were trading prior to 1 November 2019.

I am advised by Revenue that the business in question started trading in August 2019 and as such is required to compare its turnover or customer orders for the period August to December 2021 against the equivalent period in 2019 in respect of pay dates falling between 1 July 2021 and 30 April 2022. The information provided by the business to Revenue in respect of 2021 (to date) confirmed an increase in turnover, rather than any reduction, when compared to 2019, thereby rendering it ineligible for the EWSS for the period in question.

Finally, I am satisfied that the eligibility criteria for the EWSS, as provided for in the legislation, is sufficiently inclusive to cover the different scenarios that arise for businesses in fair and reasonable manner for the majority of businesses and I have no current plans to review the eligibility criteria.

Question No. 207 answered with Question No. 201.

Tax Code

Questions (208)

John Lahart

Question:

208. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Finance if he has examined the report by an organisation (details supplied) with regard to policies acting as disincentives to work for moderate to lower paid employees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61268/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am aware of the report referred to by the Deputy in relation to an assessment by ISME of the effect of state policies on moderate to low income earners.

The report suggests policy changes in the following four areas:

1. Adjusting PRSI to eliminate the very high marginal PRSI rate on additional income in the PRSI Transition Zone from €18,304 to €22,048 per annum.

2. Set the basic rate for qualifying for the medical card at more than 30% above the comparable Jobseekers assistance rate.

3. Replace the child element in Jobseekers payments and all other welfare schemes by substantially increasing Child Benefit, phasing out Working Family Benefit, and at the same time making the Child Benefit taxable.

4. Significantly increase the income thresholds for access to social housing. Reform or remove the link between income and local authority rent.

I would note that the above recommendations are beyond my policy remit as the Minister for Finance and as such it would not be appropriate for me to comment directly on these findings. As the Deputy will be aware, my colleague Minister Humphreys and her Department are responsible for social welfare issues while my colleagues Minister Donnelly and Minister O’Brien have responsibility for medical cards and social housing, respectively.

In relation to the suggestion to make Child Benefit payments taxable, at present Child Benefit payments are exempt from tax under section 194 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. I have no current plans to deviate from this position.

More generally in relation to the taxation of moderate to lower paid employees, I would draw the Deputy’s attention to Budget 2022 income tax and USC measures. This included a substantial income tax package comprising of an increase of €50 in each of the main tax credits – personal tax credit, employee tax credit and the earned income credit – from €1,650 to €1,700. An increase of €1,500 in the income tax standard rate band for all earners was also announced. Further, the 2% rate band ceiling for USC will be increased for 2022 in line with the increase in the national minimum wage to ensure that a full-time adult worker who benefits from the increase in the hourly minimum wage rate of €10.20 to €10.50 will remain outside the top rates of USC. Further details can be located at the following link www.gov.ie/en/publication/7e491-taxation-measures/.

Revenue Commissioners

Questions (209)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

209. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Finance if funding will be made available in 2022 to purchase extra dogs for the dog unit of the Revenue Commissioners. [61287/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that it currently operates 24 Detector Dog Teams with arrangements in place to increase this to 28 Detector Dog Teams for early 2022. This is an increase of 14 dog teams over the last five years.

Revenue have advised that the aforementioned numbers will meet the anticipated operational needs in the immediate term. I am also advised by Revenue that the deployment of dog detector teams is a matter that is kept under regular review having regard to ongoing risk assessment and evolving operational needs and the broader deployment and use of detection equipment and technologies by Revenue.

Tax Credits

Questions (210)

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill

Question:

210. Deputy Jennifer Carroll MacNeill asked the Minister for Finance if consideration has been given to expanding the home carer tax allowance in limited circumstances (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61366/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that the home carer tax credit may be claimed by jointly assessed married persons or civil partners, where one spouse or civil partner (the ‘home carer’) cares for one or more dependent persons.

A dependent person includes an individual who, at any time in the year of assessment, is:

- a child in respect of whom the home carer, or his or her spouse or civil partner, is in receipt of child benefit;

- aged 65 years or over; or

- permanently incapacitated by reason of mental or physical infirmity.

The dependent person must normally reside with or in close proximity to the married couple or civil partners for the relevant year of assessment.

To obtain the full tax credit (€1,600 for the 2021 year of assessment), the home carer’s income for the year must not exceed €7,200. Where the home carer’s income is over €7,200, the tax credit available is reduced by one half of the excess amount earned over this limit. The home carer tax credit will therefore not be available for the 2021 year of assessment where the home carer’s income exceeds €10,400.

A couple or civil partners cannot claim both the increased standard rate band for dual income couples and the home carer tax credit in the same year of assessment and in practice, Revenue will grant whichever relief will provide the most beneficial treatment to the couple. Where the home carer tax credit is no longer available, the increased standard rate band may therefore be applied.

Based on the details supplied, home carer relief is not available to the person concerned. However, I am also advised by Revenue that tax relief may be available in respect of qualifying tuition fees paid by an individual. This includes tuition fees paid for an approved third level education course, including a postgraduate course, at an approved college.

Relief is not available in respect of the first €3,000 paid per year of assessment for a full-time course, or the first €1,500 paid per year of assessment for a part-time course. In addition, relief is not available in respect of administration fees, examination fees, capitation fees or any portion of tuition fees that are, or will be, met directly or indirectly by grant, scholarship, employer contribution or other means.

The Revenue office which deals with the individual’s tax affairs will be able to assist in determining the full range of credits and reliefs which he or she may be entitled to claim, based on their personal circumstances. Contact details for various Revenue offices can be found at the link on the Revenue website www.revenue.ie/en/contact-us/index.aspx.

Detailed guidance in relation to the home carer tax credit and relief for tuition fees can be found on the Revenue website, which can be located at the links detailed below:

- home carer tax credit:

www.revenue.ie/en/personal-tax-credits-reliefs-and-exemptions/health-and-age/home-carer-credit/index.aspx, and

www.revenue.ie/en/tax-professionals/tdm/income-tax-capital-gains-tax-corporation-tax/part-15/15-01-29.pdf;

- relief for tuition fees

www.revenue.ie/en/personal-tax-credits-reliefs-and-exemptions/education/tuition-fees-paid-for-third-level-education/index.aspx.

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