Written Answers. - Tax Reliefs.

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

157 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance the number of claimants in the most recent tax year for which he has data in the case of each of the discretionary tax relief on items on expenditure, which require taxpayers to make a specific application; and the aggregate cost of claims, for example, tax relief on waste charges, tax relief on medical expenses, tax relief on rent and so on. [18958/03]

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the information requested by the Deputy is as follows in so far as it is available.

Income Tax and-or Corporation Tax: the following table sets out the numbers of claimants and the estimated costs to the Exchequer of the main discretionary allowances and reliefs for the most recent year available as indicated in each case.

Allowance-Relief

Estimated Full Year Cost

Numbers

€ million

Year

Relief in respect of medical insurance premiums

800,000

192.8

2003

Health expenses relief

99,900

38.4

1999-00

Contributions under permanent health benefit schemes, after deduction of tax on benefits received

65,900

3.6

2000-01

Employees contribution to approved superannuation schemes

n/a

456.0

1999-00

Employers contribution to approved superannuation schemes

n/a

645.0

1999-00

Retirement annuity premiums

104,500

169.5

1999-00

Interest paid in full:Loans relating to principal private residenceMiscellaneous interest

461,7006,600

210.6 10.2

20031999-00

Rent paid in private tenancies: Over 55Under 55

2,600 86,000

1.0 17.2

2000-012000-01

Expenses allowable to employees under schedule E

856,900

61.1

2000-01

Dispositions (Including maintenance payments made to separated spouses)

n/a

10.2

1999-00

Exemptions under approved share option schemes

n/a

4.9

1999-00

Investment in corporate trades (BES)

2,480

20.7

2002

Investment in seed capital

40

1.4

2002

Donations to approved bodies*

23,700

12.7

2001

Relief for expenditure on significant buildings

60

3.9

1999-00

Service charges

32,700

1.0

1999-00

Third level college fees

12,400

5.0

2000-01

School donations

100

0.005

1999-00

Relief for donation of heritage items

n/a

2.7

2001

Tax relief for trade union subscriptions

n/a

12.4

2002

Total capital allowances**

n/a

1,649.2

1999-00

Multi-storey car parks

n/a

2.5

2001 (12 months)

Rented residential accommodation

n/a

19.8

£2001-02

Investment in films

n/a

29.2

2000-01

Resort relief***

n/a

See note*** below

SSIA

1,144,000****

530*****

2003

The term "n/a" used in the table denotes "not available".
*This information is available in respect of PAYE individuals only. Information in respect of self-employed taxpayers is not yet available and no information is available on donations by companies.
**This figure covers capital allowances for plant and machinery and industrial buildings and would represent expenditure which may not necessarily be categorised as discretionary expenditure. However, it also includes claims in respect of expenditure which may merit categorisation as discretionary for example under the various area-based renewal schemes such as urban renewal, rural renewal etc. Claims for such reliefs are aggregated in tax returns with claims for industrial buildings allowances generally or other capital allowances and do not distinguish between the reliefs claimed in respect of the different schemes. This means that, for example, the estimated cost given for capital allowances also includes some element of the costs related to the multi-storey car parks and seaside resort schemes, amongst others.
***The seaside resort scheme was estimated to cost €320 million – i.e. the ultimate full, rather than annual, cost of the scheme. This figure was included in a report on the scheme in December 1999 by an interdepartmental group chaired by the Department of Tourism, Sport and Recreation. This €320 million Exchequer cost estimate may need to be revised. Final figures of the cost are not available at this stage.
****The total number of active accounts at 31 December 2002
*****If the current average monthly payment for the first three months of 2003 continues for the full year, the annual cost in 2003 would be approximately €530 million. This, however, is not a conclusive figure, and the final figure may be higher than that, if account holders increase their monthly contributions.
Notes:
Figures accompanied by the symbol # are particularly tentative and subject to a considerable margin of error.
Some of the estimated costs are provisional and may be revised. However, those in respect of the tax year 1999-2000 are unlikely to be revised to any significant at this stage.
The list includes schemes where the qualifying period has passed but for which claims for tax relief can still be submitted.
The numbers of claimants listed have been rounded to the nearest ten, hundred or thousand, as appropriate.

Tony Killeen

Ceist:

158 Mr. Killeen asked the Minister for Finance the way in which proposed changes in the taxation regime will impact on the current advantages enjoyed by companies operating in the Shannon Free Zone; if legislation is planned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18959/03]

Companies which established relevant trading operations at Shannon Airport and were certified by the Minister for Finance, qualified for the 10% rate of corporation tax. In 1998 following agreement with the EU Commission to phase out Ireland's 10% corporation tax regime the Government decided to move to a general rate of 12% on trading income to be phased in over several years. The Finance Act 1999, accordingly, provided for the transition to the 12% rate. This came into effect on 1 January 2003. It will apply to certified Shannon companies when they cease to be entitled to the 10% rate under transitional arrangements. The EU agreement provided,inter alia, that no new Shannon projects could gain access to the 10% rate after 1999. However, those projects which were approved before the end of May 1998 will continue to benefit from the 10% rate until the end of 2005, while those approved between 1 June 1998 and the end of 1999 were entitled to the 10% rate until the end of 2002.

The general rules for phasing out the 10% rate for manufacturing companies will also apply to manufacturing companies in Shannon. Those rules provide that manufacturing trades that were being carried on before 23 July 1998 will continue to qualify for the 10% rate in respect of eligible activities up to end 2010. Those arrangements also apply to manufacturing trades that were approved by an industrial development agency for grant assistance before 31 July 1998. In all other manufacturing cases the 10% rate ceased to apply from 1 January 2003.