Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Ceisteanna (97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

108 Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance his views on a reduction of the excise duty on cider for on-premise sales in view of the history of excise increases on cider by past Administrations and the importance of the Irish cider industry for employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21002/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Finance)

The EU Council Directive 92/83/EEC of 19 October 1992, on the harmonisation of the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages, sets the parameters under which excise duty on alcohol products may be levied. It is not possible to differentiate the application of excise rates on where products are sold.

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

109 Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the likely tax return to the Exchequer in a full year if a 48% tax on individual incomes in excess of €100,000 was introduced, based on the latest data. [21030/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

It is assumed that the threshold for the proposed new tax band mentioned by the Deputy would not alter the existing standard rate band structure applying to single and widowed persons, to lone parents and married couples.

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the estimated full year yield to the Exchequer, estimated by reference to 2011 incomes, of the introduction of a new 48% rate would be of the order of €410 million.

However, given the current band structures, major issues would need to be resolved as to how in practice such a new rate could be integrated into the current system and how this would affect the relative position of different types of income earners.

This figure is an estimate from the Revenue tax-forecasting model using actual data for the year 2008, adjusted as necessary for income and employment trends for the year 2011. It is therefore provisional and likely to be revised.

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

110 Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the return to the Exchequer in a full year if he standardised all discretionary tax reliefs. [21031/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the deductions and reliefs which are allowable for tax at an individual's marginal rate of income tax and for which estimates of cost can be provided are set out as follows with estimated costs for the year 2006, the most recent year for which the necessary estimates are available. If relief for these deductions and reliefs was confined to the standard rate of income tax the saving to the Exchequer could be of the order of €1,100 million.

This estimate does not take into account any possible behavioural change on the part of taxpayers as a consequence of such a change or the economic effect of such a change. This applies in particular to the BES, Film Relief and Capital Allowances regime. The standard rating of employee pension reliefs would also have an impact on workers' take home pay.

Tax Relief Provision

2006 Cost

Saving if standard rated

€m

€m

Person Taking Care of Incapacitated Taxpayer

2.8

1.2

Health Expenses*

167.2

64.1

Contributions Under Permanent Health Benefit Schemes, after Deduction of Tax on Benefits Received

3.1

1.4

Employees’ Contributions To Approved Superannuation Schemes

543.3

257.3

Retirement Annuity Premiums

435.9

210.2

Personal Retirement Savings Accounts

56.4

22.9

Interest paid relating to borrowings for purposes such as acquiring an interest in a company or partnership or to pay death duties.

31.1

15.4

Expenses Allowable to Employees under Schedule E

71.2

25.8

Donations to Approved Bodies

49.5

20.1

Donations to Sports Bodies.

0.3

0.1

Retirement Relief for certain Sports Persons.

0.2

0.1

Revenue Job Assist allowance

0.3

0.1

Allowance for seafarers

0.3

0.1

Investment in Corporate Trades (BES)

21.4

11.4

Investment in Seed Capital

1.2

0.6

Stock Relief

2.0

0.6

Relief for expenditure on significant buildings and gardens

6.2

3.0

Donation of Heritage items

5.7

2.0

Capital Allowances (Income Tax only)

796.8

328.2

Rented Residential Relief — Section 23

252.4

132.2

Investment in Films

36.4

19.1

Total

2,483.7

1,115.9

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

111 Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the return to the Exchequer in a full year if he abolished all remaining property-based tax reliefs. [21032/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

It is assumed that the Deputy is referring to the abolition of the tax relief on future expenditure in relation to the following property based tax incentive schemes that remain in the tax code: certain tourism infrastructure under the Mid-Shannon Scheme (only 80% of expenditure can qualify in certain areas) and Qualifying Specialist Palliative Care Units (subject to Commencement Order).

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that based on information regarding the cost of these schemes, which has been received and collated for the tax year 2009, the latest year for which data is available, the annual yield to the Exchequer from the abolition of these reliefs could be in the region of €0.2 million.

All other such schemes have been abolished, subject to transitional arrangements for certain schemes where projects were already in the pipeline.

Tax relief in respect of investment in Convalescent Homes, Qualifying (Private) Hospitals, Qualifying Mental Health Centres, Registered Nursing Homes and Qualifying (Nursing Home) Residential Units was abolished in the Supplementary Budget and Finance Bill 2009.

Tax relief in respect of investment in buildings used for child care purposes was terminated in the Finance Bill 2010.

Apart from the schemes listed above all other property based tax incentive schemes were terminated on, or before, 31 July 2008. However, due to their nature these reliefs continue to impose ongoing costs on the Exchequer in terms of tax foregone.

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

112 Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of Irish passport holders who claim Irish tax exile status. [21033/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that nothing in Irish tax law makes reference to the term "tax exile". I am assuming that in referring to "tax exile status" the Deputy is thinking of Irish citizens or Irish domiciled individuals claiming to be non-resident for tax purposes and who are living abroad primarily for tax reasons.

For the 2009 tax year, the latest year for which statistics are available, 8,493 non-resident individuals filed Irish tax returns in respect of their Irish source income or income derived from working here. However, many of these non-residents are foreign nationals or have a foreign domicile; and many of the non-resident Irish citizens or Irish domiciled individuals included in this figure may have become non-resident for reasons unrelated to taxation — for example they may have gone abroad to work — but have retained Irish investments such as rental property. Such individuals could not be categorised as "tax exiles" under any reasonable definition of that term.

The Revenue Commissioners are not provided with information about whether an individual holds an Irish passport.

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

113 Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the return to the Exchequer in a full year if he increased DIRT by 5%. [21034/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

It is estimated that the yield to the Exchequer from increasing the DIRT rate by 5% to 30% is €80m in a full year, assuming no significant behavioural change by depositors or a change in interest rates applied by financial institutions to savings.

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

114 Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the value of DIRT forgone to the State through current exemptions for those over 65 years. [21035/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that sufficiently detailed figures are not captured on the statutory return of Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) filed by financial institutions in such a way as to provide a basis for compiling estimates of the impact on the Exchequer from the exemptions mentioned in the question. Accordingly, the specific information requested by the Deputy is not available.

An individual aged 65 years or over is only eligible for a refund of or exemption from DIRT if his or her taxable income, including deposit interest, does not exceed the relevant income tax exemption limit. This is currently €18,000 for single individuals and €36,000 for married couples.

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

115 Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the potential gain for the Exchequer annually if the exemption from DIRT was no longer applied to savings in excess of €100,000. [21036/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that sufficiently detailed figures are not captured on the statutory return of DIRT filed by the financial institutions in such a way as to provide a basis for compiling estimates of the impact on the Exchequer from the change mentioned in the question. Accordingly, the specific information requested by the Deputy is not available.

An individual aged 65 or over is only eligible for a refund of or exemption from DIRT if his or her taxable income, including deposit interest, does not exceed the relevant income tax exemption limit of €18,000 for single individuals and €36,000 for married couples. The majority of such individuals would be unlikely to have savings in excess of €100,000.

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

116 Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance his views on introducing a wealth tax; and the potential return in a full year of a wealth tax levied at 1% on all assets over €1 million. [21037/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

While I do not propose at this time to introduce a wealth tax, all taxes and potential taxation measures are constantly reviewed in the context of the Budget and Finance Bill.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) are, in effect, taxes on wealth, in that they are levied on an individual or company on the disposal of an asset (CGT) or the acquisition of an asset through gift or inheritance (CAT). However, they are not annual taxes on an individual's wealth, which is presumably what the Deputy has in mind. The rate of both of these taxes is now 25%.

The Deputy will be aware that a Domicile Levy was introduced in Budget 2010. The Levy is charged on an individual who is Irish-domiciled and an Irish citizen whose world-wide income exceeds €1m, whose Irish-located property is greater than €5m, and whose liability to Irish income tax is less than €200,000. The first valuation date was 31 December 2010 and the tax return and payment of the levy for 2010 is due by 31 October 2011. The amount of the levy is €200,000.

I am informed by the Central Statistics Office that the CSO institutional accounts do not give an indication of the number of households or persons classified by the categories of wealth they hold. These statistics are based on aggregate information collected from financial institutions and do not contain the demographic details which would enable such a breakdown of the statistics. I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that they have no statistical basis for compiling estimates in relation to a potential wealth tax. It is therefore not possible to provide the information requested by the Deputy on the potential return from a wealth tax.