Tax Yield

Ceisteanna (68)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

68. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide in tabular form the Government's total tax measures revenue between 2008 and to date in 2014. [36313/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The table below sets out the total yield expected from tax measures introduced in the Budget for the years 2008 to 2014 inclusive.  

Year

Cost - €bn / Yield +€bn

Budget 2008

-€0.7bn

Budget 2009

+€2.0bn

Supplementary Budget 2009

+ €3.5bn

Budget 2010

+€0.1bn

Budget 2011

+€1.4bn

Budget 2012

+€1.6bn

Budget 2013

+€1.4bn

Budget 2014

+€0.9bn

Total

+€10.2bn

A full breakdown of the figures above can be obtained by accessing the following links:

http://www.budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2008/2008.aspx

http://www.budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2009/2009.aspx

http://budget.gov.ie/budgets/2010/2010.aspx

http://www.budget.gov.ie/budgets/2011/2011.aspx

http://budget.gov.ie/budgets/2012/2012.aspx

http://budget.gov.ie/budgets/2013/2013.aspx

http://budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2014/2014.aspx.

Tax Code

Ceisteanna (69)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

69. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance the costings that have been provided for the elimination of the windfall tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36327/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that on the basis of Income Tax returns and Corporation Tax returns for 2010-2012 (the latter being the latest tax year for which the necessary information is available), there is no record of any such profits or gains having been returned. There is therefore no reliable basis for estimating the impact of its elimination.

The windfall gains provisions were introduced primarily to discourage overheating of the property market by way of speculative transactions involving rezoned land rather than as a revenue raising measure.

Financial Services Regulation

Ceisteanna (70)

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

70. Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance his plans to introduce regulations to prevent vulture fund activity here; if he will be seeking capital gains tax or any other revenue from these unregulated operators; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36338/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I understand the Deputy's question concerns non-traditional mortgage providers which are unregulated and which have acquired Irish mortgages. I, as Minister for Finance, am committed to bringing forward legislation that protects consumers whose mortgages are sold to unregulated entities. The Government has reiterated this commitment on several occasions. In July and August of this year, my Department ran a public consultation seeking views on its proposed legislation to protect consumers whose loans are sold to unregulated entities.

The Department of Finance received 18 submissions from a range of respondents from the financial services industry, consumer groups, public representatives and individuals and other stakeholders. Officials in my Department are carefully considering the submissions and it is anticipated that legislation will be published by the end of this year.

As regards the taxation of the operators referred to in the question it is not possible to reply comprehensively to this on the basis of the information provided. However, I do note that a business of the provision of mortgages, which can include the acquisition of existing mortgages from other mortgage providers, is a trade for tax purposes, the profits or gains from which are chargeable to tax.

An interest in assets such as mortgages may also be acquired by investors through the process of securitization of such assets. Specific provision is made in the tax code for the taxation of companies engaged in the securitization of assets.

Tax Reliefs Cost

Ceisteanna (71)

Lucinda Creighton

Ceist:

71. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Finance if any tax relief measures have been costed or considered by his Department to help alleviate the price premium imposed on standard variable rate mortgage holders on principal primary residences purchased between 2003 and 2008; his views that standard variable rate mortgage holders have incurred disproportionate interest hikes on their mortgages in the past six years relative to inflation; if he has considered any measures to help reduce the burden on standard variable rate mortgage holders for principal primary residences purchased between 2003 and 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36374/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

Firstly, I must confirm to the Deputy that neither the Central Bank nor I have any responsibility for any variation in the variable mortgage interest rate charged by regulated financial instutions.  The lending institutions in Ireland - including those in which the State has a significant shareholding - are independent commercial entities. I have no statutory role in relation to regulated financial institutions passing on the European Central Bank interest rate change or to the mortgage interest rates charged.  It is a commercial matter for each institution concerned.  It is not appropriate for me, as Minister for Finance, to comment on or become involved in the detailed mortgage position of mortgage holders.

The Central Bank has responsibility for the regulation and supervision of financial institutions in terms of consumer protection and prudential requirements and for ensuring ongoing compliance with applicable statutory obligations.  The Central Bank has no statutory role in the setting of interest rates by financial institutions, apart from the interest rate cap imposed on the credit union sector in accordance with the provisions of the Credit Union Act, 1997.

The mortgage interest rates that financial institutions operating in Ireland charge to customers are determined as a result of a commercial decision by the institutions concerned.  This interest rate is determined taking into account a broad range of factors, including European Central Bank base rates, deposit rates, market funding costs, the competitive environment and an institution's overall funding.

This Government is committed to helping address the particular problems faced by those that bought homes at the height of the property boom between 2004 and 2008. In this regard, in Budget 2012, I fulfilled the commitment in the Programme for Government to increase the rate of mortgage interest relief to 30% for first time buyers who took out their first mortgage in that period. This was the period during which house prices peaked. The 30% rate of relief is available regardless of mortgage type and is proportionate to the amount of mortgage interest paid, up to certain ceilings.

A mortgage holder qualifies for the increased rate if they made their first mortgage interest payment in the period 2004 to 2008 or if they drew down their mortgage in that period. In addition, the increased rate of tax relief for first time buyers who took out their first mortgage in that period will continue up to and including the 2017 tax year.

Universal Social Charge Exemptions

Ceisteanna (72, 85)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

72. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the cost of raising the threshold for the universal social charge to €12,500, €15,000 and €16,500 respectively; the number of persons who would be taken out of the USC net and average saving in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36380/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

85. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of income earners exempt from the universal social charge; the number who pay a maximum rate of 4%; the number who pay the 7% rate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36400/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 72 and 85 together.

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the cost of raising the Universal Social Charge (USC) threshold to €12,500, €15,000 and €16,500 respectively is set out in the following table.

Proposed threshold

Cost

€m

Numbers

Benefitting

Maximum Annual Saving to Taxpayer

€12,500

34

99,300

299

€15,000

77

192,300

399

€16,500

110

249,400

473

It should be noted that the cost for each threshold was produced by the Revenue Commissioners Tax Modeller, which does not estimate the numbers affected by changes to USC. The estimate for the numbers affected is obtained from an analysis of the income ranges of the same base which the proposals were executed against (to identify how many additional cases would be exempt at each threshold level). However, it is not possible to accurately infer an "average" saving from the findings of these two different processes. Instead the actual maximum annual saving to a taxpayer earning up to new proposed thresholds has been included in the table for illustrative purposes. All these figures are estimated on the basis of no change to the rest of the structure of the USC.

In relation to Question 36400/14 the following table provides a breakdown by rate of the number of individuals who paid USC in 2012 (the most recent tax year for which complete data are available).  

USC Rate

Numbers

Exempt

523,000

4%

267,000

7%

1,444,000

These figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000. There is a 2% USC rate, applicable to the first €10,036. However, where an individual's total income for a year does not exceed €10,036, they are exempt from USC, thus there are effectively no cases on the 2% rate.

Tax Code

Ceisteanna (73, 74, 75, 77, 78, 79, 84)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

73. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the cost of making the 100% young trained farmers' stock relief available to all farmers, for four years up to 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36388/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

74. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the cost of allowing capital allowances of up to 50% over the first two years,for the development of the agriculture industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36389/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

75. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the cost of extending the land leasing tax exemption scheme to include a company that is operating for the purpose of farming as a qualifying lessee; the cost of removing the 40 year age limit for qualifying lessors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36390/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

77. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the cost of extending the capital gains tax relief for farm restructuring to include as qualifying transactions; farmland that is sold under CPO and subsequently replaced; the sale of an existing farm and replacement with a more viable consolidated holding; the sale of a land parcel and reinvestment of the sale proceeds into farm capital infrastructure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36392/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

78. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the cost of treating compulsory purchase of co-operative shares or other forms of compulsory financial contribution fulfilling the same role as a qualifying capital expenditure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36393/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

79. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the cost of allowing forestry income to be declared over a number of taxable years, similar to the averaging of sugar beet restructuring payments over a six-year period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36394/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

84. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the cost of allowing farmers the choice to write-off capital expenditure on plant and machinery and farm buildings over a period of three to eight years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36399/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 to 75, inclusive, 77 to 79, inclusive, and 84 together.

In October 2013, I announced the setting up of a review of the various agritaxation measures. A public consultation process was undertaken and a number of stakeholder meetings were held. The review is on-going and it is hoped that a report will be made available in mid October.

In relation to question number 36388/14, based on data from tax returns for tax year 2012 it is tentatively estimated that the cost of the proposal could be in the region of €15 million for each year of the accelerated relief.

Regarding Questions 36389/14 and 36399/14, the cash flow loss associated with the proposals will depend on the amount of expenditure over the years in question and the extent to which the claimants are able to use the additional relief in each year. However, on the basis of certain assumptions regarding potential expenditure, the notional cash flow loss associated with a two year capital allowance regime for claims for plant and machinery and buildings by farmers could be up to €60 million for the first year of claim, rising to €120 million in the second year, before the cost starts reducing.

On the same basis the loss associated with a three year write off period could be €30 million in the first year of claim, rising to €60 million in the second year and then €90 million in the third year, before the cost starts to reduce.

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that sufficient data are not readily available on which to base a reliable estimate of the cost to the Exchequer from the proposals outlined in Questions 36390/14, 36392/14, 36393/14 and 36394/14. Accordingly, it is not possible to provide the specific information requested by the Deputy at this time.

There are a number of reliefs where detailed information is not required to be returned to Revenue and therefore no costing is readily available without a detailed review of case records by the Commissioners. I am informed that the agritaxation review referred to above uses information from a variety of sources to estimate costs for a wider selection of farmer tax reliefs.

Tax Reliefs Application

Questions Nos. 77 to 79, inclusive, answered with Question No. 73.

Ceisteanna (76, 82)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

76. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the cost of extending the stamp duty consanguinity relief for non-residential property after 31 December 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36391/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

82. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the cost of extending the 1% stamp duty rate for transfers to close relatives post 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36397/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 76 and 82 together.

It is assumed the Deputy is referring in both questions to the stamp duty consanguinity relief for non-residential property. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the estimated cost to the Exchequer from extending the relief after 31 December 2014 would be in the region of €5 million.

Questions Nos. 77 to 79, inclusive, answered with Question No. 73.