Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Ceisteanna (58, 59)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

58. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of applications for tax relief certificates under the employment and investment incentive scheme in each year since its creation and in each month of 2018; the number of applications awaiting processing and approval, respectively, by the Revenue Commissioners; the average time between original application and final approval for tax relief certificates under the scheme, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16911/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

59. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of outstanding applications for tax relief certificates under the employment and investment incentive scheme awaiting processing and approval by the Revenue Commissioners at the end of each month in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16912/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 58 and 59 together.

With regard to the Deputy’s first question on the number of applications for tax relief certificates under the Employment and Investment Incentive scheme (EII) in each year since its creation and in each month of 2018, Revenue have provided me with the following data: 

Table 1: No. of applications for EII Scheme 2012 – 2019

YEAR

QUALIFYING COMPANIES

2012

78

2013

190

2014

239

2015

279

2016

261

2017

289

2018

389

2019

178

Table 2: No. of Applications for EII Scheme 2018

MONTH

QUALIFYING COMPANIES

January

45

February

38

March

31

April

38

May

29

June

23

July

25

August

24

September

23

October

  59*

November

 

December

54

* The number of applications in October/November is combined. The system of recording was changed and exact figures for the individual months are not available.

With regard to the Deputy’s question on the number of applications awaiting processing and approval, Revenue have provided me with the following data on the number of applications under EII which are currently in progress as of March 2019, the most recent month for which data are available. These figures include applications received to date in 2019.

Table 4: No. of applications for EII Scheme in progress 2019

YEAR

QUALIFYING COMPANIES

January

104

February

105

March

102

With regard to the Deputy’s question on the average time taken between original application and the final approval, I am advised by Revenue that it is not possible to give an average time taken to issue a decision regarding approval or rejection. Applications received have varying levels of complexity, some will take longer to carry out the level of examination required than others. Equally, where a full application, with all supporting documentation, is received a decision will issue more quickly than a case where additional information and clarifications must be sought.  Currently, over 80% of applications received require follow-on correspondence before a determination can issue.

As the Deputy will be aware, a review of the EII scheme was carried out and substantial changes to the operational design of the scheme were implemented in Finance Act 2018.  The design of the scheme has been amended such that it may now be claimed in the same was as other similar tax reliefs on a self-assessment basis. Accordingly, for all investments in qualifying companies from 1 January 2019 there is no longer a requirement to receive prior certification from Revenue. For investments made up to and including 31 December 2018 Revenue certification is still required.

With regard to the Deputy’s question on the number of outstanding applications for tax relief certificates under EII awaiting processing and approval by the Revenue Commissioners at the end of each month in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, Revenue have provided me with the following data:

Table 5: 2016 Total Applications Outstanding

MONTH

QUALIFYING COMPANIES

January

29

February

50

March

43

April

29

May

18

June

26

July

18

August

28

September

38

October

 65

November

34

December

35

Table 6: 2017 Total Applications Outstanding

MONTH

QUALIFYING COMPANIES

January

59

February

52

March

84

April

98

May

76

June

49

July

88

August

164

September

186

October

 277

November

189

December

187

Table 7: 2018 Total Applications In Progress

MONTH

QUALIFYING COMPANIES

January

226

February

251

March

261

April

289

May

294

June

281

July

293

August

300

September

257

October

261

November

124

December

115

I am further advised by Revenue that figures prior to August 2017 (Table 5 and Table 6 above) represent unworked items only (i.e. where no processing had yet taken place), while those after August 2017 include items in respect of which a final answer had not yet issued. Therefore, a file was not identified as outstanding in July 2017 where correspondence was sent to a taxpayer requesting more information and that information was still awaited at the end of the month. That file, from August 2017, is identified as an outstanding work item. These changes in the recording of the statistics, which allowed for a more accurate representation of the level of the work outstanding, account for the large spike in the numbers in the latter part of 2017. 

Finally, I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department is continuing to look at the scheme in conjunction with Revenue, and in consultation with other stakeholders, with a view to ensuring that it operates efficiently and effectively.