Friday, 6 September 2019

Ceisteanna (116, 117, 118, 119)

Marc MacSharry

Ceist:

116. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Finance the number of persons who availed of the sportspersons relief tax scheme in each of the past ten years in tabular form. [35734/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Marc MacSharry

Ceist:

117. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Finance the amount of revenue forgone or refunded on the sportspersons relief tax scheme in each of the past ten years in tabular form. [35735/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Marc MacSharry

Ceist:

118. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Finance if he has considered extending the sportsperson relief tax scheme to players of Gaelic football or hurling. [35736/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Marc MacSharry

Ceist:

119. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Finance if he has met with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to discuss the extension of the sportsperson relief tax scheme to players of Gaelic football or hurling. [35737/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 116 to 119, inclusive, together.

Section 480A Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (TCA) provides tax relief for certain sportspersons on earnings which derive directly from participation in the sport concerned, such as prize money and performance fees, but not other earnings such as sponsorship fees and income from advertisements or endorsements.

Where the eligibility criteria for the relief are met, the individual is entitled to a deduction of 40% of certain income arising in any ten years (as chosen by the individual) within the period spanning the year of retirement and the fourteen years preceding that year.

For the purposes of the legislation, the qualifying individual must have engaged in a 'specified occupation' or 'specified profession' as outlined in Schedule 23A of the legislation, to include the following:

- Athlete

- Badminton Player

- Boxer

- Cricketer

- Cyclist

- Footballer

- Golfer

- Jockey

- Motor Racing Driver

- Rugby Player

- Squash Player

- Swimmer

- Tennis Player

With regard to the Deputy's question on the cost and the number availing of the relief, the following table outlines this information for the ten years between 2008 and 2017 (the latest year for which data are available):

Year

Exchequer Cost

€M

Number availing of the relief

2017

0.4

31

2016

0.6

45

2015

0.5

38

2014

0.3

38

2013

0.3

46

2012

0.3

25

2011

0.3

23

2010

0.3

45

2009

0.2

15

2008

0.2

17

Extension of the tax relief to gaelic games players as mentioned by the Deputy would raise a number of issues and challenges. From the Deputy's question, it is not clear as to what level of playing activity such relief might apply. Given the amateur status of the players, income from sources not related to the playing of gaelic games might need to be taken into account. This would have implications for the tax system that would need to be carefully examined.  In addition, equity issues might arise as regards the equal treatment of players from both within and outside the jurisdiction.

As regards discussions between the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and me on an extension of the scheme as described by the Deputy, I anticipate that the subject may well be raised in pre-budget meetings.