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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 51-75
 Header Item Naval Service Staff
 Header Item Naval Service Data
 Header Item Army Personnel
 Header Item Humanitarian Aid Provision
 Header Item Brexit Issues
 Header Item Brexit Issues
 Header Item Brexit Issues
 Header Item Vehicle Registration
 Header Item Employment Investment Incentive Scheme
 Header Item Tax Data
 Header Item Tax Code
 Header Item Carbon Tax Yield
 Header Item Tax Agreements
 Header Item EU Regulations
 Header Item Revenue Documents Issuance

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 975 No. 7

First Page Previous Page Page of 77 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 51-75

Naval Service Staff

 51. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar further to Parliamentary Question No. 87 of 21 November 2018, the number of seamen by recruits, ordinary seamen and able seamen. [49932/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe The establishment figure for Seamen is 402. The Military Authorities have informed me that, as of 31 October 2018, the number of seamen by recruits, ordinary seamen and able seamen was as follows:

Able Seaman Ordinary Seaman Recruit
377 0 38

Naval Service Data

 52. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the breakdown of all Naval Service members by rank, branch and trade. [49945/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe It is not possible to provide the information requested by the Deputy in the time available. I shall revert with the information when it has been provided by the military authorities.

Army Personnel

 53. Deputy Willie O'Dea Information on Willie O'Dea Zoom on Willie O'Dea asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar when a person (details supplied) will be appointed to a position in barracks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50045/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe Approval has been granted, for the person to whom the Deputy refers, to assume the role of Barrack Foreman of Works on an acting up basis, with effect from July 2018. This sanction does not constitute an appointment to the position on a substantive basis. This was advised to military management by my Department. Substantive appointments would only arise following completion of a competition for Barrack Foreman of Works.

Humanitarian Aid Provision

 54. Deputy John Lahart Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney his plans to increase Ireland's diplomatic efforts through the EU to assist peace talks in South Sudan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49839/18]

 55. Deputy John Lahart Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney his plans to continue to support humanitarian efforts in South Sudan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49840/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I propose to take Questions Nos. 54 and 55 together.

South Sudan continues to endure a terrible humanitarian crisis, primarily the consequence of conflict. I am deeply concerned by the continued high level of violence, and by reports of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, which perpetuate the crisis and impact negatively on its scale.

The current conflict began in 2013 and has had devastating consequences for civilians. The war, compounded by drought, has led to severe food insecurity and caused massive population displacement and suffering throughout the country, with women and girls suffering the most. More than 400,000 people have died and an estimated 7 million people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance.

On 12 September last, the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, signed a peace agreement with the opposition. While this peace agreement has the potential to mark a new departure, it is critical that South Sudan’s leaders implement it without delay. Achieving lasting peace will require sustained effort and commitment as well as a genuinely inclusive approach to building the future South Sudan.

Ireland strongly supports efforts to build peace in South Sudan. In November 2017, during his visit to Addis Ababa, the Tánaiste met representatives of IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) and the African Union to discuss the situation in South Sudan. On that visit, the Tánaiste announced funding to the IGAD High Level Revitalization Forum, the process which delivered the revised peace agreement. Ireland will continue to support IGAD’s work on monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the agreement in 2019.

Our Embassy in Addis Ababa, which is accredited to South Sudan, monitors the situation and engages with local, regional and international parties on an ongoing basis. The Irish Ambassador in Addis Ababa visits Juba frequently, including this week, where she meets with key government, UN, NGO, Red Cross and diplomatic partners, including the EU Delegation.

We are committed to supporting efforts towards peace in South Sudan, and have contributed to projects aimed at peacebuilding. In 2018, this has included supporting partners’ meditation efforts and to empower civil society, in particular women’s groups, to facilitate their engagement in peace processes. As well as our direct bilateral support, we are also actively involved in the efforts of the EU to support peace in South Sudan. Two officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have been seconded to the EU Delegation in South Sudan, including one as head of Mission. The EU Delegation is strongly supportive of the peace process, in particular by providing support to the implementing and monitoring bodies of the peace agreement. The Tánaiste discussed these efforts with the EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, Alexander Rondos, when he visited Dublin on 7 November.

While a sustained resolution to the conflict is the ultimate goal, we have a duty now to deal with immediate humanitarian needs. Since 2012, Ireland has provided €61 million in direct humanitarian assistance to South Sudan. Over €10 million in Irish funding has been provided so far this year, including to Irish NGOs to assist them in reaching the most vulnerable. Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Oxfam, Trócaire and World Vision, with support from Irish Aid, are working in partnership with local organisations and NGO networks to provide lifesaving supplies to meet the basic needs of those suffering from the conflict.

As well as this direct bilateral aid, Ireland has also contributed significantly to humanitarian support in South Sudan through the multilateral system. Ireland is a significant contributor to the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund, which has allocated $187 million to alleviate the crisis in South Sudan since 2011, as well as to the EU, which has provided more than €90 million so far this year.

With humanitarian needs likely to remain acute in 2019, Irish funding will continue to support both those in need inside South Sudan as well as South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries.

Brexit Issues

 56. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if the United Kingdom will be leaving the European Economic Area on 29 March 2019 even if the transition arrangement is agreed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49878/18]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney While the United Kingdom's European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 does not make specific provision for withdrawal from the EEA Agreement, in the accompanying Explanatory Note it is stated that "withdrawing from the EU means the UK will also cease to participate in the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement as the UK will fall outside the geographic scope of the Agreement and will therefore no longer be a member of the EEA.”

Brexit Issues

 57. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if analysis has been undertaken by his Department or by the Revenue Commissioners on the possible impact the United Kingdom leaving the European Union will have on the legislation governing the tax code and the application of the tax code; the potential legislative changes that will be required to account for this impact; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49879/18]

 58. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe his plans to bring forward legislation that will add the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to parts of the legislative tax code that refer to member states, member states of the European Union or EEA states, in particular with regard to the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999 and the Tax Consolidation Act 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49880/18]

 73. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the way in which section 80(10)(a) of the Stamp Duty Consolidation Act 1999 will operate once the UK leaves the EU and the EEA on 29 March 2019; if companies in Northern Ireland will no longer qualify for the provisions in section 80 of the Stamp Duty Consolidation Act 1999 after this date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49971/18]

 74. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the way in which section 615(2)(b) of the Tax Consolidation Act 1997 will operate for the purposes of capital gains tax relief once the UK leaves the EU and the EEA on 29 March 2019; if companies in Northern Ireland will no longer qualify for capital gains tax relief; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49972/18]

 75. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the way in which agricultural relief from capital gains tax and stamp duty will apply for farms or agricultural land in cases in which a portion is in the territory of Northern Ireland and the other portion is in the territory of the Republic of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49973/18]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 57, 58 and 73 to 75, inclusive, together.

The Department of Finance has been assessing and preparing for the impact of Brexit since before the referendum on 23 June 2016. This work is being carried out within the whole-of-Government structures established by the Department of Foreign Affairs. It includes scoping legislative requirements and preparing draft legislation for all Brexit scenarios. As part of this work, the Department of Finance is working closely with the Revenue Commissioners on the implications of Brexit for the tax code to ensure that any necessary legislative arrangements are put in place. This work will be progressed as part of an overall Government legislative programme for managing Brexit.

In addition to the wider Governmental work, the Department undertakes a rolling analysis focusing on the key Brexit related policy issues, which includes taxation. The implications of Brexit on the tax code was analysed in two papers as part of the Tax Strategy Group (TSG) in 2017 and 2018. TSG 17-09 – BREXIT Taxation Issues and TSG 18-08 – Brexit.

On 25 November 2018 the European Council endorsed the Agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, and approved the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship. The Irish Government has been clear that it seeks the closest possible relationship between the EU and the UK, post Brexit, to ensure that the impact on our trade and economy is as minimal as possible.

As part of the Withdrawal Agreement, a transition period has been agreed within the context of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, during which the EU and the UK will negotiate an agreement on their future relationship. During the transition period, the whole of the EU acquis, will apply to the UK which will preserve the status quo during that period, thus avoiding any gaps or cliff edge effects between the UK leaving the EU and the intervening period before a future relationship agreement enters into force. It is therefore not appropriate to comment or speculate on the future EU-UK relationship and its implications for taxation or indeed any specific tax reliefs.

Brexit Issues

 59. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if analysis has been undertaken by his Department or by the Central Bank on the possible impact the United Kingdom leaving the European Union will have on the legislation governing financial regulation, including consumer protection and the application of that regulation; the potential legislative changes that will be required to account for this impact; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49881/18]

 60. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe his plans to bring forward legislation that will add the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to legislation governing financial regulation, including consumer protection in cases in which member states, member states of the European Union or an EEA state are referred to; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49882/18]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 59 and 60 together.

The Department of Finance has been assessing and preparing for the impact of Brexit since before the referendum on 23 June 2016. This work is being carried out within the whole-of-Government structures established by the Department of Foreign Affairs. As part of this work all Departments have been tasked by the Government to rollout detailed action plans with a view to advancing, as appropriate, the mitigating measures which have been identified in the areas of their responsibility from the planning to the implementation phase.

My Department is actively engaged in this work which has intensified in recent months and is now well advanced. It includes examining relevant acts including the Financial Services and Pensions Act 2017, scoping legislative requirements and preparing draft legislation for all Brexit scenarios.

The Department is also working closely with the Central Bank on the implications of Brexit. The Central Bank have been engaged in Brexit planning since before the UK referendum. The Bank is working to ensure that financial services firms are adequately prepared to cope with the possible effects of Brexit, with as little disruption to consumers as possible.

Vehicle Registration

 61. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if concerns raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied) will receive a reply; if the number of vehicles required on roads will increase, which would be contrary to emission reduction targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49920/18]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe Section 53, Finance Act 2017 amended section 130, Finance Act 1992 by moving category N1 vehicles with 4 or more seats and to which a BE bodywork code has not been assigned from the preferential VRT category B into the higher VRT category A.

The vehicles affected include a number of models that are commonly referred to as “sports utility vehicles” that are typically used for private purposes but their design placed them in the preferential VRT category. The purpose of the amendment is to move these vehicles into the higher VRT category. Vehicles with fewer than 4 seats remain in the preferential VRT category, as do vehicles that have any number of seats and are manufactured as pick-ups with the seating and goods compartments separated from each other. The conditions governing VAT and what is or is not reclaimable have not been affected by this amendment.

It is not expected that this measure will increase the number of vehicles on the road. The market offers a range of vehicles suitable for commercial purposes at the preferential category B rate. In fact, in time, the measure may have a modestly positive environmental impact, to the extent that it will reduce the financial incentives to purchase passenger-use vehicles with high levels of CO2 emissions, as is the case with many of the vehicles that have been reclassified.

Employment Investment Incentive Scheme

 62. Deputy Eamon Scanlon Information on Eamon Scanlon Zoom on Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if he will examine a case (details supplied) with the Revenue Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49909/18]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The Employment and Investment Incentive (“EII”) is an incentive whereby investors can claim relief for investments in qualifying companies.

  EII is a State Aid. In 2015 it came within the scope of the European Commission's General Block Exemption Regulation (“GBER”). A number of changes were made to EII in Finance Act 2015 and Finance Act 2017 to ensure conformity with GBER. The latter changes came into effect on 1 January 2018.

  Revenue advise me that of the cases currently being processed by the EII Branch, over 80% have required follow-up correspondence. While some of those are requests for clarifications, the majority relate to incomplete applications. Revenue require that applications are completed in their entirety, with all necessary documentation included, as a decision will be delayed where Revenue must seek further information from a company. With regard to the particular case, Revenue advise me that the company applied for EII relief on 20 April 2018 and received a request for information on 22 June. The information requested was submitted to Revenue on 9 October and on 19 October. Revenue then issued a response on 23 November highlighting areas where, based on the information provided, it believes the investment did not qualify for relief.

  Regarding the issue of Revenue and contact from the public, Revenue advise me that its EII Branch has a dedicated phone line specifically for EII queries and the number is available at the following link:

www.revenue.ie/en/starting-a-business/initiatives-for-startup-businesses-and-smes/the-employment-and-investment-incentive-eii-for-companies.aspx.

  This phone line is available between the hours of 9.30am to 1.30pm Monday to Friday to deal with queries from companies.

  The Deputy also raised the issue of pre-approval; Revenue advise me that, under the EII legislative provisions currently in force, it offers “outline approval” to companies who are uncertain as to whether or not they are qualifying companies. Revenue further advise that this is an opinion that it issues, based on the information provided and processed in line with the presumption of honesty set out in their Customer Service Charter and that obtaining outline approval is not a guarantee that relief will be given. Whether or not an investment meets the criteria set out in law can only be determined once that investment is made.

  Finally, as the Deputy may be aware, on foot of recommendations set out in the independent review of EII and the Start-Up Relief for Entrepreneurs scheme recently carried out by Indecon Economic Consultants, I have moved to change the administration of EII to a largely self-certification model in Finance Bill 2018. I expect that this change will enhance the efficient administration of the schemes.

  The independent review was published in the annual Department of Finance Tax Expenditures Report 2018 and is available at the following link:

www.budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2019/Documents/Tax%20Expenditures%20Report%202018%20FINAL%2017.10.18%20(002).pdf.

Tax Data

 63. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the cost in a full year based on latest data for a proposal (details supplied). [49914/18]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe Companies are entitled to claim capital allowances in respect of certain capital expenditure, including expenditure on qualifying plant and machinery, intangible assets and industrial buildings. For example, plant and machinery is generally written down at a rate of 12.5% per year over 8 years.

I am informed by Revenue that information is not available on tax returns in respect of the annual amount of capital expenditure by companies on fixed assets. For this reason, it is not possible to provide an estimate of the cost of the proposal for a 100% first year allowance for smaller companies based on available Revenue data.

Tax Code

 64. Deputy Paul Murphy Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if he will review the decision to subject refunds for medical treatment which are part of the terms and conditions of employees and pensioners of a company (details supplied) to tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49938/18]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The Deputy will be aware that the administration of the tax code is a matter for Revenue. The Deputy will also be aware that, in accordance with the provisions of the Taxes Consolidation Act as regards the confidentiality of a taxpayer’s affairs, Revenue does not comment on the tax affairs of individual taxpayers.

On the general point raised by the Deputy, I am advised by Revenue that where an employer provides refunds to employees or former employees in relation to medical services paid for by the employees or former employees, the amounts refunded are subject to PAYE taxation. I am further advised by Revenue that certain medical services provided to employees as a benefit in kind, for example, where an employer employs or pays a retainer to a general practitioner, can be provided free of tax. These provisions are set out in published guidelines, and all employers are entitled to make use of them.

Carbon Tax Yield

 65. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the estimated yield of increasing the carbon tax by values (details supplied) by each carbon fuel type in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49948/18]

 66. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the estimated yield per year of increasing the carbon tax incrementally from €20 per tonne to €100 per tonne over a five year period by each carbon fuel type in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49949/18]

 67. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the estimated yield per year of increasing the carbon tax incrementally from €20 per tonne to €100 per tonne over a ten year period by each carbon fuel type in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49950/18]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 65 to 67, inclusive, together.

  I am advised by Revenue that increasing the Carbon Tax from €20 per tonne to €100 per tonne by the values supplied would give the estimated yield for each carbon fuel type as shown in the table below. These estimates are based on the current volumes for each commodity and include both the increased Carbon Tax and the net VAT chargeable on that amount.

Carbon Tax Rate €25 €30 €35 €40 €80 €100
  €m €m €m €m €m €m
Auto-diesel 207 248 289 331 661 827
Petrol 69 83 96 110 220 275
Kerosene 74 89 104 119 237 297
Marked Gas Oil 73 88 103 118 235 294
LPG 12 15 17 20 39 49
Fuel Oil 2 3 3 4 7 9
Natural Gas 67 81 94 107 215 269
Peat Briquette 6 8 9 10 21 26
Coal 21 26 30 34 68 85
             
Total 533 639 746 852 1,704 2,130


   I am further advised by Revenue that increasing the Carbon Tax from €20 per tonne to €100 per tonne over a five-year or ten-year period would give the estimated yield for each carbon fuel type as shown in the tables below. These estimates are based on the current volumes for each commodity and include both the increased Carbon Tax and the net VAT chargeable on that amount.
- Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Carbon Tax Rate €36 €52 €68 €84 €100
  €m €m €m €m €m
Auto-diesel 298 430 562 694 827
Petrol 99 143 187 231 275
Kerosene 107 154 202 249 297
Marked Gas Oil 106 153 200 247 294
LPG 18 26 33 41 49
Fuel Oil 3 5 6 7 9
Natural Gas 97 140 183 226 269
Peat Briquette 9 13 18 22 26
Coal 31 44 58 71 85
           
Total 767 1,108 1,449 1,790 2,130


- Year Year Year Year Year Year Year Year Year Year
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Carbon Tax Rate €28 €36 €44 €52 €60 €68 €76 €84 €92 €100
  €m €m €m €m €m €m €m €m €m €m
Auto-diesel 231 298 364 430 496 562 628 694 760 827
Petrol 77 99 121 143 165 187 209 231 253 275
Kerosene 83 107 131 154 178 202 226 249 273 297
Marked Gas Oil 82 106 129 153 176 200 223 247 270 294
LPG 14 18 22 26 30 33 37 41 45 49
Fuel Oil 2 3 4 5 5 6 7 7 8 9
Natural Gas 75 97 118 140 161 183 204 226 247 269
Peat Briquette 7 9 11 13 15 18 20 22 24 26
Coal 24 31 37 44 51 58 65 71 78 85
                     
Total 597 767 937 1,108 1,278 1,449 1,619 1,790 1,960 2,130

Tax Agreements

 68. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of Irish citizens who were born in the United States of America but came to live in Ireland at a very young age and who have retained their US citizenship and are now classed as accidental Americans (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49958/18]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The issue which that the Deputy has raised refers to Irish resident individuals who are US citizens but do not have economic links with the US. These individuals are subject to US tax on the basis of having US citizenship. The phrase “accidental Americans” has been used to refer to these individuals.

  Ireland signed an Intergovernmental Agreement with the United States in December 2012 to implement the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). This Agreement provides for a bilateral, and reciprocal, exchange of information with the US. The information exchanged includes information in relation to financial accounts held in Irish Financial Institutions by US citizens.

  Part of the information Irish Financial Institutions are required to report to Revenue, for transmission to the US, is the US Tax Identification Number (TIN) of the US account holder and an Irish Financial Institution is obliged to obtain a TIN from a US account holder. As “accidental Americans” were born in the US and are US citizens subject to US tax, the relevant information – including a US TIN – in relation to their accounts must be reported to Revenue under FATCA.

The issue of "accidental Americans", and how the US tax system impacts on such US citizens who are not resident in the US, has been brought to the attention of the US authorities at EU level.

EU Regulations

 69. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the way in which the €70,000 limit is calculated with regard to section 21(c)(iii) of the Finance Bill 2018 if a young farmer inherits a family farm worth €1 million; if the relief going towards the €70,000 limit would be €10,000 (1%), €60,000 (6%), or €50,000 (the difference between the two); if any part of a subsequent purchase of land charged at 6% stamp duty would count towards the €70,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49967/18]

 70. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe when the €70,000 limit in section 21(c)(iii) of the Finance Bill 2018 begins to accumulate; if it applies to relief obtained from the enactment of the Bill or if it is retrospective in nature; if stamp duty relief received by a farmer that inherited land last year would count towards the €70,000 limit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49968/18]

 71. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the rationale to impose limits as outlined in Article 18 of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 702/2014 of 25 June 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49969/18]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 69 to 71, inclusive, together.

Commission Regulation (EU) No. 702/2014 of 25 June 2014, commonly known as the Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation (ABER), is the Regulation under which certain categories of State aid can be granted to the agricultural and forestry sectors. In relation to question 49969/18, ABER entered into force on 1 July 2014 and has had direct effect in all Member States since then. This means that the ABER rules apply directly to beneficiaries in Ireland regardless of our domestic Irish law and without having to be enacted in our tax legislation. Sections 21 (income tax and corporation tax measures) and 48 (stamp duty measures) of Finance Bill 2018 as passed by Dáil Éireann propose amendments to the relevant domestic tax legislation to provide greater clarity for the farming sector in relation to the ABER rules.

Article 18 of ABER sets out the specific requirements for the granting of start-up aid to young farmers, and the development of small farms, and stipulates, inter alia, that the amount of aid per young farmer is to be limited to €70,000. This limit is a lifetime limit that applies to the cumulative aid received under all schemes covered by Article 18 of ABER. The relevant schemes are:

- transfers of land to young trained farmers under section 81AA Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999;

- stock relief under section 667B Taxes Consolidation Act 1997;

- farm succession partnerships under section 667D Taxes Consolidation Act 1997.

The limits contained in the Finance Bill, once enacted, will be applied to claims for relief made in relation to stamp duty for transfers or conveyances of land executed on or after 1 January 2019, and for the year of assessment 2019 and subsequent years of assessment for stock relief and succession farm partnership relief. Anyone submitting a stamp duty return for conveyances or transfers of land executed on or after 1 January 2019, or income tax or corporation tax returns for the 2019 year of assessment onwards, must have regard to the amount of relief claimed since 1 July 2014. The total amount claimed over the period must not exceed €70,000.

As regards question 49967/18 and the example mentioned by the deputy, the inheritance of a family farm does not attract a stamp duty charge and, thus, is not affected by the €70,000 limit.

In relation to question 49968/18, I am advised by Revenue that the amount of aid granted under any of the three relevant schemes since 1 July 2014 must be taken into account when claiming any further relief in relation to stamp duty for transfers or conveyances of land executed on or after 1 January 2019, and for the year of assessment 2019 and subsequent years of assessment for stock relief and succession farm partnership relief. It should be emphasized that this is not a case of the retrospective application of the limit, as, as noted above, the EU Regulation that introduced it on 1 July 2014 had immediate legal effect in all EU Member States.

Revenue Documents Issuance

 72. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if there is guidance from the Revenue Commissioners or otherwise for the farming sector in relation to section 21 of the Finance Bill 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49970/18]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe Section 21 of Finance Bill 2018 includes a range of amendments to Part 23 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (Farming and Market Gardening). The principal changes were the removal of restrictions relating to criteria enabling individuals to qualify for farm averaging and amendments to the stock relief provisions to ensure conformity with the EU Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation.

In relation to farm averaging, the section amends section 657 by extending the availability of income averaging to farmers who, or whose spouse or civil partner, carries on another non-farming trade or profession or who are directors of companies which carry on a trade or profession. At present such farmers are not entitled to elect for income averaging. The change is intended to assist those farmers dealing with income volatility by maximising the number of farmers who are eligible to opt in to the regime, and should allow for increased uptake of the scheme, with the Irish Farmers’ Association having previously estimated that some 5,000 farmers were unable to enter averaging as a result of the current restriction on those with off-farm trading income.

Section 21 also amends section 667B (stock relief for young trained farmers) and 667D (Succession Farm Partnerships) to ensure conformity of those sections with the applicable rules on State Aid under the Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation. Provision is made for aggregation of reliefs granted to young trained farmers under sections 667B, 667D and section 81AA of the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999 to ensure that the €70,000 limit provided for in the regulation is not exceeded.

Revenue advise me that once the Bill is enacted it will provide guidance on the above changes both in their Notes for Guidance and in their Tax and Duty Manuals.

Questions Nos. 73 to 75, inclusive, answered with Question No. 57.


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