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Written Answers. - Tax Reliefs.

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 551 No. 3

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 146. Mr. J. Mitchell Information on Jim Mitchell Zoom on Jim Mitchell  asked the Minister for Finance Information on Charlie McCreevy Zoom on Charlie McCreevy  if, arising from his statement regarding amendment No. 68 to the Finance Bill, 2002, at the Select Committee on Finance and the Public Service, he can produce a copy of the statement of practice published by the Revenue Commissioners setting out the circumstances in which caravan parks qualify for the relief. [10478/02]

Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): Information on Charlie McCreevy Zoom on Charlie McCreevy I am informed that the Office of the Revenue Commissioners' rules and practices reference manual published under section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act, 1997, sets out its practice in relation to the application of business relief for capital acquisitions tax purposes to caravan parks.

In summary, business relief only applies to relevant business property. Section 127 of the Finance Act, 1994, sets out the definition of such property. The section specifically excludes investment assets.

[845]The Revenue Commissioners' rules and practices reference manual states that, as a general guideline, where a business's own furnished caravans account for at least half of the total number of lettings, it would be appropriate to accept the business as primarily trading and therefore eligible for business relief.

Conversely, where most of the lettings relate to pitch sites and facilities are restricted to the provision of basic facilities such as water and electricity, business relief would be denied on the grounds that the business is mainly engaged in the exploitation of its property rights as opposed to trading.

The Revenue manual states that the availability of business relief will depend on the facts in each case and I am informed that if there are any specific cases, these can be submitted to Revenue for consideration.

I am also informed by the Revenue Commissioners that they have sent on the relevant excerpt from their published reference manual directly to the Deputy since the discussion at the Select Committee on Finance and the Public Service.

Question No. 147 answered with Question No. 143.148. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance if it is in order for a trade union subscription up to €127 payable by a trade union member to be eligible for a 20% tax credit; and if this was implemented in Budget 2001. [10514/02]

Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): Information on Charlie McCreevy Zoom on Charlie McCreevy I introduced income tax relief for trade union subscriptions paid to specified trade unions in the Finance Act, 2001, for 2001 and subsequent years. Arising from the prior need to identify the qualifying trade union members in the most efficient way [846] possible, the tax relief for trade union subscriptions due in respect of the short tax year ended 31 December 2001 is, with the agreement of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, carried forward for inclusion with the relief appropriate to the 2002 tax year.

The annual amount of the relief for 2002 is €130 at the standard rate of tax, which is equivalent to a tax credit of €26. The relief available for 2001 is reduced proportionately for the short year of assessment to a tax credit of €19, and this is carried forward to supplement the tax credit to be allowed in 2002. I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that where possible the tax credit for trade union subscriptions –€45, comprising €26 for 2002 plus €19 for 2001 – was automatically included in the certificates of tax credits and standard cut-off point which issued earlier this year. Any individual, paying a trade union subscription, who has not yet received the tax credit in his or her certificate may claim the relief by contacting his or her local tax office or by telephoning the LoCall number 1890 60 50 90.


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