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 Header Item Tax Rebates
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Tax Rebates
 Header Item Tax Code
 Header Item NAMA Portfolio
 Header Item Banking Sector
 Header Item NAMA Legal Fees
 Header Item Tax Code

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 800 No. 4

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Tax Rebates

 63. Deputy Jack Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare is due a tax rebate for 2010 and 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19197/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that PAYE Balancing Statement (P21) for 2010 and 2011 issued to the person concerned on 26 March 2013. Based on these statements underpayments of income tax arise in the amount of €99.64 for 2010 and €1.20 for 2011. According to Revenue records no income levy was deducted for 2010. Accordingly no refund is due. With regard to USC, for 2011, all individuals are liable to the USC where gross income exceeds the threshold of €4,004 per annum. The rate of the charge on the first €10,036 is 2%. Full medical card holders are not exempt from USC but the maximum rate of USC on PAYE income for holders of full medical cards is 4%, i.e. the 7% rate does not apply to income over €16,016. According to Revenue records the correct USC was paid by the person concerned for 2011.

Departmental Expenditure

 64. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if any of his Department’s 2012 capital expenditure allocation was used for current expenditure purposes last year, the amount used for this purpose; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19215/13]

 65. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he will provide the month by month profile for his Department's 2013 capital expendiuture; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19231/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 and 65 together.

  The capital allocation for my Department for 2012 was €0.150m. None of this budget was used for current expenditure. The capital allocation for my Department for 2013 is €0.150m. There is no immediate demand on this allocation and therefore it is profiled for spend in the final quarter of this year.

Tax Rebates

 66. Deputy Dan Neville Information on Dan Neville Zoom on Dan Neville asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the position regarding a tax refund in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19318/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the taxpayer has been issued with a form P50 to enable him to claim any Universal Social Charge that may have been over deducted. From Revenue records, it does not appear that the taxpayer is due any tax refund, but he may of course contact the Region at 1890 22 24 25 if he has reason to believe otherwise.

Tax Code

 67. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he will consider classifying personal alarms for the elderly as a medical device for the purposes of VAT and applying zero VAT rating to these products; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19334/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The VAT rating of goods and services is subject to the requirements of EU VAT law with which Irish VAT law must comply. While the EU VAT Directive and Irish VAT law provide for the possibility of applying a reduced of VAT to the supply of certain medical equipment this possibility does not extend to the supply of personal alarms. Nor is there any provision in VAT law that would make it possible to apply an exemption or the zero rate to the supply of such products. In the circumstances, the supply of personal alarms is liable to VAT at the standard rate, currently 23%. The supply of parts and accessories is also liable to VAT at the standard rate.

I would point out that Value-Added Tax (Refund of Tax) (No. 15) Order 1981 enables VAT paid on qualifying goods to be refunded where the goods are purchased for the exclusive use of disabled persons suffering a specified degree of disablement. The Order applies to goods which are aids or appliances, including parts and accessories, which might reasonably be treated as constructed or adapted having regard to the particular disablement of the person. A personal alarm for a disabled person may qualify for relief under the Order if it may be considered an aid or appliance constructed or adapted for use by a disabled person having regard to the particular disablement of that person. A Claim Form VAT 61A is available on the Revenue website (www.revenue.ie).

In addition, the Deputy may be aware of the Seniors Alert Scheme operated by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, which provides grant support for the supply of equipment to enable older people without sufficient means to continue to live securely in their homes. The scheme replaced the Scheme of Community Support for Older People in May 2010. The grant assistance is made available through community and voluntary groups registered with the Department. Grant support is available towards the cost of purchasing and installing monitored personal alarms, as well as additional or replacement pendants.

Persons wishing to apply for the grant support should contact the group registered to operate the scheme in their area. A list of these groups is available from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

NAMA Portfolio

 68. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan further to Parliamentary Question No. 260 of 16 April 2013, if he will clarify the apparent inconsistency in policy between the National Asset Management Agency providing detailed information in a press release on its development of the Millmount project in Dundonald, County Down, but declines to provide information on its plans with respect to the 1916 National Monument site at 14-17 Moore Street, Dublin. [19348/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I am advised by NAMA that its role is that of a secured lender and that properties continue to be managed by debtors or, in the case of enforcement, by the appointed receivers/administrators. NAMA does, however, take a close interest in the efficient management and sale of properties with a view to maximising loan repayment for the ultimate benefit of the taxpayer.

  As stated in the answer to PQ No. 260 of 16th April 2013, in the case of property under the control of its debtors, NAMA is precluded, under Section 202 of the NAMA Act 2009, from disclosing confidential information. Confidential information is specifically defined to include information relating to debtors and their properties. Furthermore, Section 99 of the Act provides that, on acquisition of a loan, NAMA takes over the obligations of the participating institution under the loan, one of which is the contractual duty of confidentiality which the debtor enjoyed while still a customer of the participating institution. Information about individual debtors is also protected against disclosure by the Data Protection Acts with which NAMA must comply as a data controller.

  Similar restrictions do not apply to properties under the control of receivers or other insolvency practitioners appointed by NAMA. Such properties are listed on the Agency’s website, www.nama.ie. Any decision in relation to the publication of information pertaining to an enforced property is taken in consultation with the appointed insolvency practitioner. I am advised by NAMA that the decision to provide funding to build a new 95-unit housing development in Dundonald, close to Belfast, was reached following a detailed cost-benefit evaluation which established that this was likely to produce the best return for the taxpayer from this site.

Banking Sector

 69. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan further to Parliamentary Question No. 280 of 16 April 2013, if he will identify the independent advisors to Allied Irish bank and the AIB pension fund in the transaction whereby €1.2 billion of EBS mortgages were transferred from AIB to the AIB pension fund in August 2012; if the same company acted as independent advisor on both sides of the transaction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19349/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I have been informed by AIB that for commercial confidentiality reasons AIB does not publicly disclose the details of contracts with individual external service providers. However, the bank can confirm that for the purpose of asset valuation, separate advisors were used by AIB and the Trustees of the AIB Pension Fund.

NAMA Legal Fees

 70. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan further to Parliamentary Question No. 274 of 16 April 2013, if he will confirm the reason legal fees were paid to ICSA Software International, a provider of computer software. [19350/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I am advised by NAMA that ICSA Software International provide software which is used by the legal division to managing compliance obligations of the various NAMA's SPV's.

Tax Code

 71. Deputy Peter Mathews Information on Peter Mathews Zoom on Peter Mathews asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan his intentions to exempt (details supplied) from a benefit tax. [19420/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan It is a general principle of taxation that, as far as possible, income from all sources should be subject to taxation. In line with this principle, the majority of social welfare payments are reckonable as income for tax purposes. These include long-term payments such as Disablement Benefit, the State Pension, Widows, Invalidity and Blind Pensions, Carers Allowance and the One Parent Family Payment, as well as short term benefits such as Job Seekers Benefit. Treating these payments as income for tax purposes is essentially a matter of equity.

As a result of maternity benefit payments becoming liable to income tax for all claimants, from 1 July 2013, a number of possible tax outcomes could arise:

1. An individual may pay no income tax on their maternity benefit payment as their tax credits will be sufficient to reduce their tax liability to zero.

2. An individual may pay income tax on some or all of their maternity benefit payment solely at the standard rate.

3. An individual may pay income tax at the standard rate on a portion of the maternity benefit and the higher rate on the balance of the maternity benefit payment.

4. An individual may pay income tax on all of their maternity benefit payment at the higher rate.

I am fully aware that some employers do not pay a top up payment to their employees whilst on maternity leave. However, in such circumstances many mothers will not be subject to income tax on their maternity benefit payments as their personal credits will ensure that no tax arises on the social welfare income itself. Of course, the extent, if any, to which taxation actually arises in a given case depends on the level of income that a recipient has in a tax year. Accordingly, the tax liability on maternity benefit payments will ultimately depend on the total income of the individual or couple concerned in the tax year or years concerned.

There are situations currently where an employee continues to be paid by her employer, while on maternity leave and, based on her PRSI contributions, is entitled to Maternity Benefit from the Department of Social Protection. The non-taxation of such benefit currently results in an employee having a greater net take-home pay for the period of maternity benefit, than if she was at work. The rates of Maternity Benefit are earnings-related and are set to reflect post-tax income. It was never intended that individuals would gain financially by being on maternity leave. The introduction of the charge to income tax on maternity benefit payments will ensure that those with identical incomes will be treated the same for income tax purposes.

I would point out though, that maternity benefit payments will remain exempt from Universal Social Charge and PRSI. Given the current budgetary constraints I have no plans to introduce a tax exemption along the lines proposed.


Last Updated: 29/04/2020 08:42:38 First Page Previous Page Page of 92 Next Page Last Page