Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
205. Deputy Phil Hogan asked the Minister for Finance the tax reliefs that continue in the tax code in respect of construction work with particular reference to commercial, residential and nursing home tax breaks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36886/08]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the following property based tax incentive schemes remain in the tax code and, in general, provide capital allowances at the rate of 15% for the first 6 years and 10% in year 7 for the construction or refurbishment of qualifying premises:
All other property based tax incentive schemes terminated on, or before, 31 July 2008. Apart from the foregoing schemes, therefore, there are no schemes extant in the tax code providing tax incentives for commercial or residential developments.
206. Deputy Mary Upton asked the Minister for Finance if an arrangement will be put in place for the payment of VAT and PRSI by a business (details supplied) to avoid closure of the business; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36914/08]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): I am advised by Revenue that they expect taxpayers and businesses to organise their financial affairs to ensure that they pay their tax debts as they fall due. Where occasional cash flow difficulties arise Revenue is prepared to work with a business to ensure full resumption of timely payment of tax debts as quickly as possible. In this particular instance there have been a number of interventions by Revenue but the terms of agreements entered into have not been met. Revenue will undertake one final engagement in the case concerned, before enforcement action is commenced, with a view to reaching a satisfactory payment arrangement, which will include interest.
207. Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Finance the expected tax revenue in 2009 from the 1% levy on taxpayers whose gross earnings are less than €10,000, €10,001 to €15,000, €15,001 to €20,000 and €20,001 to €25,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36938/08]
208. Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Finance the number of individuals who will be paying the 1% levy whose gross income is less than €10,000 a year, €10,001 to €15,000, €15,001 to €20,000 and €20,001 to €25,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36939/08]
As the Deputy will be aware, it is proposed to include a threshold which will exempt the minimum wage from the income levy. More detailed provisions, in relation to the collection, recovery, inspection of records, and other provisions required will be set out in the Finance Bill.
209. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance if he will report on the proposed annual €200 levy for car parking for employees in urban areas; if he will define an urban area under this levy; the workers who will be exempt from this levy; if this parking levy will be proportionately applied to employees who are on the minimum wage, low wage earners or who have access to parking for only part of the week; the estimated annual revenue generated by the proposed urban parking tax; the estimated annual administration costs of the new levy; the way the levy will be collected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36960/08]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): The detailed provisions of the car parking levy are currently being finalised and will be included in the Finance (No. 2) Bill 2008, which will be published on 20 November next.
210. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance if he will report on the proposed new air travel tax; the reason a 300 kilometre cut-off point was established in terms of the lower €2 air travel tax; if he will review the 300 kilometre limit of the lower €2 air travel tax in the context of Shannon Airport and its routes to critical UK destinations; if he undertook any reviews of the impact of a new air travel departure tax on connectivity levels of Shannon Airport before this tax was introduced; the reason private jets of less than 20 seats will be exempt from the new tax; the estimated annual revenue generated by the proposed new tax; the estimated annual administration costs of the new tax; the way the tax will be collected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36962/08]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): I announced in Budget 2009 that an Air Travel Tax will come into force in respect of passengers departing from Irish airports on and from 30 March 2009. The general rate applying will be €10 per passenger, with a lower rate of €2 for shorter air journeys i.e. those not in excess of 300 kms. I decided that a relatively short air journey should reflect a lower charge. It is not unusual for the price of fares for longer journeys to be higher than those for shorter journeys and the tax reflects that position. I was also conscious that the tax would apply to both the outward and return journey in respect of domestic flights. In addition, I was cognisant of the greater competition that exists from other forms of travel for that sector, relative to longer flights.
All aircraft with less than 20 passenger seats are exempt from the tax. This is one of the practical measures designed to exclude those small aerodromes that exist around the country where it would be administratively difficult to impose or collect the tax. However, in the case of larger airports, collection systems are already in place and any additional administration costs for those airports should be marginal. As I signalled in the Budget, it is proposed that the tax will be payable by the appropriate airport authority to the Revenue Commissioners. This measure is estimated to yield €95 million in 2009 and €150 million in a full year.
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