Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
213. Deputy Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Finance if there are proposals to tax a gratuity lump sum earned by people who worked on the ambulance service on their retirement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12034/09]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): Under statutory pension schemes and pension schemes approved by the Revenue Commissioners there is no liability to income tax in respect of retirement gratuities or lump sums paid to members of such schemes on retirement. Provided the individuals referred to in the question are members of such a scheme and the lump sum payments comply with Revenue rules in this area, there is no liability to income tax on the retirement lump sum payments. In this regard, it should be noted that the tax arrangements for retirement lump sums apply in respect of pension schemes in both the public and private sectors.
The House will appreciate that I do not propose to comment on what may or may not be contained in the forthcoming supplementary Budget. I have said in response to recent similar questions that I have no plans at this point in time to alter the tax treatment of retirement lump sum payments. This remains the position.
214. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Finance if he has estimated the impact of the proposed increase in betting tax from 1% to 2% on employment in this sector; and if he has identified options to introduce more broad based tax measures on the gambling sector. [12092/09]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): I announced in Budget 2009 that the betting duty would be increased from 1 to 2%. Subsequently, I met a wide range of representatives from the betting industry where the problems faced by the sector, including those arising from the Budgetary changes, were discussed.
The Finance (No. 2) Act 2008 provides that the betting duty rate will be increased from 1% to 2% on 1 May 2009. The Act also provides that, as happens in the case of other business expenses, betting duty paid by a bookmaker on bets made on or after 1 January 2009 will be allowed as a deduction in computing the amount of profits or losses of the bookmaking business for Income Tax or Corporation Tax purposes.
I am conscious of the reduced activity in the betting industry arising from the general slowdown in economic activity. As I stated during the Finance Bill process, I intend to look at an overhaul of the betting tax regime in the context of next year’s Budget and Finance Bill.
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