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Written Answers — Department of Finance: Departmental Advertising Data (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The amount my Department spent on digital marketing in each of the past eight years; the items on which funds were spent; the criteria by which target audiences were selected; the amount of the digital spend targeted here; the amount targeted abroad; the amount that related to private companies; the amount that related to policy initiatives; and the purpose of the digital advertisements is...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Financial Services Regulation (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The original Consumer Protection Code (the Code) was introduced in 2006 and effective from 1 July 2007 and set out rules and principles that all regulated financial services firms must follow when providing financial products and services to consumers. The general principles of the Code (which remain in place following the 2012 review of the Code) require regulated entities to ensure that...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Departmental Expenditure (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: My Department engaged the companies mentioned in each of the years 2015 to 2019. Details of the fees paid are in the following table: Year Business Unit Companies Cost per year Reason each was engaged 2015 207608 Arthur Cox €934,654 Litigation 2016 207608 Arthur Cox €242,234 Litigation, procurement advice, ongoing management and phased disposal of State investments 2016...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Departmental Expenditure (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: My Department engaged the company System Dynamics to provide technical support for an IT system. In July 2015 this company was acquired by Deloitte. On two occasions between 2015 and 2019 we made payments in relation to this engagement. Details of the fees paid are in the following table: Year Projects Costs paid 2015 Oracle JDEWARDS Support Service 19,999.80 2016 Oracle JDEWARDS Support...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Vehicle Registration (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: Ireland’s Vehicle Registration Tax regime for passenger cars (VRT Category A) is based on CO2 emissions in order to encourage the purchase of vehicles with lower CO2 emissions. This is in line with broader climate change policy as well as EU Regulations which set ever lower binding emissions targets on the automotive industry in relation to new car and van fleets.  The...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Tax Reliefs Data (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I am informed by Revenue that the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (TCA) provides the following reliefs and deductions at a taxpayer’s marginal rate of tax:  - Section 114 provides a deduction for expenses wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of the duties of employment. - Sections 381 – 390 provide deductions in relation to losses incurred in a...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Real Estate Investment Trusts (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: In light of recent commentary on the property market and in the context of the question asked, I believe the Deputy is referring to Real Estate Investment Trusts, Irish Real Estate Funds and section 110 companies. Finance Act 2013 introduced the regime for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in Ireland. The function of the REIT framework is not to provide an overall tax exemption...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Departmental Schemes (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The Government's Climate Action Plan contains the following action point: As an alternative to the current grant regime, consider in 2020 a car-scrappage scheme to promote the purchase of electric vehicles. This is directed to my Department. The previous car scrappage scheme operated from January 2010 to July 2011. VRT relief of up to €1,500 was available upon...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: VAT Rate Application (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: VAT legislation does not specifically apply the zero rate of VAT to food supplements but shortly after the introduction of VAT in 1972  Revenue applied a concessionary zero rating to certain vitamin, mineral and fish oil products. As the market developed over the years this treatment resulted in the zero rating by Revenue of further similar products, including products other than...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: National Economic Dialogue (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: As the Deputy will be aware the National Economic Dialogue took place for the fifth time on June 26thand June 27ththis year. The Dialogue provided an opportunity to foster discussion between the relevant stakeholders on how to best sustain and strengthen the recovery while taking into account the many competing economic and social priorities within the limited available resources. The...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: VAT Rate Application (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The second reduced 9% VAT rate was introduced on a temporary basis as part of the Jobs Initiative from July 2011 to December 2013 and was aimed at boosting tourism and the creation of additional jobs in that sector. The rate was designed to be temporary, but was maintained in subsequent Budgets. In 2016, the Programme for Partnership Government committed to maintaining the 9% VAT rate,...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Universal Social Charge Abolition (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: An inter-departmental working group was established in February 2018 to examine and report on options for the amalgamation of USC and PRSI over the medium-term. The working group completed their work, in line with their terms of reference and their report was submitted to me in late 2018. Follow-on decisions will be taken in due course and I will make these public at the appropriate time. ...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Tax Strategy Group (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The Deputy will be aware that the Tax Strategy Group (TSG) is in place since the early 1990s and chaired by the Department of Finance with membership comprising senior officials and political advisers from a number of Civil Service Departments and Offices. Papers on various options for tax policy changes are prepared annually by officials. The TSG is not a decision-making body and the...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Tax Code (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I am advised by Revenue that if tax on roll-your-own tobacco was increased using an annual tax escalator of 10%, it would take approximately four years for the tax rate on roll-your-own tobacco to reach equivalence with cigarettes. That is providing there was no further increase in Tobacco Products Tax on cigarettes during that period.

Written Answers — Department of Finance: VAT Rate Application (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The VAT rating of goods and services is subject to the requirements of EU VAT law, with which Irish VAT law must comply. In accordance with Irish VAT legislation, oral medicines (for human consumption), licensed/authorised by the Health Products Regulatory Authority, are liable to VAT at the zero rate. Ireland’s application of the zero rate of VAT to oral medicines derives from...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Fiscal Policy (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I can advise the Deputy that the anticipated transfer of €500 million to the Rainy Day Fund (RDF) will not impact on the indicative nominal budgetary package of €2.8 billion for 2020 set out in the Summer Economic Statement (i.e. the proposed budgetary package is net of this payment) .  It is important to point out that transferring money to the RDF will not be...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Tax Credits (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: Subsection (8) of section 466A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (TCA) provides that a couple may not receive both the increased standard rate band and the home carer credit in a tax year. Carer’s Benefit is taxable income under section 112 TCA. As a result, a jointly assessed couple where one spouse or civil partner is in receipt of this payment is considered to be a dual...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Official Engagements (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: As part of my ongoing international engagements, I meet monthly with my EU counterparts at meetings of ECOFIN and Eurogroup, including with my Austrian counterpart, Eduard Muller. I intend to continue my dialogue with him and my other Finance Minister counterparts in the period ahead.  At present, there are no arrangements in place for a bilateral meeting with Minister Muller.

Written Answers — Department of Finance: VAT Rate Application (9 Jul 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I propose to take Questions Nos. 177 and 178 together. I am advised by Revenue that the provisions of the EU Directive are transposed into Irish VAT law, which is interpreted by the Irish Courts based on the principles and purpose of the Directive. Interpretation of this legislation evolves on a continuous basis, as a result of judgements handed down by Irish courts and, ultimately, the...

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