Written answers

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Department of Finance

Defence Forces Remuneration

Photo of Michael McNamaraMichael McNamara (Clare, Labour)
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157. To ask the Minister for Finance if he will outline the status of the PDFORRA claim to the Revenue Commissioners for a flat rate expenses allowance under section 114 of the Tax Consolidation Act 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1930/16]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
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The legislation governing the deductibility of expenses incurred in employment, as set out in section 114 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, provides that, for an expense to qualify as a deduction against income from an office or employment, the expense must be wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of the duties of the office or employment.

For ease of administration, where a large number of employees incur similar qualifying expenses which are not reimbursed by their employer, the Revenue Commissioners have over the years provided a facility whereby a flat rate expense allowance may be claimed.  Such a flat rate is agreed between the Revenue Commissioners and persons representing the relevant group of employees, typically a trade union or similar body.  In agreeing a flat rate expense, an entitlement to a deduction must first be established by reference to the nature and amount of the expense incurred.  It must also be established that any such expense is not reimbursed by the relevant employer(s), either directly or by way of an allowance or other means.  As part of this process, it is necessary to clarify the extent to which expenses are similarly incurred by all relevant employees.

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they are currently in discussions with PDFORRA regarding a claim for a flat rate expense allowance for certain members of the Defence Forces.  The discussions involve an examination of the categories of duty carried on by the relevant members, the types of expenses wholly, necessarily and exclusively incurred in such duties and the nature and purpose of any allowances currently paid in respect of those duties.

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