Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Finance
Real Estate Investment Trusts
58. To ask the Minister for Finance his views on whether it is an appropriate time to re-evaluate the special arrangements that entities such as REITs enjoy (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6273/20]
Finance Act 2013 introduced the regime for the operation of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in Ireland. The function of the REIT framework is not to provide an overall tax exemption but rather to facilitate collective investment in rental property by removing a double layer of taxation which would otherwise apply on property investment via a corporate vehicle.
A number of amendments were made to the taxation of REITs as part of Finance Act 2019, to ensure the regime operates as intended. The obligation to deduct REIT Dividend Withholding Tax was extended to include distributions of the proceeds of capital disposals. New measures were introduced to require the proceeds of property disposals to be re-invested in property assets or distributed within a set period. The deemed disposal provisions upon cessation of REIT status were restricted to REITs that have been in operation for at least 15 years, in line with the regime's stated objective of encouraging long-term, stable investment in rental property. Finance Act 2019 also introduction of the “wholly and exclusively” test when calculating the REIT profits available for distribution. This test is common throughout the taxes act, its inclusion in the REIT legislation ensures fair and consistent treatment for those investing in Irish property.
The Deputy may be aware that that my officials prepared a report on Real Estate Investment Trusts, Irish Real Estate Funds and section 110 companies as they invest in the Irish property market in 2019. This report was completed and presented to the Tax Strategy Group in July 2019 and informed the changes introduced in Finance Act 2019, referred to above. I therefore do not believe it to be an appropriate time to conduct a further review of the REIT regime, however I can confirm that my Department actively monitors developments in the property market on an ongoing basis. The aforementioned report can be viewed at the following link: .
In relation to the further details supplied, it is not appropriate for the Minister for Finance to comment on the remuneration of specific individuals.