Thursday, 16 July 2020
Department of Finance
33. To ask the Minister for Finance if he will consider providing income tax relief for the long-term lease of residential homes to address security of tenure in view of the success of a similar measure in the agricultural sector under section 664 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 as amended by the Finance Act 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16288/20]
Section 664 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (‘relief for certain income from leasing of farm land ’) provides for the exemption of certain income from tax in connection with the leasing of farm land, where the land is let under a qualifying lease. This particular relief was designed to encourage longer term leases of farm land, with the targeted policy objective of assisting with the mobility and productive use of agricultural land.
Generally, rental income, after deduction of allowable letting expenses, is subject to tax as part of the total taxable income of a landlord. Individual landlords are subject to income tax on all their income combined, at the applicable rates, including USC and PRSI where appropriate.
Under the heading "Mission: Housing for All", the Programme for Government sets out the priorities of the Government in relation to housing and accommodation, including in relation to the issue of rental. It is my view that priority should be given to implementation of the various measures relating to rental of residential property as set out in the programme before examining other potential initiatives which might be pursued such as that suggested by the Deputy.
In addition, Ireland’s past experience with tax incentives in the housing sector strongly suggests the need for a cautionary stance when considering intervention in the rental sector. There are many competing priorities which must be considered when deciding which policy measures to introduce and the rental sector is just one of many other sectors that may require assistance and intervention. I must be mindful of the many demands on the Exchequer and the need to maintain a broad base of taxation.