Wednesday, 29 July 2020
Department of Finance
My Department has provided a Tax Expenditures Report with each Budget since Budget 2016 (the Report on Tax Expenditures 2019 published on the day of Budget 2020 being the most recent). It can be found at the following link:
The versions of this report issued in previous years are also available online, and I expect the next such report, that for 2020, to be published alongside Budget 2021 later this year.
Each report contains a series of tables which outline the fiscal impact of the range of tax expenditures as required under the EU Budgetary Framework Directive, through providing a list of the extant tax expenditures and where available the number availing and revenue forgone in respect of each of the two most recently available years.
As well as the tables, each report incorporates the outcomes of certain tax expenditure reviews carried out in the previous 12 months.
I am advised that Revenue also provides open external access to their tax expenditures database on their web-site. This provides information in respect of more than 100 tax credits, reliefs and allowances, and can be found at the following link:
The information includes the most recently available statistics on the numbers availing of each measure and the associated cost to the Exchequer. In addition, as listed at the above link, more detailed analysis is published for significant tax expenditures including the R&D tax credit, the Home Renovation Incentive, the Help to Buy Scheme and the Employment Investment Incentive.
However my Department is unable to provide the cost of tax foregone for around 40 per cent of the tax expenditures listed for a number of reasons including tax payer confidentiality and because the data is not collected by Revenue for some tax measures. For example the Cycle to Work Scheme is currently not costed because it is expected that the administrative cost of collecting the data would exceed the amount of Revenue foregone. Therefore we are unable provide an accurate overall total figure for tax expenditures.