Written answers

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
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96. To ask the Minister for Finance his plans to include special needs assistants on the list of professions entitled to claim flat rate expenses; the reason this profession has not been included in the list to date in view of the fact that teachers are entitled to claim flat rate expenses; the engagement he has had with representative bodies acting on behalf of special needs assistants on this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50226/21]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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The flat rate expense (FRE) regime is operated by Revenue on an administrative basis. It applies where both a specific commonality of expenditure exists across an employment category and the statutory requirement for the tax deduction as set out in section 114 Taxes Consolidation Act (TCA) 1997 is satisfied, namely, that the expenses are wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of the duties of the office or employment by the employee concerned. A further requirement is that such expenses are not reimbursed by an employee’s employer.

The FRE regime was established to apply a uniformity of approach to tax deductibility for expenses of large groups of employees and to facilitate ease of administration for both Revenue and employees. The expense should apply to all employees in that category and not be discretionary. Revenue has advised me that it will consider FRE applications where a large number of employees incur broadly identical qualifying expenses which are not reimbursed by their employer.

Applications are generally made by the representative bodies in the employment sectors concerned and are considered by Revenue based on the specific commonality of expenses within the employment category and compliance with the strictly applied statutory requirement for a tax deduction.

I am advised by Revenue that it received a submission from the body that represents Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) in 2018. I am further advised that Revenue requested further information pertaining to the submission however, to date, this information has not been received. Should Revenue receive a submission in respect of SNAs, it will be given due consideration.

Revenue advises me that it remains committed to the FRE regime and encourages all taxpayers to avail of their full tax relief entitlements.

Finally, it should be noted that all employees retain their statutory right to claim a deduction under section 114 TCA 1997 in respect of an expense incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties of their employment, to the extent which such expenses are not reimbursed by the employer.


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