Written answers

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Department of Finance

Veterinary Services

Photo of Steven MatthewsSteven Matthews (Wicklow, Green Party)
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41. To ask the Minister for Finance if he will extend the eligibility for tax relief for registration fees to newly-qualified veterinary nurses upon registering with the Veterinary Council of Ireland given that this is already in place for a number of similar professions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46093/22]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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Section 114 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (TCA) provides for a tax deduction in respect of expenses incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily by an individual in the performance of the duties of his or her employment.

I am advised by Revenue that professional membership fees are only deductible under section 114 TCA where they are incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily by an individual in the performance of the duties of his or her employment.

In the context of professional fees, this generally means where:

- the duties of an employment necessitate that the employee is a member of a professional body, or holds a practising certificate or licence, and

- the employee cannot exercise those duties without that membership, certificate or licence.

The flat rate expense (FRE) regime is operated by Revenue on an administrative basis 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 of the 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 and that such expenses are not reimbursed by his or her 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 Veterinary Nurses have an existing FRE valued at €400 where the individual supplies and launders their work uniforms and €150 where the work uniforms are supplied by their employer and the individual incurs only laundry costs. This current FRE for veterinary nurses does not incorporate the yearly statutory registration fee with The Veterinary Council of Ireland.

In recent years Revenue conducted a comprehensive review of the administratively based FRE regime which involved engagement with relevant representative bodies, to ensure that the expenses granted to each employment category remain justified and appropriate to modern day. Each category of FRE allowance was examined separately in the light of the legislative requirements of section 114 of the Taxes Consolidation Act (TCA) 1997, which as stated above, provides that expenses are tax deductible only if they are wholly, exclusively, and necessarily incurred by the employee in the performance of the duties of his or her employment and are not reimbursed by the employer.

I understand that, on foot of the comprehensive review carried out of the FRE rates, Revenue advised the representative body for veterinary nurses that, in their case, it is intended that the statutory registration fee will be included as part of an updated FRE rate when implemented. Revenue advises me that it remains committed to the FRE regime and encourages all taxpayers to avail of their full tax relief entitlements.

Pending the implementation of the revised FRE rates, as for all employees, veterinary nurses retain their statutory right to claim a deduction under section 114 of the TCA 1997 in respect of an expense incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties of their employment, to the extent to which the expenses are not reimbursed by the employer or not already included in the relevant FRE amount.

The quickest and easiest way to claim tax relief for qualifying employment expenses (including any FRE) is to complete an online Income Tax Return. This return can be found in the PAYE Services tab in myAccount on the Revenue website.

Detailed guidance on membership fees paid to a professional body is available on Revenue’s website:


Further guidance on the general rule of deduction of expenses in employment is also available on Revenue’s website: www.revenue.ie/en/tax-professionals/tdm/income-tax-capital-gains-tax-corporation-tax/part-05/05-02-20.pdf.


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