Dáil Éireann - Volume 494 - 06 October, 1998

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

250. Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Finance the plans, if any, he has to include the provision of private car parking spaces in offices, both public and private sector, as benefit-in-kind for tax purposes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18344/98]

Minister for Finance: (Mr. McCreevy): The method of taxation of benefits-in-kind provided by employers for their employees is contained in section 118, Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997. The charge to tax arising on the employee is determined by the amount of the expense incurred by the employer in providing the benefit. The Revenue Commissioners have advised me that the provision of private car parking spaces would already be regarded as coming within the existing charge but, to the extent that the cost to an employer or the benefit to an employee is indeterminate, no taxable benefit would be considered to arise. This would be the position where, for example, car parking spaces are included in the overall cost to the employer of office space or are for the use of both clients and employees.

All proposals for change in tax law or in current tax treatment will be considered carefully in the context of the preparation of the forthcoming budget and Finance Bill.

251. Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Finance the plans, if any, he has to remove the benefit-in-kind tax levied on public transport vouchers [1104] issued to employees by employers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18345/98]

Minister for Finance: (Mr. McCreevy): As a general principal, all income, including benefits-in-kind arising from employment, should be subject to tax. Each year, the Minister for Finance receives a large number of proposals and suggestions for tax reliefs. All such proposals, including the Deputy's, will be borne in mind in the context of the forthcoming budget.

However, I would point out to the Deputy that tax reliefs, by their nature, reduce the tax base and make general tax reform that much more difficult.