Dáil Éireann - Volume 614 - 14 February, 2006
Written Answers. - Tax Code.
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin
343. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Finance his plans to change the tax code in order that cohabiting couples who live as a family unit are not taxed as single people. [4957/06]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Mr. Cowen: Generally speaking, the tax system treats members of cohabiting couples as separate and unconnected individuals. Each partner is a separate entity for tax purposes, therefore, tax credits, tax bands and tax reliefs cannot be transferred from one partner to the other. There are no special favourable tax arrangements for cohabiting couples with dependent children.
The working group examining the treatment of married, cohabiting and one-parent families under the tax and social welfare codes, which reported in August 1999, was sympathetic, in principle, to changes in the tax legislation to address the issues raised relating to cohabiting couples and reported that the options it set out should be considered further. However, it acknowledged in regard to the tax treatment of cohabiting couples that a key issue is whether tax law should proceed ahead of changes in the general law.
I am aware of various developments in this general area, including the consultation paper on the rights and duties of cohabitees, which was published by the Law Reform Commission in April 2004; the tenth progress report of the Oireachtas All-Party Committee on the Constitution entitled ‘The Family’, which was recently published, and the plans recently announced by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to establish a working group to examine the area of civil partnerships and to prepare options on the various legislative choices available to the Government for action in this area.
I previously put on the record of the House that I would view as problematic and unwise a situation where changes in the tax code relating to the treatment of couples would set a headline in advance of developments in other relevant areas of public policy, for example, in the area of legal recognition of relationships other than married relationships. I am still of that view.
Mr. Nolan Mr. Nolan
344. Mr. Nolan asked the Minister for Finance when a final decision will be made in relation to probate tax liability with the question of interest  payments in the estate of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5011/06]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Mr. Cowen: I have been informed by the Revenue Commissioners that a signed affidavit was issued to the solicitors in this case on 8 February 2006. I have also been informed by the Revenue Commissioners that there are no outstanding issues in this case as far as they are concerned.
Dáil Éireann 614 Written Answers. Tax Code.