Dáil Éireann - Volume 653 - 08 May, 2008
Written Answers. - Tax Code.
Deputy Joan Burton Deputy Joan Burton
Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance if a school (details supplied) is an approved and registered college with the Revenue Commissioners for the purposes of tax relief on tuition fees and student grants; if it is not an approved and registered college for these purposes, if it is eligible to become so; the procedure for same; if an Irish student, normally resident in Ireland, taking part in their 14 month integrated airline transport pilot course would  be eligible for such financial benefits as outlined or other reliefs or benefits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17202/08]
Deputy Brian Lenihan Deputy Brian Lenihan
Deputy Brian Lenihan: Section 473A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, provides for tax relief at the standard rate of income tax (20%) for qualifying fees paid by an individual in respect of a third level education course. Qualifying fees means tuition fees paid for an approved course at an approved college. The maximum amount of qualifying fees on which tax relief is allowed is €5,000 for the academic years 2006/2007 and 2007/2008. The tax relief is confined to tuition fees only and does not extend to items such as registration fees, administration fees, accommodation, etc. Tuition fees that are, or will be, met directly or indirectly by grants, scholarships, employer contribution or other means are to be deducted in arriving at the net fees qualifying for tax relief. An approved course means either: (a) a full-time or part-time undergraduate course of study of at least 2 academic years duration at an approved college; or (b) a postgraduate course of study leading to a postgraduate award, based on a thesis or on the results of an examination or both, at an approved college of not less than one academic year, but not more than 4 academic years in duration that requires an individual, undertaking the course, to have been conferred with a degree or an equivalent qualification.
As regards an approved college, the school referred to in the details supplied, being a school in an EU Member State, would be an approved college for the purposes of the tax relief for tuition fees if it is a university or similar institution of higher education, which is maintained or assisted by recurrent grants from public funds of that Member State or is a duly accredited university or institution of higher education in the country in which it is situated. In practice, it is a matter for the individual claiming the tax relief to obtain a letter from the relevant university or similar institute of higher education confirming that it is maintained or assisted by recurrent grants from public funds or is a duly accredited university or institution of higher education in the country in which it is situated. I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that while they cannot at this point, in the absence of relevant information, comment on whether the school referred in the details supplied would be a qualifying college, they are of the view that a 14 month integrated airline transport pilot course is unlikely to be considered an undergraduate or post graduate course for the purposes of tax relief in respect of tuition fees.
Dáil Éireann 653 Written Answers. Tax Code.