Julien Behal/PA Wire
Finance Bill

Finance Bill delays property tax relief changes

The Bill also brings deadline for filing self-employed income tax and capital gains tax forward, and specifies cuts to tax relief on third-level fees.

THE GOVERNMENT PUBLISHED THE Finance Bill today, which includes the introduction of the controversial new universal social charge on incomes over €4,000.

Self-employed income tax and capital gains tax must now be filed a month earlier, as the Bill brings the deadline forward from the 31 October to 30 September.

However, these can be paid by credit or by debit cards (page 212).

The Bill also specifies that there will be no tax relief for full-time students on the first €2,000 of third-level charges, and on the first €1,000 for part-time students (page 37).

The Bill proposes delaying the curtailment of tax reliefs on Section 23 properties, worth some €60m for 2011, until an economic impact assessment has been carried out.

Section 23 relief provides tax relief on the capital expenditure incurred on the construction, refurbishment or conversion of rented residential accommodation.

Joan Burton TD, Labour’s spokesperson for finance, criticised the postponement.

In her statement on the Bill, Burton claims “vested interests have been able to bend the ear of government ministers to postpone additional contributions from this sector”. She asked if Brian Cowen expected “ordinary workers” to make up the €60m shortfall.

Passing the bill

Paul Gogarty TD today said the Green Party was focused on getting the Finance Bill passed, but was still concerned about events at the Dáil surrounding the resignation of ministers and reassignment of their portfolios. On Twitter, Gogarty said the party was “doing the right thing in passing” the Bill.

Fine Gael’s spokesperson for finance Michael Noonan called on the government to publish a clear timetable for debating the Bill to allow the legislation through “as soon as possible, and allow Ireland to finally vote this government out of office”. Noonan said that Fine Gael had concerns about “many aspects” of the Bill, but the country “nevertheless needs a clear economic framework to start the year”.

He said his party would seek a number of amendments, but would facilitate its speedy passage through the Oireachtas.

Read the Finance Bill pdf in full >

Read the Bill’s explanatory notes pdf >