Government ministers have applied for almost €260,000 in a special allowance that will enable them to buy or rent a second home in Dublin.
The Revenue Commissioners said that in each of the past four years between 10 and 14 ministers or ministers of state have received what is known as the “dual residency allowance”.
The more than 40 demands since 2018 resulted in tax write-offs of more than 103,000 euros for the politicians, each of whom is already earning €141,000 up to €183,000 per year or more than €200,000 in the case of the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste.
The revenue said fewer than 10 high-profile politicians had claimed the two-home allowance, claiming €30,050 and resulting in €12,020 in tax savings.
These numbers are likely to increase, however, as there is a four-year period for the special tax relief.
For 2020, 11 ministers or ministers of state made use of this, asserted claims totaling 61,598 euros and led to a “tax waiver” by the state treasury of 24,640 euros.
According to the tax office, in 2019 there were 14 plaintiffs with their Expectations a total of €89,906 for €35,962 worth of tax credits.
In 2018, 12 claims totaling €77,014 were tabled by high-level politicians at a total cost to the taxpayer of €30,806.
The Revenue Commissioners said the figures have been correct since early April but are subject to change due to the 48-month period in which claims can be asserted.
When asked if consideration had been given to ending the perk for the already high ones Paid minister, Revenue said tax policy is a government matter.
It said the dual residency rules were based on the law and there to help a minister or minister of state “keep a second home” in addition to their family home. The tax office said the allowance could only be claimed for a second home and could not be used to pay for the politician’s main residence.
A spokeswoman said the dual residence allowance could apply in three circumstances, including buying a second home. “If the second home is owned by the incumbent, an allowance can be claimed equal to the annual mortgage/home loan interest paid on the loan taken out to purchase the second home.” s he said.
“If the apartment is purchased during the term of office, other costs of acquiring the apartment than the capital costs of the house can also be claimed Auction fees, legal fees.”
Ministers and junior ministers can also claim the second home maintenance allowance, which includes “lighting, heating, repairs, insurance” and other such items.
The spokeswoman for the tax office said: “As an alternative to certified maintenance costs, the official can claim a flat rate of 6,500 euros per year . Whatever method is chosen, it is expected to be followed throughout the term.”
The subsidy can also be claimed for rental housing or its maintenance, with a flat-rate subsidy of €4,500 per year applying instead.
A third option for accommodation in hotels or guesthouses is also available, which is to be designed “equivalent to the actual cost of room rental”.
When using such accommodation establishments, the flat rate is reduced to 3,500 euros per year.
Treasury officials said ministers would be allowed to take this lower flat-rate option even if they were renting from a “relative or friend”.
The Treasury Department said there had been no discussions about ending the availability of the dual residency allowance in recent years.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Public Expenditure and Reform said there were none plans to review dual residency regulations.
She said it applies to ministers who are members of Dáil Éireann and represent a constituency outside Dublin.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/revealed-ministers-claim-260000-in-grants-since-2018-for-second-homes-in-dublin-41581797.html Revealed: Ministers have been claiming €260,000 in grants for second homes in Dublin since 2018