Question to the Minister for Finance (Mr. Michael Noonan, TD)
To ask the Minister for Finance his plans to increase the thresholds for capital acquisitions tax and to reduce the rate of tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
For WRITTEN ANSWER on 16, June, 2015.
Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) is the overall title for both Gift and Inheritance Tax. The tax is charged on the amount gifted to, or inherited by, the beneficiary of the gift or inheritance.
For the purposes of CAT, the relationship between the person who provides the gift or inheritance (i.e. the disponer) and the person who receives the gift or inheritance (i.e. the beneficiary), determines the maximum life-time tax-free thresholdknown as the “Group threshold” below which gift or inheritance tax does not arise.
There are, in all, three separate Group thresholds based on the relationship of the beneficiary to the disponer.
The Group A tax free threshold of €225,000,applies where the beneficiary is a child (including adopted child, stepchild and certain foster children) or minor child of a deceased child of the disponer. Parents also fall within this threshold where they take an inheritance of an absolute interest from a child.
The Group B tax free threshold of €30,150, applies where the beneficiary is a brother, sister, a nephew, a niece or lineal ancestor or lineal descendant of the disponer.
The Group C tax free threshold €15,075, applies in all other cases.
Where a person receives gifts or inheritances in excess of their relevant tax free threshold, CAT at a rate of 33% applies on the excess over the tax free threshold. In recent years these thresholds were reduced and the rate has been increased in order to maintain the yield from capital taxes in the face of falling asset prices and as part of our fiscal consolidation efforts. In addition, taxes on certain capital are less harmful from an economic perspective than taxes on employment.
I am aware that property values have increased, with developments that had been restricted to the Dublin area now manifesting in other areas of the country, though not to the same extent in terms of price rises. I recognise that this has a bearing on taxation of the inheritance and gifting of property with respect to CAT thresholds. In this light, I will be keeping Capital Acquisitions Tax thresholds, rates and other aspects of the tax under review, particularly in the context of preparations for Budget 2016 and the consequent Finance Bill.
In regard to Deputy O’Dea’s question about people with disabilities who receive properties through gift or inheritance, the position is that if such an individual is living in the property they receive then they may be able to qualify for an exemption from CAT, provided certain conditions are met. I do not currently have further plans in this area, but I would be glad to examine without prejudice any specific proposals for change that the Deputy may wish to make.