Revenue and tax workers to be stopped from unauthorised prying into taxpayer affairs

Thursday 24 October 2013 16.32
The Finance Bill 2013 will go to the second stage in the Oireachtas on 6 November
The Finance Bill 2013 will go to the second stage in the Oireachtas on 6 November

The Government is introducing new measures to stop Revenue officials from prying into taxpayers' affairs when it is not required.

The measures are part of the Finance Bill 2013, which has been published by the Department of Finance to give effect to the taxation measures outlined in last week's Budget announcement.

The bill introduces a provision to ensure that Revenue officers or service providers who look for information from taxpayers and falsely claim it is needed under the Tax Acts will be in breach of confidentiality provisions.

It also provides an exemption from income tax for the annual allowance of €1,000 paid to volunteers in the Garda Reserve.

A further measure will ensure grants paid to companies participating in the JobsPlus scheme, which encourages employers to hire the long-term unemployed, will not be subject to tax.

The legislation also includes provisions to retain the 9% VAT rate for the tourism sector, as well as changes to the levy imposed on pension funds announced by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan on Budget day.

There has been a slight change to the tax relief being made available for home renovation, which can now be claimed on work undertaken from 25 October as opposed to jobs that begin in January 2014.

The bill is due to enter the second stage of debate on 6 November, with the Government hoping to have it passed through the Oireachtas by the end of the year.

Commenting on the bill’s publication, Minister Noonan said it was "carefully calibrated to support economic growth and job creation".