For Written Answer on : 02/11/2021
Question Number(s): 269 Question Reference(s): 52628/21
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Finance the number of persons and companies availing of the tax saver commuter ticket scheme; the amount saved by employees and employers, respectively on the scheme in each of the years 2016 to 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Section 118(5A) of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 exempts employees and directors from benefit-in-kind taxation where an expense has been incurred by an employer on the provision of a monthly or annual bus, rail or ferry travel pass for the employee or director. Section 118B provides that the exemption may also apply to bus, rail or ferry travel passes obtained under a salary sacrifice arrangement.
There is no specific notification procedure for the employers involved, nor for the directors or employees, nor for the transport providers. Notification is not required so as to keep the scheme administratively simple and to encourage employers to participate. Accordingly, the Revenue Commissioners do not have statistics on the uptake of the scheme and therefore I cannot give the Deputy any detailed costs or breakdown of its impact.
The Report on Tax Expenditures published as part of the Budget 2022 documentation provides estimates for the cost of the scheme at €7m (2020) and that it is utilised by 60,000 annually. The report is available on the Government website under publications > Budget 2022 > Taxation measures> Report on Tax Expenditures 2021. I should point out that this reflects the impact of Covid and working from home and the estimate for 2019 was €27m.