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Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997 (Number 39 of 1997)

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484 Objectives of section 485, purposes for which its provisions are enacted and certain duty of Minister for Finance respecting those provisions’ operation

(1)(a) The objectives of section 485 are to—

(i) provide the necessary stimulus to the economy (in addition to that provided by Part 7 of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 and the Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No. 2) Act 2020) so as to mitigate the effects, on the economy, of Covid-19, and

(ii) if, as of 1 January 2021, no agreement stands entered into between the European Union and the United Kingdom (with respect to the future relations between them on the relevant matters), mitigate the effects on the economy which are apprehended may arise therefrom.

(b) In paragraph (a) ‘relevant matters’ means the matters described in Part II of the Political declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom3.

(c) The purposes for which the several provisions of section 485 (in this section referred to as the ‘Covid Restrictions Support Scheme’) are, in furtherance of the foregoing objectives, enacted are:

(i) in addition to the provision of basic mechanisms to fulfil those objectives, to ensure the efficient use of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme so as to minimise the cost to the Exchequer of the scheme (so far as consistent with fulfilment of those objectives);

(ii) to avoid, where possible, allocation of resources to sectors of the economy that are not in need of direct stimulus by means of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (and which sectors may reasonably be expected to be restored to financial viability and an eventual growth path by the indirect effects of the scheme);

(iii) to protect the public finances through mechanisms for the discontinuance or amendment of one or more of the payments under the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (or for their variation) in defined circumstances;

(iv) to take account of the need to reflect changes in circumstances of persons who, as businesses, are persons in respect of whom payments under the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme are being made, in cases where such persons avail themselves of other financial supports provided by the State;

(v) to take account of changes in the State’s economic circumstances and the demands on its financial resources which may occur in the remainder of the current financial year and thereafter.

(d) It shall be the duty of the Minister for Finance to monitor and superintend the administration of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (but this paragraph does not derogate from the function of the care and management conferred on the Revenue Commissioners by section 485(21)).

(e) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (d), the Minister for Finance shall cause an assessment, at such intervals as he or she considers appropriate but no less frequently than every 3 months beginning on 13 October 2020, of the following, and any other relevant matters, to be made—

(i) up-to-date data compiled by the Department of Finance relating to the State’s receipts and expenditure,

(ii) up-to-date data from the register commonly referred to as the ‘Live Register’ and data related to that register supplied to the Department of Finance by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (whether data compiled by that lastmentioned Department of State from its own sources or those available to it from sources maintained elsewhere in the Public Service),

(iii) such other data as the Minister for Finance may consider relevant in relation to the impact from, and effects of, Covid-19 or the fact (should that be so) of there not being an agreement of the kind referred to in paragraph (a)(ii),

and, if the following is commissioned, by reference to an assessment, on economic grounds, of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme that may be commissioned by the Minister for Finance and any opinion as to the sustainability of the scheme expressed therein.

(f) Following an assessment under paragraph (e), it shall be the duty of the Minister for Finance, after consultation with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, to determine whether it is necessary to exercise any or all of the powers under subparagraphs (i) to (vi) of subsection (2)(a) so, as appropriate, to—

(i) fulfil, better, the objectives specified in paragraph (a), or

(ii) facilitate the furtherance of any of the purposes specified in paragraph (c), and, if the Minister for Finance determines that such is necessary, the powers under one, or more than one, as provided in that subsection (2)(a), of those subparagraphs (i) to (vi) shall become and be exercisable by the Minister for Finance.

(2)(a) Where the Minister for Finance makes a determination of the kind lastly referred to in subsection (1)(f), the Minister for Finance shall, as he or she deems fit and necessary—

(i)make an order that the reference in the definition of ‘Covid restrictions’ in section 485(1) to restrictions provided for in regulations made under sections 5 and 31A of the Health Act 1947 that are for the purpose of preventing, or reducing the risk of, the transmission of Covid-19 and which have the effect of restricting the conduct of certain business activity during the specified period shall be limited in such respects as are specified in the order (including, if the Minister for Finance considers appropriate, by the specification of a requirement, with respect to the restriction of certain business activity, that particular business activity must be affected by the restriction to a specified extent) and an order under this subparagraph shall make such additional modifications to the provisions of section 485 as the Minister for Finance may consider necessary and appropriate in consequence of the foregoing limitation,

(ii)make an order that the day referred to in the definition of ‘specified period’ in section 485(1) as the day on which the period there referred to shall expire shall be such day as is later than 31 March 2021 (but not later than 31 December 2021) as the Minister for Finance considers appropriate and specifies in the order,

(iii)make an order that the percentage specified in section 485(4)(b)(i) shall be such a percentage, that is greater or lower than the percentage specified in that provision, as the Minister for Finance—

(I)considers necessary to—

(A)fulfil, better, the objectives specified in subsection (1)(a), or

(B)facilitate the furtherance of any of the purposes specified in subsection (1)(c),

and

(II)specifies in the order,

(iv)make an order that the percentage specified in subparagraph (i) (I) or subparagraph (ii)(I) of section 485(7)(a) shall be such a percentage, that is greater or lower than the percentage specified in that subparagraph (i)(I) or subparagraph (ii)(I), as the Minister for Finance—

(I)considers necessary to—

(A)fulfil, better, the objectives specified in subsection (1)(a), or

(B)facilitate the furtherance of any of the purposes specified in subsection (1)(c),

and

(II)specifies in the order,

(v)make an order that the percentage referred to in subparagraph (i) (II) or subparagraph (ii)(II) of section 485(7)(a) shall be such a percentage, that is greater or lower than that percentage specified in that subparagraph (i)(II) or subparagraph (ii)(II), as the Minister for Finance—

(I)considers necessary to—

(A)fulfil, better, the objectives specified in subsection (1)(a), or

(B)facilitate the furtherance of any of the purposes specified in subsection (1)(c),

and

(II)specifies in the order,

(vi)make an order either that subsection (8) of section 485 shall cease to be in operation on and from such day, or that the election referred to in paragraph (b) of that subsection, which that subsection enables a qualifying person to make, shall not be exercisable save in such circumstances, as the Minister for Finance—

(I)considers necessary to—

(A)fulfil, better, the objectives specified in subsection (1) (a), or

(B)facilitate the furtherance of any of the purposes specified in subsection (1)(c),

and

(II)specifies in the order,

and any matter that is provided for in the preceding subparagraphs is referred to in section 485(3) as a ‘modification’.

(b) Where an order under subparagraph (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) or (vi) of paragraph (a) is proposed to be made, a draft of the order shall be laid before Dáil Éireann and the order shall not be made unless a resolution approving of the draft has been passed by that House.

Footnote

3OJ No. C384I, 12.11.2019, p.178

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Inserted by FA20 s11(1)(a). Deemed to have come into operation on 13 October 2020.