Revenue Tax Briefing

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Revenue Tax Briefing Issue 17, January 1995

Income Tax/Corporation Tax

Relief for Expenditure on Approved Buildings and Gardens in the State


Section 19 Finance Act 1982 provides relief from Income Tax or Corporation Tax to the owner/occupier of an approved building in respect of certain expenditure incurred in respect of repair, maintenance or restoration. Such expenditure may be treated for tax purposes as if it were a loss in a separate trade carried on by that owner/occupier and the normal rules for giving tax relief for such a loss will apply.

Section 19 relief was extended to gardens of significant horticultural, scientific, architectural, historical or aesthetic interest existing independently of approved buildings by the provisions of Section 29, Finance Act 1993.

Both Section 19 and Section 29 were amended by Section 18 Finance Act 1994 to alter the conditions under which the tax relief is given in respect of approved buildings/gardens.

Approved building/Garden

An approved building for the purposes of Section 19 is one in respect of which determinations have been made –

(A) by the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland - that it is a building which is intrinsically of significant, historical, architectural or aesthetic interest, and

(B) by the Revenue Commissioners - that reasonable access to the building is afforded to the public.

An approved garden existing independently of an approved building must also have received the above two determinations. However, the determination made by the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland in respect of an approved garden is to the effect that the garden is intrinsically of significant horticultural, scientific, historical, architectural or aesthetic interest.

Reasonable access in the case of an approved building/garden

Whether reasonable access is afforded to the public will be examined by the Revenue Commissioners by reference to the facts of each individual case. Section 19, however, requires that the following minimum obligations must be satisfied:-

(A) Access to the whole or substantial part of the building/garden must be available at the same time,

(B) Access is afforded for a period of at least 60 days in any one year (including not less than 40 days during the period 1 May - 30 September include.) at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner, subject to any temporary closures necessary for repair, maintenance and restoration work,

(C) The daily viewing times must be at least four hours, and

(D) The admission price (if any) must be reasonable so as not to preclude the public from seeking access to the building/garden.

Advising Bord Failte regarding reasonable access in the case of an approved building/garden

In addition to meeting the requirements regarding reasonable access set out above, claimants for tax relief under Section 19/Section 29 must also advise Bord Failte regarding access to the approved building/garden in the manner set out below.

As respects qualifying expenditure incurred in a chargeable period beginning on or after the date of passing of the 1994 Finance Act (23 May 1994), claimants for Section 19 relief must, by 1 January in the specified periods set out below, advise Bord Failte regarding:-

  • The name, if any, and address of the approved building/garden, and
  • The days and times during the year when access is afforded to the public.

This information is given to Bord Failte on the understanding that if may be published by Bord Failte or by another tourism promoting body.

The information must be given to Bord Failte at the following times:

  • By 1 January in the accounting period in respect of which the claim for relief is being made, and
  • By 1 January in each of the accounting periods beginning on or after 23 May 1994 up to a maximum of five such periods.

An accounting period in any 12 month period in which a taxpayer makes up his/her accounts.

Claiming tax relief in respect of an approved building/garden.

In order to qualify for relief under Section 19, the expenditure must be incurred on the repair, maintenance or restoration of an approved building or on the maintenance or restoration of any garden or grounds or an ornamental nature occupied or enjoyed with that building.

In order to qualify for relief under Section 29, the expenditure must be incurred on the maintenance or restoration of an approved garden.

Tax relief is not available, however, where any such expenditure is otherwise allowable for tax purposes or in respect of sums recoverable by a claimant by way of a grant or reimbursement for any source.

A claimant is obliged to afford facilities at any reasonable time to authorised officers of the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland and of the Revenue Commissioners to inspect the building/gardens or to examine the work in respect of which the expenditure to which the claim relates was incurred.

Clawback of relief

There is provision for the revocation of a determination made by either the Revenue Commissioners or the Commissioner of Public Works in Ireland where the conditions for granting such determinations cease to exist. Any relief granted to a claimant in the five year period immediately before the effective date of a relevant written notice of revocation by the Revenue commissioners will be clawed back.


Application forms for a determination by the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland may be obtained from

The Secretary,
Office of Public Works,
51 St. Stephen.s Green,
Dublin 2.

Tel (01) 661 3111
Extns. 2361 or 2263

Fax (01_ 661 0747.

If the Commissioners of Public Works make a determination that the building/garden is an approved building/garden under the legislation, application can be made to the Secretary, Revenue Commissioners, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, regarding the determination to be made by them. The Secretary, Revenue Commissioners, may be contacted by post or by

Tel. (01) 679 2777, Extn 4011
Fax (01) 679 9287.

Where both of the above determinations have been made, a claim for relief in respect of the relevant expenditure may be made to the claimant.s own Inspector of Taxes.

Residential Property Tax

It should also be noted that Section 95, Finance Act 1983, provides that approved buildings under Section 19, Finance Act 1982 are not residential property for the purposes of Residential Property Tax. Accordingly, approved status under Section 19 also removed such buildings from the charge to Residential Property Tax. For further information in this regard, please contact

Residential Property Tax unit,
Revenue Commissioners,
Dublin Castle, Dublin 2

Tel: (01) 679 2777 Extns. 4627, 4629 or 4630