* To ask the Minister for Finance the first and full year cost of the full reintroduction of a rental tax credit based on the system in place on 7 December 2010.
* To ask the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of introducing a new affordable housing tax credit whereby landlords would not have to pay tax on rental income for properties let over a five year period at affordable levels.
Regarding the cost of the full reintroduction of a rental tax credit, I am advised by Revenue that the number who availed of the rent relief tax credit and the associated cost to the Exchequer are available on the Revenue website at the following link:
The credit was available to those paying for private rented accommodation. This included rent paid for flats, apartments or houses. It did not include rent paid to local authorities. The credit was only available to persons renting on 7 December 2010. This tax credit ceased to be available after 31 December 2017.
I am further advised by Revenue that, as the rent relief tax credit is in the process of being phased out (only back claims can now be processed), and no new claimants have qualified for the relief since 2010, tax returns do not provide a reliable basis for Revenue to accurately predict either the numbers of tenants that could be eligible to claim a rent credit were it to be re-introduced post 2017 for all tenants, or the degree to which potential claimants could absorb the full amount of the credit.
Therefore, there is no reliable basis available to Revenue on which to estimate the potential cost of a rental tax credit reintroduction.
It may be of assistance to the Deputy to note that, according to Census 2016 data, the private rented sector amounts to approximately 310,000 units (for comparison, in 2010 the rent relief tax credit cost €82.8 million in respect of 189,000 claimants). However, all of the individuals recorded on the Census as renting these 310,000 units may not qualify for rent relief tax credit or be able to absorb the relief in full if it were available.
Regarding the Deputy's question on the estimated cost of introducing a new affordable housing tax credit, whereby landlords would not have to pay tax on rental income for properties let over a five year period at affordable levels, Revenue have informed me there is not sufficient information available to provide an estimate.
In order to cost such a measure, the number of potential landlords eligible would have to be identified and a definition of ‘affordable levels of rent’ provided.
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