Charitable donations to the Minister for Finance
SOME controversy has arisen about the fact that certain public officials are entitled to tax relief when they gift their ministerial pensions back to the Minister for Finance.
The relief has been in the tax code for many years and it could facilitate those concerned getting half of what they give up back in tax. The question arises as to whether those concerned will claim this tax relief -- or, failing to do so, will the Revenue insist on refunding it?
In my opinion, those who have given up their pensions have made a magnanimous gesture and it should be left at that. In any event, the rules for payment of ministerial pensions are changing.
Meanwhile, might the very wealthy consider following the politicians' lead? Using the same legislation (Section 483 TCA 1997) they can make much-needed gifts to the State and even get tax relief on what they pay.
James Fitzsimons is a tax consultant