Treasury, pubs claiming tax relief on public access
Treasury Holdings, one of the country's largest developers, has been cleared to claim tax relief on two of its largest Dublin buildings based on the sites being of "scientific, historic, architectural or aesthetic interest''.
A number of major Dublin pubs are also claiming the relief, which involves allowing the public viewing access during certain times of the year.
A list of public buildings which qualify as an "approved building" shows Treasury's Malting Tower on Grand Canal Quay and the Westin Hotel beside Trinity College both qualifying for the relief. Spending on the repair, maintenance or restoration of the buildings can be written off against tax.
It is not clear how much Treasury has been able to claim under the relief, but the number of commercial premises deemed as eligible under this heading is small. Environment Minister John Gormley has to agree the buildings are "intrinsically of significant scientific, historical, architectural or aesthetic interest".
The list is updated regularly by the Revenue, with Robbie Fox's Brown's Barn dropping off the latest list, and Treasury Holdings coming onto it. Doheny & Nesbitts is one of the most prominent pubs on the list, along with the Odeon Bar on Harcourt Street. Also qualifying for the relief is Bewleys Café and the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre.
According to information given to the Revenue and Mr Gormley, the Malting Tower is free to the public and open on the first three Saturdays of each month from January to April and October to December. It also open at other times during the other months.
The Westin Hotel, where Treasury is the landlord, is open all year from 9am to 11pm to the public. The Revenue will only sign off on the relief if "reasonable access" is provided to the public. Access must be provided for a period of at least 60 days in any one year including not less than 40 days during the period May1-September 30. The admission price, if any, must be reasonable so it doesn't stop the public from seeking access to the building.