Dáil Éireann - Volume 632 - 27 February, 2007

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Finance if there are proposals to improve commercial tax rates on tractors which are hired for work on motorways; if these tractors are compelled to utilise white diesel, despite the fact that these vehicles are primarily utilised on agricultural holdings, and are only utilised on an occasional basis to carry out works on the motorways; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7357/07]

  Mr. Cowen: The Revenue Commissioners inform me that the use of ‘reduced rate’ marked gas oil as fuel for an [969] agricultural tractor (a mechanically propelled vehicle which is designed or constructed primarily for agricultural purposes) is permitted under Mineral Oil Tax law, regardless of the purpose for which that tractor is being used. In addition, the Vehicle Registration Tax for agricultural tractors is €50.

Ms Burton asked the Minister for Finance the situation regarding VAT on the employment fees of artists from outside Ireland; the applicable VAT rate; the rate that would apply in an equivalent situation where an Irish artist is hired; if there are proposals to change the current VAT rate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7124/07]

  Mr. Cowen: The position is that a resident artist, whose income exceeds the VAT registration threshold for small businesses, in this case €35,000, must register and account for VAT on their income. A resident artist whose income is below the registration threshold is outside the scope of VAT. The VAT Directive precludes the granting of such a threshold to non-resident taxable persons and consequently it is not possible to apply such a threshold to a non-resident artist. The VAT rate applicable to both resident and non-resident artists is the standard rate of 21%. It is not possible under EU law to zero rate or to apply a reduced rate to such services.

I would add that the VAT Act lists a range of activities that are exempt from VAT. Included in this list is the promotion of and admissions to live theatrical or musical performances. This very broad exemption applies to both commercial and non-profit making organisations. In effect this means that the promoter realises the full value of the admission fee as no VAT is applied to admission fees. In this regard, the current exemption is already very generous covering a broad range of activities accessible to the wider public and it applies equally to commercial and non-profit organisations. In contrast, I understand that most, other Member States charge VAT on admission fees.