Parliamentary Questions and Answers
Question 89 - Answered on 13th October 2005
Tony Gregory: To ask the Minister for Finance the areas in which the Revenue Commissioners grant tax exemptions to sporting groups; if the definition of sport is that as outlined in section 25 of the Finance Act 1932; and if this definition will be followed when deciding on qualifying activities for the purposes of a tax exemption under the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. [28509/05]
Minister for Finance (Mr Brian Cowen): Section 235 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 governs the operation of the tax exemptions provided in the case of sporting bodies. The provisions of that section are administered by the Revenue Commissioners. Section 235 provides tax relief upon the income of any body of persons established for and existing for the sole purpose of promoting athletic or amateur games or sports. Relief from capital gains tax and dividend withholding tax is also provided for under the Taxes Consolidation Act. Two categories of sports bodies are embraced by the provision: a body promoting an athletic game or athletic sport; and a body promoting an amateur game or amateur sport.
Section 25 of the Finance Act 1932 was an amendment to the Finance (New Duties) Act 1916 which provided for the charging of a since defunct excise duty on specific entertainments. That has no relevance to the tax exemption provisions in the case of sporting organisations and is therefore not followed when determining which bodies qualify for the relief.
In addition, a scheme was introduced in 2002 whereby tax relief is available on donations to approved sports bodies for approved capital projects similar to the tax relief in place in respect of donations to charities. This relief is aimed at providing support to sports bodies around the country that are engaged in projects of a capital nature such as the construction or refurbishment of sports facilities. There are currently some 1,500 tax exempted sports bodies, a full list of which is published on the Revenue website www.revenue.ie under publications/lists of bodies and organisations that qualify for relief - No. 17.