Revenue accuses ex-minister of seeking ‘double benefit’ over pension

Retired minister sought tax relief on value of government pension ‘gifted’ back to State

Revenue claimed the appellant was trying to remove the value of his surrendered pension from the calculation for income tax, while at the same time also seeking to claim relief for the same amount off his tax liabilities. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Revenue claimed the appellant was trying to remove the value of his surrendered pension from the calculation for income tax, while at the same time also seeking to claim relief for the same amount off his tax liabilities. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

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A former government minister who sought tax relief on the value of a ministerial pension that he had “gifted” back to the State was accused by Revenue of trying to obtain a “double benefit”.

The claim against the unidentified retired politician was made during a recent hearing of the Tax Appeals Commission (TAC) where he challenged an assessment by Revenue.

A determination from the commission, which redacted many details of the case, shows Revenue claimed the appellant was trying to remove the value of his surrendered pension from the calculation for income tax, while at the same time also seeking to claim relief for the same amount off his tax liabilities.

It said the attempt to claim such a double benefit was “contrary to the intention of the Oireachtas”.

The commission heard the former politician had “gifted” his pension back to the minister for finance while a serving TD for the lifetime of a Dáil, which covered two years for the purpose of his tax affairs.

He argued his “gift of money” should allow him claim relief on other income in that period.

TAC commissioner Conor Kennedy concluded the politician had disposed of his right to a pension as opposed to having made a “gift of money” and therefore was not entitled to tax relief on the amount. He directed that his tax assessment for the relevant two years should be amended to reflect his ruling.