Heritage donations and tax credits

Sir, – It is interesting to see the reference by Minister for Arts and Heritage Heather Humphreys to the "very generous" scheme under which donors of approved heritage items may receive up to 80 per cent of their assessed value as a tax credit ("Going, going, not going – Pearse letter must stay in Ireland for a year", December 19th).

Presumably the Minister is not aware – though her advisers certainly should be aware – that the Section 1003 scheme is significantly oversubscribed at present. There is a limit of €6 million on the total value of donations that may be approved in any calendar year, and it appears that no new proposals have been approved since last February. Apparently this year’s allocation was largely taken up by applications submitted in 2015, and there is already a significant overhang of proposals from 2016 into 2017.

I am personally aware of a proposed donation, for a relatively small valuation, which was submitted in mid-February 2016. The prospective donors have received only a formal acknowledgement. Ten months later, they still do not know whether the donation will be approved, or at what valuation, or even when these decisions will be made.

The Minister should know that if the owner of the Pearse surrender order were to submit an application under Section 1003, it might not be processed until some time in 2018. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.