Finance Act, 1992

Provisions relating to section 244 (allowance for scientific research) of Income Tax Act, 1967, etc.

39.—(1) For the purposes of the definition of scientific research, that definition shall, subject to subsection (2), be construed as including, and be deemed always to have included, a provision excluding from the meaning of that definition the following activities, that is to say:

(a) exploring for specified minerals,

(b) petroleum exploration, and

(c) petroleum extraction.

(2) As respects activities carried on before the 29th day of January, 1992, subsection (1) shall not have effect for the purpose of computing any charge to income tax or corporation tax on a person who has, before the 3rd day of December, 1991, made a claim in respect of expenditure incurred in exploring for specified minerals or in respect of petroleum exploration activities or in respect of petroleum extraction activities.

(3) In this section—

“the definition of scientific research” means the definition of scientific research as enacted in section 5 of the Finance Act, 1946 , which definition was repealed and re-enacted in section 244 of the Income Tax Act, 1967 (being a consolidating enactment), and was subsequently substituted (without amendment) in the said section 244 by section 21 of, and paragraph 9 of the First Schedule to, the Corporation Tax Act, 1976 ;

“designated area” means an area standing designated for the time being by order under section 2 of the Continental Shelf Act, 1968 ;

“exploring for specified minerals” means searching in the State for deposits of specified minerals or on testing such deposits or winning access thereto, and includes the systematic searching for areas containing specified minerals and searching, by drilling or other means, for specified minerals within those areas but does not include operations which are operations in the course of developing or working a mine;

“licence” means—

(a) an exploration licence,

(b) a petroleum prospecting licence,

(c) a petroleum lease, or

(d) a reserved area licence, duly granted before the 11th day of June, 1968, in respect of an area in the State, or on or after the 11th day of June, 1968, in respect of either or both a designated area and an area in the State, and which was or may be so granted subject to such licensing terms as were presented to each House of the Oireachtas and includes any such licence the terms of which have been duly amended or varied from time to time;

“licensed area” means an area in respect of which a licence is in force;

“mine” means an underground excavation for the purpose of getting specified minerals;

“petroleum” includes:

(a) any mineral oil or relative hydrocarbon and natural gas and other liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons and their derivatives or constituent substances existing in its natural condition in strata (including, without limitation, distillate, condensate, casinghead gasoline and such other substances as are ordinarily produced from oil and gas wells), and

(b) any other mineral substance contained in oil or natural gas brought to the surface with them in the normal process of extraction, but does not include coal and bituminous shales and other stratified deposits from which oil can be extracted by distillation,

won or capable of being won under the authority of a licence;

“petroleum exploration activities” means activities of a person carried on by him or on his behalf in searching for deposits of petroleum in a licensed area, in testing or appraising such deposits or in winning access thereto for the purposes of such searching, testing or appraising, where such activities are carried on under a licence (other than a petroleum lease) authorising the activities and held by him or, if the person is a company, held by the company or a company associated with it;

“petroleum extraction activities” means activities of a person carried on by him or on his behalf under a petroleum lease authorising the activities and held by him or, if the person is a company, held by the company or a company associated with it in—

(a) winning petroleum from a relevant field, including searching in that field for, and winning access to, such petroleum,

(b) transporting as far as dry land petroleum that is so won from a place not on dry land, or

(c) effecting the initial treatment and storage of petroleum that is so won from the relevant field;

“relevant field” means an area in respect of which a licence, being a petroleum lease, is in force;

“specified minerals” means the following minerals occurring in non-bedded deposits of such minerals, that is to say, barytes, felspar, serpentinous marble, quartz rock, soapstone, ores of copper, ores of gold, ores of iron, ores of lead, ores of manganese, ores of molybdenum, ores of silver, ores of sulphur and ores of zinc.