Finance Act, 1997

Amendment of section 15 (relief for fees paid for part-time third level education) of Finance Act, 1996 .

7.Section 15 of the Finance Act, 1996 , is hereby amended—

(a) in subsection (1)—

(i) by the substitution of the following for the definition of “approved college”:

“‘approved college’, in relation to a year of assessment, means a college or institution in the State, or a college or institution in another Member State of the European Union providing distance education in the State, which—

(a) provides courses to which a scheme approved by the Minister under the Local Authority (Higher Education) Grants Acts, 1968 to 1992, applies, or

(b) operates in accordance with a code of standards, which from time to time, may with the consent of the Minister for Finance, be laid down by the Minister,

and which the Minister approves of for the purposes of this section;”,

(ii) by the substitution of the following for the definition of “qualifying individual”:

“‘qualifying individual’ means—

(a) an individual other than an individual who has been conferred with a certificate, diploma or degree in respect of the completion by him or her of an undergraduate course of study of not less than 2 academic years duration, or

(b) an individual who has been conferred with a certificate or diploma as referred to in paragraph (a) and who is pursuing an approved course in respect of which the approved college certifies that the certificate or diploma, as the case may be, with which he or she has been conferred, has qualified him or her for exemption for one or more years of study from the normal duration of the approved course but is not otherwise an individual who is not a qualifying individual for the purposes of paragraph (a).”,


(b) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (2):

“(2A) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2), where, for any year of assessment—

(a) the spouse of a qualifying individual is assessed to tax in accordance with the provisions of section 194 (inserted by the Finance Act, 1980 ) of the Income Tax Act, 1967 , and

(b) qualifying fees are paid by the qualifying individual, or paid by that spouse on behalf of the qualifying individual, in respect of an approved course for the academic year in relation to that course commencing in that year of assessment,

then, relief under this section shall, except where the provisions of section 197 (as so inserted) of the Income Tax Act, 1967 , apply, be granted to the spouse of the qualifying individual in respect of the qualifying fees so paid as if he or she were a qualifying individual and the qualifying fees had been paid by him or her on his or her own behalf.”.