Friday 22 November 2019

Aquatic centre €10m VAT case 'flawed'

Tom Lyons

John McGuinness, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, described the State's decision to wrongly pursue a company for €10m in VAT on its lease on the National Aquatic Centre last week as "fundamentally flawed".

The PAC published a damning report on the wasteful affair last May that concluded the State should never have pursued a case to try to reclaim this VAT all the way to the Supreme Court.

McGuinness said last week that the PAC planned to take a number of steps to ensure such costly mistakes never happened again.

He said the PAC planned to write to the office of the Attorney General to ensure there is an "onus on a state company, statutory authority or body to show its full hand, specifically advice that might call into question its position", to prevent debacles like the National Aquatic VAT affair happening again.

The PAC also plans to write to the Revenue Commissioners to ask it to investigate how so many mistakes by others interpreting its guidelines on VAT occurred.

Finally, McGuinness said the PAC plans to write to the Department of Finance to ask it what exactly it knew about the decision by Campus Stadium Ireland Limited to pursue its failed case against a company called Dublin Waterworld Ltd, the swimming pool's former operator, which led to a legal bill of over €1m for the taxpayer.

Irish Independent

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