Business Irish

Saturday 20 January 2018

Red faces at HSE as bungled tax returns cost €100,000

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

As waste and overspending threaten to push its deficit to €500m this year, it has emerged that the HSE has also bungled its tax returns. The HSE was forced to cough up close to €100,000 in an embarrassing settlement with the Revenue over underpayment of taxes last year.

"A Revenue audit concluded in 2011 found underpayment of VAT, giving rise to a tax, interest and penalty settlement with Revenue totalling €0.1m," according to HSE documents.

The major cuts in spending across the health service have hit the provision of vital services. Having to make an expensive settlement with the Revenue won't have helped.

While the near €100,000 bill for the tax settlement is small in the greater scheme of things, it would pay for one of under-fire Health Minister James Reilly's special advisers.

Last week, it emerged that the HSE's deficit had hit €281m by the end of May, representing a massive €80m jump from April.

"Where areas of non-compliance are detected, either in the course of Revenue audit or arising from self-review exercises, immediate steps are taken to settle the liability with Revenue and ensure that the necessary action is taken to eliminate the scope for such errors," according to the HSE.

The State health behemoth has entered into a "co-operative compliance programme" with the Revenue commissioners, for its sins.

The agency has also put out a tender for "specialist tax assistance". A "full-scope compliance review" has been commissioned by the HSE. "The HSE is committed to exemplary compliance with taxation laws," it added.

Sunday Indo Business

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