Monday 23 April 2018

Tax bill of €193,000 greets Oireachtas

A tax bill of €193,000 awaits the Oireachtas
A tax bill of €193,000 awaits the Oireachtas
John Drennan

John Drennan

THE Oireachtas has been landed with an embarrassing New Year tax bill of €193,000 in the wake of a Revenue audit of historic payments of taxi fares and meal allowances to staff.

The payment follows on from a prior voluntary payment of €139,537 by the Oireachtas in December 2012.

The allowances had been negotiated in good faith by the house authorities with the relevant trade unions and operated between 2008 and 2011. But in the wake of an internal audit of the scheme on December 19, 2012, the Oireachtas made an unprompted voluntary disclosure to Revenue.

The disclosure related to benefit-in-kind on taxis provided to staff who work late hours to perform official duties for the Houses of the Oireachtas and the settlement amount came to €139,537.

However, following the unprompted voluntary disclosure, the Oireachtas received notification of a Revenue Audit on February 8, 2013.

In the wake of this investigation, the balance amount to be paid to Revenue in early January is €193,000, on top of the original payment. It primarily relates to benefit-in-kind on taxis, meal allowances and honoraria payments.

The determination by the Revenue has raised concerns that the Oireachtas "could find itself being named in the Revenue defaulters' list in the New Year''.

An Oireachtas spokesperson said: "The Oireachtas will expect to be treated like any other citizen in this regard. Any decision on that issue is a matter for the Revenue authorities."

However, the blushes of the Oireachtas may be spared by Revenue's rules which state that: "Where a taxpayer has, in advance of any Revenue Enquiry, voluntarily furnished complete information relating to undisclosed tax liabilities, and paid the tax and interest due, settlements are not published."

Irish Independent

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