Wednesday 23 January 2019

RTÉ stars using companies 'to reduce tax exposure'

Ryan Tubridy. Picture: Andres Poveda
Ryan Tubridy. Picture: Andres Poveda
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

The creation of private companies by some of RTÉ's top earners is used "primarily for the purpose of reducing their exposure to income tax" documents prepared for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) claim.

The allegation is included in a discussion document being considered by the PAC.

RTÉ boss Dee Forbes appeared before the PAC in May where she defended sums paid to her top stars.

Last night RTÉ insisted that the use of personal service companies by top earners is "entirely legitimate" and is "common practice across the industry".

The discussion document for the PAC, seen by the Irish Independent, includes a chapter on RTÉ and draft conclusions and recommendations.

It states: "On the basis of evidence presented to the committee, the creation of limited companies by RTÉ's top earners is used primarily for the purpose of reducing their exposure to income tax, which comes at a cost to the Exchequer." It has a draft recommendation that the Department of Public Expenditure "brings forward proposals to address this practice".

The matter was discussed at a private meeting of the PAC yesterday where it's understood serious concern was raised about the inclusion of the wording of the draft conclusion in the final report. One source said the existing wording won't appear in the final report.

Seven of RTÉ's top 10 earning presenters used companies to contract out their services to the broadcaster in 2015, including Ryan Tubridy and Ray D'Arcy.

Irish Independent

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