Colm Browne was inaugurated as the Institute’s 47th President at the AGM today, 8 September. Colm is a Tax Director with PwC and heads up a centralised corporation tax compliance function for PwC in Kilkenny. Days before he took up his role, he spoke to Tax Talk host, Samantha McCaughren, to reflect on the evolution of corporation tax on the global stage and the implications it has on businesses in Ireland, and his plans for the upcoming year as President. You can listen to the Colm’s interview here.
In his acceptance speech, the President spoke about the need for realistic phased payment arrangements for businesses who warehoused tax debt during the pandemic. A media statement on his speech is below.
New Irish Tax Institute President: Revenue must continue to support businesses on repayment of warehoused tax debt
08 September 2022: The new President of the Irish Tax Institute has said Revenue must adopt a pragmatic approach towards businesses as they begin to repay their warehoused taxes from the 1st of January 2023.
Speaking at the Institute’s AGM, Colm Browne pointed out that many small domestic companies are under significant strain. “Many are grappling with spiralling input costs, shortage of staff, and some continue to have supply chains difficulties.”
The forthcoming budget must include some measures to support these businesses, but Revenue must also show understanding.
“Over the coming months, there will be intensive Revenue engagement with taxpayers and it’s essential that we can get proper, realistic phased payment arrangements in place that take into account not just pandemic impacts but also the difficulties many SMEs face in the very challenging economic environment,” added Mr Browne.
He said inevitably, some businesses with warehoused tax debt will fail, but those that are viable and compliant deserve a fighting chance.
Referring to warnings about Ireland’s over reliance on the multinational sector for income tax and corporate tax receipts, the President said the most sustainable strategy for mitigating this concentration risk is to broaden the economic base by building an innovative, productive, and competitive indigenous sector.
“Effective tax measures have a significant role to play in this endeavour. And the fact is, notwithstanding some changes in recent years, existing measures like the EIIS, KEEP and the R&D Tax Credit are far from optimal,” he said.
The Institute has made detailed recommendations to Government on how these measures could be reformed to make them more accessible to SMEs. Mr Browne said he hoped, at least some of these recommendations would be reflected in the forthcoming Finance Bill. He added that the Institute looked forward to reading the recommendations of the Commission on Taxation and Welfare on how the tax system could best support indigenous companies.
“While FDI will always play a central role in our economic model, nurturing a strong, innovative, clean, and green, indigenous SME sector will be crucial to the resilience of our economy. I hope the Commission’s Report will contain some recommendations on tax measures that could assist in building that resilience into the future,” concluded the newly appointed President of the Irish Tax Institute.
Note for Editors:
Colm Browne is a Tax director with PwC where he trained as an accountant and tax adviser. He left PwC as a Tax manager to move back home to the mid-west where he worked with BDO and later OBI, a small firm in Limerick where he worked as a Tax Partner.
In 2018, he moved back to PwC taking up the role of Tax Director in their Limerick office. He also heads up a centralised corporation tax compliance function for PwC in Kilkenny.
Colm was elected to the Council of the Institute in 2014. He is the 47th President of the Tax Institute.