On Tuesday 24 October, the Institute’s Policy Director Cora O’Brien and Communications Director Olivia Buckley appeared before the Oireachtas Joint Committee for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation on ‘The Cost of Doing Business’. The main issues they raised were:
- Interest rates on underpaid tax: interest charged at penal rates of 10% pa (VAT/PAYE) and 8% for other taxes, was compared with the UK rate of 2.75% and with the rate of tax on overpaid tax of 4%. Changes were urgently sought in the Finance Bill.
- Delays at the Tax Appeals Commission: there are over 4,000 appeals currently before the TAC representing €1.5bn of tax in dispute. Half of these appeals involve tax of less than €10,000 and 1% of the tax appeals total almost €1 billion.
- Revenue customer service: advances in Revenue’s range of electronic services (though welcome) are not a substitute for providing taxpayers with a good customer experience by telephone and face to face. Taxpayers and advisers want to talk to Revenue, as well as dealing with them over email. In Budgets 2015, 2016 and 2017, Revenue were allocated 266 additional staff with an emphasis on audit and compliance activity and international tax. It is just as important that new resources are targeted at supports and customer services to enable all businesses to administer with certainty their tax affairs in a cost-efficient manner.
- A tax strategy for exports: a number of the key recommendations from our Exports report were raised including high CGT rates, Entrepreneur Relief, high personal taxes and the Foreign Earnings Deduction.
(Pictured L-R: Olivia Buckley, Irish Tax Institute; Tom Neville TD; Siobhan O’Connor, ISME; Neil McDonnell, ISME; Mary Butler TD and Chair; Maurice Quinlivan TD; Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland; Senator Paul Gavan; Niall Collins, TD; Cora O’Brien, Irish Tax Institute; and Thomas McHugh, Cork Chamber.)