Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Public Accounts Committee

2020 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 9 - Revenue Commissioners
Chapter 12 - Controls over the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme
Chapter 13 - Revenue's Management of Suspicious Transactions Reports

9:30 am

Mr. Niall Cody:

The use of the term "investigation" has a particular meaning in the tax world. We only carry out investigations where there is evidence of serious tax evasion.

As I set out in my opening statement in relation to the temporary wage subsidy scheme, we did a compliance review of all recipients because this was an area that we are not normally involved in. Paying out money is kind of outside our core business. What we were doing is we were paying out, in the case of the temporary wage subsidy scheme, €2.85 billion. We did, essentially, a compliance review of all recipients. It was a fairly light touch review in which people were required to show their reduction in turnover or the alternative method that was used. They were all asked for sample payslips to show, as I chatted to Deputy O'Connor earlier, that the wage subsidy scheme was passed on to employees. We had what I would see as an exceptional level of compliance. For the relatively small number of cases that had issues, for some of them what was involved is that they would have anticipated that they would have had a reduction because nobody what was going to happen last March 12 months. Nobody knew when we would open or whatever.


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