Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 11 July 2019
Public Accounts Committee
Business of Committee
We are talking about category A, although there will probably be no correspondence as there will be no opening statements, and category B which is from Accounting Officers. We are not talking about category C correspondence from individuals, which we never publish. We are talking about items that would be in the public arena arising from our public meetings, namely, category B. We will do it around the end of July and the end August and we will give the secretariat some flexibility in getting it to us. It would be dreadful if we asked questions today and the answers came in next week but we would have to wait two months for them. I thank the secretariat and we will ask it to do its best on that. There is a system in place for parliamentary questions during recess, so we are not setting and new ground.
No. 2312 B is from the Minister, Deputy Donohoe, dated 5 July 2019 providing his response to our report on the examination of matters in relation to receipts from corporation tax, which we will note and publish. The Minister sent a note during the week. The committee issued this report in June 2018 but I think the ministerial response probably got lost in the mix in the Department. We have received responses from our other periodic reports, Nos. 1 to 5, inclusive, and the Department probably spotted that this was not there.
We can make a quick note of it but much of it relates to items in the public domain. We will continually come back to issues such as corporation tax.
Our first recommendation was on the concentrated nature of corporation tax receipts. We had asked for a special report but the Minister stated that one had been conducted by Revenue over the course of finance discussions some time ago. He said the matter was under review and we will all be keeping it under review. We will note that.
We asked for details of PAYE paid by participators in close companies. The Minister said:
To a large extent the close company provisions are designed to modify behaviour by preventing certain activities. Revenue statistics provided to the Committee indicate that approximately 4% of close companies paid the surcharge in 2015 and approximately 4.3% of close companies paid the surcharge in 2014. These figures indicate the effectiveness of that provision and Revenue is satisfied that the application of close company rules is achieving its intended purpose.
The Minister has given a two-page response but I am only reading out his concluding paragraph. We will note and publish this.