Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Public Accounts Committee

2018 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 9 - Office of the Revenue Commissioners
Chapter 17 - Tax compliance interventions
Chapter 18 - Tax relief on film production

9:00 am

Mr. Niall Cody:

I am smiling as the Deputy said he had two quick questions but the last question could be the subject of a committee meeting all on its own.

The Deputy spoke about PAYE modernisation and the requirement to provide real-time information. The positive reaction to this has been really interesting. Small businesses have moved to payroll software and this is a really competitive sector. Some of the providers do this for free. I know one that does it if there are fewer than two employees in a company, for example.

We have also provided a facility for the really small companies which do not use any payroll software to enter the amounts themselves through the ROS system. The costs that people anticipated this time last year have not really been borne out. I am aware that some agents have got out of that work because of the burden it imposes, while others have decided to get more into it. When we looked at PAYE modernisation one of the aspects that is often neglected in the debate is that there are obligations on employers with regard to payslips under employment law. All we have done is to capture the submission of that detail. Sometimes I have seen representations being made by various bodies and commentators who seem to ignore the fact that an employee has entitlements and rights. All we are doing is capturing the reporting of that.

This time last year one of my big worries was how PAYE modernisation would have worked, but it has been a phenomenal success. It has provided a basis for improved policy making. We will publish a detailed report next April on what we have learned. I am aware that the Central Statistics Office is quite excited about what it can do with it. I believe it has been a hugely positive development for employees. Reference was made to trying to ensure people get the right credits. The facility people will have in January to review their tax affairs with no need to ring us or contact us will be one of the transformational change programmes.

On the corporation tax-----