Seanad debates

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Finance Bill 2012 (Certified Money Bill): Committee and Remaining Stages

 

11:00 am

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform produces the annual Estimates of expenditure every February. These demonstrate in great detail all expenditure, voted and non-voted, by each Department and office. The Estimates are published and available on the website of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Also, every taxpayer is already provided annually with an assessment detailing the amount of income tax and universal social charge that has been paid. This is provided by way of a P60 for employees and an assessment from Revenue for the self-employed.

This recommendation is similar to the measure that the United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer has signalled he wishes to put in place in 2014, whereby every individual taxpayer will be provided with a personal tax statement. These statements will include tax paid broken down into the proportion that is used for each function of the state. I assume that this initiative poses a large overhead for the Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, one for which it has budgeted. This would also create a significant overhead and cost for the Revenue Commissioners because it would entail individual statements being sent to more than 2 million taxpayers. Given that most of the information requested is already available and the new information would incur significant expense, I cannot accept the recommendation.

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