Minister for Finance urged not to rely on Corporation Tax to fund State expenditure

Minister for Finance urged not to rely on Corporation Tax to fund State expenditure

The Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners Niall Cody has warned that the Minister for Finance will have to be prudent and not rely on Corporation Tax to fund State expenditure.

The publication of the Revenue Commissioner’s annual report today revealed that the amount of Corporation Tax collected by the State last year increased by 26 per cent to €54.6bn with 45% of that coming from the Top 10 Corporate Taxpayers and 73% from the Top 100.

Mr Cody told RTE Radio's News at One that Corporation Tax has been “very volatile” and “it does jump.”

He said that the Minister for Finance doesn’t want to rely on significant Corporation Tax to fund expenditure. “Anything that jumps like that, if there’s a drop the Government has to be prudent.”

There is a concern when there is “that concentration” which is why the Government has to be prudent, he added.

Over the past four years the Top 10 Corporate Tax payers have contributed between 35% to 37%, which has been “fairly consistent” he said.

Mr Cody explained that apart from Corporation Tax a significant portion of PAYE, USC and PRSI was paid by the major companies, €7.9bn out of €18.4bn.

The annual report also highlights the success of the Revenue Commissioners in tackling the illicit trade in cigarettes, fuel and drugs.

However, he warned that 13 per cent of all cigarette sales in the country were through illicit trade which was a “significant threat” to Revenue receipts.

He also encouraged more businesses who trade with the UK to register for an EORI number. At present only 50 per cent of companies have done so.

“If it turns out that they don’t need it, that’s good, but it would be better to have done that than not.”

Mr Cody said that the Revenue Commissioners are prepared for Brexit and had assigned 400 customs officers.

We have identified that we will need 600 in the event of a no deal Brexit.

He said that 270 new staff had been hired and were on a five weeks training course.

They will continue to enhance their skills and even if a deal is reached with regards to Brexit they can be redeployed as tax and customs are an integrated service.

“There is plenty of work.”


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