C&AG report: Tax law interpretation row costs state exam body €11m

A row over interpretation of tax law has cost the State Examinations Commission (SEC) €11m in a settlement related to expenses for teachers who supervise and mark Junior and Leaving Certificate exams.

Contract staff brought in for State exam duties each year are paid travel expenses but the SEC believed they should not have income tax, PRSI, or Universal Social Charge deducted because the schools where they teach are their normal place of work.

A Revenue Commissioners audit determined that the schools where they supervised or marked practical exams were their normal place of work in respect of contracts with the SEC, meaning there was no tax exemption on any related expenses.

A settlement of €10.9m, including €1.4m interest for 2010 to 2013, was paid this year. However, because the audit was finalised before contract staff were recruited for 2015 exams, and the settlement amounts are not being recovered from the individuals who were paid, a further €1.9m to €2m tax liability will be paid in respect of this year’s State exams.

C&AG report: Tax law interpretation row costs state exam body €11m

The Department of Education has also paid a tax settlement this year, totalling €1.36m in liability and interest, in respect of underpaid tax to home tutors from whom it should have made deductions at source.

It also settled a four-year liability and interest of €570,000 owing on fees and expenses to directors of 11 boards and committees from whom deductions should have been made at source.

Neither the SEC or department was charged a penalty as Revenue treated both as adjustments based on differences of interpretation of the relevant tax laws.

More on this topic

€14bn Apple tax fund could lose €70m this year€14bn Apple tax fund could lose €70m this year

C&AG report: '€41bn of public's money may never be fully recovered'C&AG report: '€41bn of public's money may never be fully recovered'

Super-rich pose ‘significant’ tax risksSuper-rich pose ‘significant’ tax risks

Money for nothing: New report highlights spending failures  by Government departmentsMoney for nothing: New report highlights spending failures by Government departments


Lifestyle

Rachel Howard visits the South Moravia region to sample this eastern European country’s finest tipples.They’re big on beer but could the Czech Republic be raising a glass to wine tourism too?

Lisa Salmon catches up with a cardiologist, who explains how a patient’s own stem cells can repair damage from heart disease and heart failure.How stem cells are mending broken hearts

Hannah Stephenson discovers America’s dark past and Martin Luther King’s vision for its future by following the civil rights trail.Charting America’s path to freedom on a road trip through the Deep South

RuPaul’s Drag Race judge and Strictly star opens up to Gabrielle Fagan about eating disorders, years of ill health and dealing with depression.Michelle Visage: ‘I still battle with my body image’

More From The Irish Examiner