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Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)

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Snippet Contents:

The Revenue Commissioners and my Department are in ongoing contact regarding a very broad range of matters, including as appropriate, all the matters listed by the Deputy.
More formally, the Revenue Commissioners have written to me on three occasions in the past four years in relation to staffing and resources generally, including equipment. In addition, in 2011 the Revenue Commissioners submitted a Comprehensive Review of Expenditure that identified their resourcing requirements. As the Deputy will be aware the Minister For Public Expenditure is responsible for the Employment Control Framework for staffing and for the control of Government Expenditure through the Estimates process and in this context, most day to day requests for sanction for staffing or recruitment are managed between that Department and the Revenue Commissioners. While conscious of the need to control expenditure, I have been generally supportive of the cases made by Revenue and recognise the need to ensure that Revenue is adequately resourced to ensure the effective operation of the Revenue administration for the benefit of the Exchequer.
As part of the engagement between my Department and Revenue relating to the introduction of the Local Property Tax, I supported Revenue’s resource requirements, and these are set out in the Expenditure Report for 2013 and in the Revised Estimates for Public Services, 2013, for the Finance Group of Votes, which I discussed with the relevant Committee last week.
Regarding legislation, since 2009 there have been no less than eight Finance Acts, including two Finance (Local Property Tax) Acts. Given the nature of the engagement between Revenue and my Department in preparing these Bills, it would be impossible to disaggregate with any precision all the legislative changes arose as a result of requests from the Revenue Commissioners. However, many legislative changes have been implemented to improve the administration of the tax system and to improve compliance. Examples include, the reform to the Relevant Contract Tax System, the introduction of a new excise licencing system for mineral oils and the modernisation of direct taxes assessing rules for self-assessment. For completeness, I should also add that the Revenue Commissioners will, from time to time, comment through my Department on legislative proposals presented by other Ministers. If the Deputy has something specific in mind, it may be possible to be more helpful.
I will continue to carefully consider any new legislative proposals received from the Revenue Commissioners that make it easier and less costly for taxpayers to comply and that help reduce non-compliance.