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Written Answers - Tax Code

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 156.  Deputy Gerald Nash Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash  asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  if he will make arrangements to provide citizens with annual personal taxation statements providing a breakdown of the way moneys raised by way of income tax are spent by the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16990/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The Revised Estimates Volume, which was presented to the Oireachtas on 23 February, contains a full and detailed breakdown of every area of public spending. I should add that this year, the Book of Estimates includes an unprecedented amount of new material, making clear the outputs and impacts that the public is seeing as a result of this expenditure. This new initiative is in keeping with the Government Programme commitments to strengthen the focus upon performance and delivery in the public service. A Databank giving access to detailed information on expenditure trends across each area of public spending is also available on

The Government also publishes Exchequer Statements each month which sets out the Central Government current and capital account receipts and expenditure, tax and non-tax revenue receipts.

In addition, my Department each year prepares detailed accounts of the Central Fund known as the Finance Accounts. These are the most comprehensive set of accounts published by [759]the Government and include, in summary form, information on almost every aspect of the Government’s operations.

It should be noted that every taxpayer in the State is already provided annually with a document 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.

I believe that the Deputy’s request comes on foot of the United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer recent announcement that he plans to provide personal tax statements in 2014 to every individual taxpayer. In addition, these statements will also include tax paid broken down into the proportion which is used for each function of the State. I assume that this initiative will be a very big overhead for the Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and one for which it has budgeted.

I should point out that this would also be a significant overhead and costs for the Irish Revenue Commissioners entailing individual statements being sent out to over 2 million taxpayers.

However, as I stated in respect to a similar request, to an opposition recommendation submitted during the Committee Stage in the Seanad of the Finance Bill 2012, I have asked the Revenue Commissioners to monitor the progress made in the United Kingdom and, having regard to the experience in that country, to advise me of the feasibility of introducing such an initiative.

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