Written Answers. - Withholding Tax.

47.

asked the Minister for Finance in relation to the withholding tax on professional services, the amount which has been collected by means of withholding tax in the years 1987 and 1988 from (a) advertising consultants and (b) marketing consultants; in respect of each of the years, the amount of money which has been paid back by way of interim refunds to (a) advertising consultants and (b) marketing consultants; and the arrangements which have been made to establish a separate office with a special function of supervising interim refunds.

Statistics are not available which would enable the information requested by the Deputy to be given. To determine the amounts of tax paid and repaid by way of interim refund in respect of the professional categories referred to would require an individual examination of all relevant returns furnished in 1987 and 1988 by the accountable persons as defined in section 14 (1) of the Finance Act, 1987, together with the relevant tax records relating to such refunds. Such examinations could be carried out only at disproportionate cost.

Applications for interim refunds of withholding tax, as provided for under section 19 of the Finance Act, 1987, are processed in the applicant's tax district. Valid interim refund claims of withholding tax are dealt with within one month of receipt and most such claims are dealt with within a shorter period. The provision of a separate office to process such claims is not therefore considered necessary.