Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (185)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

185. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide details of the profits earned by grocery chains here in recent years; if he will provide a breakdown of the largest earnings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12924/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the relevant information available is on the amount of gross income earned by the sector engaged in the retail sale of predominantly food, beverages or tobacco and referenced under NACE Code 4711. This is based on personal income tax returns filed by non-PAYE taxpayers and information on gross profits derived from corporation tax returns for the year 2010. The tax year 2010 is the latest year for which the necessary detailed information is available. The gross income from all sources returned by self-employed individuals engaged in this activity for 2010 was €94 million and the corresponding gross trading income returned by companies engaged in this activity for 2010 was €894 million.

Figures are rounded to the nearest million.

As regards the largest earnings of the traders involved, the Revenue Commissioners’ obligation to observe confidentiality for taxpayers and small groups of taxpayers would preclude them from giving this information.

The sector identifier used on the tax records is based on the 4 digit “NACE code (Rev. 1)” which is an internationally recognised economic activity code system. The NACE codes are not essential for the assessment and collection of taxes and duties and the correct allocation and maintenance of these codes is subject to the limit of available resources. NACE code classifications on tax records are compiled by reference to the primary area of economic activity reported by individual and corporate taxpayers on their own behalf and the taxes collected are allocated to those codes without reference to the precise economic activity which generated them.

While the accuracy of the NACE codes on tax records is sufficient to underpin broad sector-based analyses there will undoubtedly be some inaccuracies at individual level. This should be borne in mind when considering the information provided. The sector identified for this reply represents the closest equivalents in the NACE code system to the sector mentioned in the question.