Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Ceisteanna (183, 184)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

183. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will request a Department engineer or inspector to engage with the principal and board of management of a school (details supplied) in relation to an over run in the cost of refurbishment at the school of approximately €16,500; if his Department will engage with the contractor in view of the fact that it should be outside the responsibility of the staff and management; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51554/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

184. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will request the Revenue Commissioners to revisit a penalty imposed on a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51555/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 183 and 184 together.

Under tax law, a school authority is regarded by the Revenue Commissioners as the "Principal Contractor" for tax purposes when it is delivering a building project.  My Department advises a school authority of this at the time the grant for the works is being approved.

The main requirement for the school to meet its obligations is to register with the Revenue Commissioners’ online system and to follow the Revenue Commissioners' guidance in relation to deducting and paying over tax, as appropriate, for the contractor carrying out the works. If a school fully complies with this requirement, no tax issues will arise.

Before the grant for the works can be drawn down from my Department, a school authority must confirm to my Department that it has complied with its tax obligations. The school in question explicitly provided my Department with that and other necessary confirmations and the grant was paid out accordingly.

As tax matters are strictly between a taxpayer and the Revenue Commissioners, my Department is unable to intervene.  However, the school authority is strongly advised to raise this matter directly with the Revenue Commissioners itself.

With regard to the overspend on the project, my Department understands that this arises on foot of unapproved works carried out by the Board of Management.  It is made clear in the original grant approval letter that any funding shortfall arising from unapproved works must be met by the school authority and this remains the position in this case.