Thursday, 31 January 2019

Ceisteanna (85)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

85. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he is taking to resolve the PAYE crisis that teachers are facing as a result of an information technology problem in the payroll section of his Department; the length of time they will have to wait for it to be resolved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4801/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

PAYE Modernisation was introduced from the 1st January, 2019. This was the biggest change to the PAYE system since the 1960s. All employers are now required to report employees pay and deductions to Revenue as they are being paid. All employees paid by this Department are paid on a fortnightly basis and a return is submitted to Revenue prior to the payments for each fortnightly being issued.

The first payroll of 2019 paid by the Department was on the 3rd January 2019 for post primary teachers and substitute teachers and on 10 January for primary, non-teaching staff and retirees.

Schools input records of employment through the On Line Claims System for substitute teachers (casual /non casual staff) and the details of each period of employment transfers to the Department where the appropriate rates of pay are applied, statutory deductions are calculated and the payment issues in the regular payroll run for the sector.

In the first payrolls of the New Year and the second payroll for post primary issued on the 17th January, the payroll files that transferred to Revenue inadvertently included an end date for substitute (casual /non casual) staff which informed Revenue that these staff would not be paid under this employer number in the future. This notification incorrectly ceased the affected staff and notified Revenue of same. When Revenue is notified by an employer that an employment has ceased, the credits at that employment are available for reallocation to an existing employment or to a new employment.

The payroll software has been amended to prevent an end date transferring to Revenue for future payments which means substitute teachers (casual /non casual staff) coming on future payrolls will not have problems with tax credits. However this did not correct the issues that arose for the staff who were paid already.

The priority within the Department is to address the problems that have already arisen for staff to ensure that the correct tax credits apply and that refunds of tax that have been deducted in error will issue to the staff concerned. The Department is devoting all available technical resources to resolve the problem as a matter of urgency for those who were impacted and is liaising with Revenue on an ongoing basis.