Thursday, 11 April 2019

Ceisteanna (73)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

73. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to ensure bodies funded by his Department are compliant with the tax system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17042/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

It is a central principle that all bodies in receipt of Exchequer funding should be fully compliant with tax regulations and it is a core responsibility of the boards of these bodies to ensure such compliance. 

The stipulations of the Code of Practice for Governance of State Bodies in respect of taxation apply in the Department's aegis bodies.  More generally, the provisions regarding tax clearance for bodies in receipt of grant funding are set out in the appropriate circulars issued by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, namely circular 13/2014 (management and accountability of grants) and circular 44/2006 (tax clearance procedures - grants, subsidies and similar type payments).  

With respect to schools, the Department has issued a circular to all management authorities (circular 51/2013) on tax compliance. This circular set out the Department's expectation that all schools should be exemplary in respect of compliance with taxation obligations and drew their attention to relevant Revenue documentation.  Furthermore, the Financial Services Support Unit (FSSU), which operates in the Primary, Community, Comprehensive and Voluntary Secondary Sectors, is an important source of advice and support for schools on financial governance matters including tax compliance.  In the ETB sector, the bodies are subject to audit by the ETB Internal Audit Unit and are externally audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

To enhance awareness of tax issues across the education sector, the Department has arranged periodic seminars in conjunction with Revenue.  The last such seminar was held in December 2017. 

With respect to suppliers of goods and services, the Department validates suppliers via the Revenue eTax Clearance system on a regular basis.