RTE News are reporting this evening that a Revenue are currently carrying out a tax audit on the Houses of the Oireachtas.
This is the public body responsible for the payment of expense allowances to TDs and Senators.
Members of the Dáil and Seanad Éireann enjoy expense allowances (technically termed the “Parliamentary Standard Allowance”) that comprise two elements:
- Travel and Accommodation Allowance. This is based on the distance to Leinster House from the Member’s home, and verified by Leinster House attendance records.
- Public Representation Allowance. This is to cover office and other expenses, which can be claimed on a flat-rate unvouched rate of up to €15,000 per annum (nice!) or on a vouched basis up to €25,700 per year (nicer still!)
It will be interesting to see what view Revenue take of the generous expense regime enjoyed by our TD’s and Senators.
Revenue insist that unvouched expense payments to public- and private-sector employees and directors must in all cases be treated as taxable pay, although our leading politicians have traditionally appeared immune from such inconvenience.
Is this about to change?