Dáil Éireann - Volume 434 - 13 October, 1993
Written Answers. - Delayed Tax Payments.
Mr. Barry Mr. Barry
48. Mr. Barry asked the Minister for Finance his views on the interest rates charged and the attitude adopted by the Revenue Commissioners and by the Government in relation to delayed payments by taxpayers in comparison with the extended credit being taken by health boards and local authorities for goods and services supplied by small traders.
Minister for Finance (Mr. B. Ahern) Bertie Ahern
Minister for Finance (Mr. B. Ahern): There is no basis for comparison between the interest rate charged by the Revenue Commissioners on late payments of tax and the credit terms in contracts between State bodies and their suppliers.
The statutory provisions relating to the payment of taxes provide for the charging of interest in respect of late payment. This interest charge, which is an integral part of the collection and enforcement machinery, is designed to ensure timely payment, to compensate the Exchequer for loss of revenue where there is not prompt payment, and to achieve equity as between taxpayers who pay on time  and those who do not. The interest charge is a statutory one which the Revenue Commissioners do not have the authority to reduce or waive.
Credit terms in relation to the supply of goods and services are matters to be settled between suppliers and their customers, whether these are in the public or private sector. The general question of late payments is one of the issues being considered by the Task Force on Small Business which was set up by my colleague the Minister for Commerce and Technology.
Any specific question in relation to local authorities or health boards should be addressed to the responsible Ministers.
Dáil Éireann 434 Written Answers. Delayed Tax Payments.