Dáil Éireann - Volume 446 - 02 November, 1994

Written Answers. - Taxation Statistics.

88. Mr. M. McDowell asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost to the Exchequer on a full year basis 1994 to 1995 arising out of withholding tax; the estimated cost to the Exchequer of exempting general practitioners from [1515] the tax; the amount of refunds made in respect of tax in 1993 to 1994 to general medical practitioners on hardship grounds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2639/94]

Minister for Finance (Mr. B. Ahern): Withholding tax is deducted under the provisions of Chapter III of the Finance Act, 1987, as amended, from payments for professional services. Statistics in respect of withholding tax payments are available on a calendar year basis.

The budget estimate of the gross amount of withholding tax to be paid in respect of the calendar year 1994 is £95 million. The total amount of all withholding tax refunds made in the calendar year 1993 was £20.4 million.

It is estimated that there would be an initial cash flow loss to the Exchequer of some £34 million in a full year if payments made by the General Medical Services (Payments) Board to general medical practitioners were not subject to withholding tax. Statistics are not recorded in such a manner as would enable the amount of withholding tax refunds made to general medical practitioners to be given.