PAC calls for independent investigation into ‘bogus self-employment’
The Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called on Revenue to commission an independent investigation into the self-employment status of some couriers.
In a report to be published this afternoon, and seen by RTÉ News, the committee also calls on Revenue to conduct a minimum of 4,000 site visits across all employment sectors from next year onwards, to tackle “bogus self-employment”.
The Dáil’s spending watchdog’s report was compiled following an examination by PAC of Revenue’s appropriation accounts for 2019.
In the report, PAC members expressed concern that the exchequer had lost income due to some couriers being treated as “self employed for tax purposes” and that couriers themselves may have lost out on benefits “that self-employed individuals cannot claim”.
PAC asked that Revenue commission an independent investigation to establish “the magnitude of revenue lost to the State as a result of this practice” and the cost to workers themselves.
Separately, the committee noted that Revenue visited 1,673 construction sites in 2019 and found that 400 construction workers, out of a total of 6,650, were wrongly classified as self-employed.
They have since been reclassified.
PAC recommended that a minimum of 4,000 site inspections be carried out across all sectors from 2022 onwards.
The report also raises issues separate to the 2019 appropriation accounts.
In 2020, Revenue acknowledged that errors were made in the operation of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.
From 26 March to 3 May of that year, employers were paid the maximum entitlement of €410 for each employee, resulting in significant costs to the exchequer and a requirement to recoup money.
PAC asked Revenue to ensure that lessons are learned ahead of the rollout of any other future schemes.