The Finance Minister says he will again discuss the Kerry Co-Op patronage share issue with the Chair of the Revenue Commissioners before the end of the month.
Kerry’s five TDs Brendan Griffin, John Brassil, Martin Ferris, Michael and Danny Healy-Rae all posed questions to Michael Noonan in the Dail on issue.
Last November, Revenue wrote to 400 Kerry suppliers who had received patronage shares in 2011 outlining possible tax liabilities of up to €20,000.
Farmers are disputing Revenue’s interpretation that these shares were compensation for milk supplied.
Speaking in the Dail, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the Revenue Commissioners are independent, which is critical to maintain the integrity of the taxation system and to ensure fair treatment of all taxpayers.
He said he has no function in the matter as it is Revenue’s role to assess people for taxes and to collect those taxes.
Minister Noonan said Revenue have informed him there has been no change in policy in respect of this matter which is in accordance with long established taxation principles.
He said Revenue is committed to facilitate any appeals to the independent Tax Appeals Commission and there would be no action while the appeals process is underway.
Minister Noonan said there is no discrimination against farmers adding this is the way tax law applies.
The Minister said there are points concerning this issue that are arguable and that is why he is following the Revenue advice saying this should be appealed on a test case basis to see where the law lies.
The Minister is meeting with the Chairman of Revenue before the end of the month and while it is not the primary purpose of the meeting he will raise the patronage issue again.