Revenue targets sports events and festivals

BY DARA BRADLEY

Galway’s status as the ‘festival city’ attracts the attentions not only of tourists but the Revenue Commissioners, too.

The Galway City Tribune has learned that Revenue is making unannounced visits to festivals and sports events organised throughout the city every year.

The team of inspectors are checking that the organisers of the festivals are all tax compliant and that the temporary staff hired during the various one-off annual events are not evading tax.

Festivals are generally run with a small core staff, with most services contracted out – the inspectors are ensuring that the sub-contractors are tax compliant, too. Tax returns for VAT on ticket sales for festivals are also being monitored.

The latest event to receive an unannounced visit from tax inspectors was the international snooker competition, the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals, which were held at NUI Galway in the week leading up to St Patrick’s Day. The event was organised by promotional agency, THE Agency.

Sources have confirmed that the books of the snooker event were inspected in March and that the organisers were questioned, as per normal inspection procedures.

It is understood the unannounced visit was part of a wider inspection programme of big events, as Revenue hones its magnifying glass on Galway’s festivals.

It is believed that the German-style Christmas Market at Eyre Square was also visited by Revenue inspectors in December and that other festivals can expect unannounced visits during the coming tourism season.

In relation to the snooker inspections, a Revenue spokesperson said “we cannot comment on the affairs of individual cases as it would be a breach of taxpayer confidentiality”.

For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.