KILRUSH NATIVE, Colm Browne has been elected as the new President of the Irish Tax Institute.

A tax director with PwC where he trained as an accountant and tax advisor, Colm is the 47th President of the Tax Institute, taking on the role at the AGM earlier in September. . He was elected to the Council of Institute in 2014.

He left PwC as a Tax manager to move back home to the Mid-West where he worked with BDO and later OBI, a small firm in Limerick where he worked as a Tax Partner. In 2018, he moved back to PwC taking up the role of Tax Director in their Limerick office. He also heads up a centralised corporation tax compliance function for PwC in Kilkenny.

Now based in Ennis, Colm is also a key figure within Clare GAA and is one of the main personnel behind the difficult job in drafting the master fixtures plan each year. He is also involved with the Banner GAA Club in Ennis.

Since taking on the new role, Colm has called on Revenue to adopt a pragmatic approach towards businesses as they begin to repay their warehoused taxes from January 1, 2023. He pointed out that many small domestic companies are under significant strain. “Many are grappling with spiralling input costs, shortage of staff, and some continue to have supply chains difficulties”.

He was hopeful the Budget would include some measures to support these businesses but maintained Revenue must show some understanding. “Over the coming months, there will be intensive Revenue engagement with taxpayers and it’s essential that we can get proper, realistic phased payment arrangements in place that take into account not just pandemic impacts but also the difficulties many SMEs face in the very challenging economic environment”.

Referring to warnings about Ireland’s over reliance on the multinational sector for income tax and corporate tax receipts, Colm said the most sustainable strategy for mitigating this concentration risk is to broaden the economic base by building an innovative, productive, and competitive indigenous sector. “Effective tax measures have a significant role to play in this endeavour. And the fact is, notwithstanding some changes in recent years, existing measures like the EIIS, KEEP and the R&D Tax Credit are far from optimal”.

“While FDI will always play a central role in our economic model, nurturing a strong, innovative, clean, and green, indigenous SME sector will be crucial to the resilience of our economy. I hope the Commission’s Report will contain some recommendations on tax measures that could assist in building that resilience into the future,” he added.

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