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'Deeply shocking': Substitute teachers wrongly overtaxed after new system kicks in

The issue has affected a number of substitute teachers who were paid in the first and second pay runs of 2019.

Image: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

A NUMBER OF substitute teachers have been paid less than their correct wage this month as a result of a taxation issue. 

The issue has affected a number of substitute teachers who were paid in the first and second pay runs of 2019. 

The problem arose in the first pay runs of the New Year when the new PAYE modernisation system was applied for the first time. The payroll files that transferred to Revenue inadvertently included an end date for substitute staff which informed Revenue that they would not be paid under this employer number in the future. 

This notification caused Revenue to immediately reduce the tax credits and cut-off points to zero for this cohort of staff.

It meant that when substitute teachers were next paid on a department payroll there were no tax credits available to be applied to the salary. 

Any substitute teacher who enters the payroll for the first time after these two pay runs will not be affected, the Department of Education has said. 

“The payroll division and IT unit of the Department and Revenue are working in close cooperation to secure a permanent solution,” a spokesperson for the Department said. 

The spokesperson added that the issue is “being given the highest priority”. 

They said any substitute teacher affected by the issue can contact the Department seeking a letter to confirm that the issue arose as a result of PAYE changes being implemented by the Department and Revenue.

The letter will also state that refunds of tax that have been deducted in error will be issued as soon as possible. 

‘Deeply shocking’

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on education Thomas Byrne has called on Minister for Education Joe McHugh to immediately provide pay cheques to substitute teachers whose pay has been impacted. 

“It is deeply shocking that the Minister for Education believes that it is ok that substitute teachers are expected to take unexpected deductions to their pay because of errors in the Department of Education’s own payroll software,” Byrne said. 

It is highly inappropriate that they are left waiting for refunds until the Department of Education and Revenue can get their act together. 

“At this stage, the Department of Education should simply write cheques to the teachers affected.” 

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