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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Apr 21, 2011 - 7:06 AM

Irish Revenue audits resulted in collections of almost €500m in 2010
By Finfacts Team
Apr 20, 2011 - 2:21 PM

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Irish Revenue audits in 2010 totalled 11,008, resulting in a yield of €434.7m. A total of 454,796 assurance checks, a less intrusive form of intervention, produced a yield of €58m - -  that totalled almost €500m.

Josephine Feehily, Revenue Commissioners chairman at the launch of the Annual Report 2010, said total outstanding tax debt actually fell by 1.6% to €2.08bn but still remains high and the debt available for collection fell by almost 3.8% to €1.39bn.

As of end March over 15,000 cases covering debts of about €160m are being supported by instalment arrangements or other specific arrangements designed to deal with cash flow problems.

Fehilly said the Risk Analysis system (REAP) has multiple data sources including information from deposit accounts, credit union accounts and Suspicious Transaction Reports. In 2010 the Revenue added Taxi Regulator data, Private Residential Tenancies Board data and data relating to the second home tax. Data, and the analysis of data is a key part of our strategy. "We have enhanced our e-audit capability and all auditors are now equipped with software and training to enable them to do an e-audit on a business’s transactions and records," she said.

The chairman said the base of Double Tax Treaties and Information Exchange Agreements has grown significantly. "To give you a practical example of their value, can I tell you that during 2010, we made a request for information from a Treaty partner which provided us with details of accounts held in a bank in Switzerland by people with Irish addresses. While some had already made a disclosure to Revenue under the 2004 voluntary disclosure scheme, a small number of individuals have been identified with questions to answer. This investigation is in its early stages and has yielded €2m to date," she said.

Included in the audit and compliance programmes are the results of very specific focus on “cash” businesses.  The chairman said these businesses can exist right across the economy wherever there is an opportunity to under-report turnover or profit. For example:

  • Construction: 2,226 audits yielded €61.2m.

  • Motor Trade:  235 audits yielded €10.4m

  • Hospitality - Pubs, Entertainment Venues, Nightclubs:  295 audits yielded €7.2m

  • Professionals – Doctors, Dentists, Vets, Solicitors: 328 audits yielded €9.4m

  • Restaurants and Fast Food:  248 audits yielded €10.6m

Revenue/Department of Social Protection Joint Investigation Units made nearly 5,800 checks, visits or inspections in 2010.

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