Revenue Publishes 2011 Annual Report
Josephine Feehily, Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners, today (26/04/12) announced the publication of Revenue’s annual report for 2011.
Speaking at the launch, Ms Feehily said:
"Overall I would say last year was a year of really solid performance in challenging circumstances. We can report positive results in virtually all our business areas, good productivity, and some very interesting and innovative projects as well.
While overall tax and duty receipts were €831 million below the Budget target, net tax and duty receipts in 2011 increased by 7.3% to €34.2 billion, reversing three years of falling returns to the Exchequer.
Perhaps more significantly from Revenue’s point of view, is the fact that the level of outstanding tax debt stabilised in 2011 and is now beginning to decrease. The overall debt reduced from €2.08 billion in 2010 to €1.99 billion in 2011. The debt available for collection also fell by almost 5.2% to €1.32 billion in 2011. This is an extremely important performance indicator for us in Revenue and to achieve it, we increased the staff resources deployed on debt collection and recovery by 11.5% in 2011.
………Last year we increased the level of our audit and assurance activity by almost 20% with the resulting yield increasing by nearly €30m. We carried out 11,000 audits and 546,000 assurance checks which between them yielded more than €520 million. Included in these numbers are the results of a particular focus on shadow economy activity in certain sectors:
- Construction: 1,833 audits yielding €58.8m
- Bars and restaurants: 613 audits yielding €16.9m
- Legal activities: 142 audits yielding €4.6m
- Landlords/rental properties: 908 audits yielding €35.1m
- Professionals (accountants, doctors, dentists): 350 audits yielding €8.9m.
……….Shadow economy activity also includes evading excise of duty on diesel. In 2011, we completely revised our strategy in relation to how we confront the risks in this sector. We tightened the regulations for licensed mineral oil traders to strengthen the control and supervision of the supply and distribution of diesel and we followed up by vigorous enforcement action against unlicensed outlets and those in breach of the licensing conditions, resulting in the closure of 32 filling stations between July and December. A further 11 stations were closed to date this year.
At the same time we seized over one million litres of mineral oil and detected nine oil laundries. Already this year we have seized over 270,000 litres of mineral oil and detected three oil laundries including one mobile laundry. …….When businesses evade excise duty on oil, they are also likely to be evading other taxes. For this reason we are devoting 10% of our compliance effort to the oils sector generally in 2012. But motorists can help too. I would like to remind them of the risks to their vehicles from laundered fuel. They should also be aware that it robs millions of euro of much needed funds from the State, hurts legitimate trade and is bringing criminality into our communities.
………. One of our most significant innovations last year, was a Real Time Risk framework for PAYE which went live in July 2011 and by the end of December about 3,200 transactions were successfully stopped resulting in savings of approximately €1m. By now, that figure has increased to €1.87m and 5,178 transactions. This project, which uses advanced analytics to devise risk rules, puts us at the leading edge of managing risk, ahead of most other tax administrations in the world and we are extending the project this year to include VAT repayment claims.
……… This year is likely to be just as challenging as last year, but I want to conclude by paying tribute to the staff of Revenue without whose hard work and support I would have little to report today, and who I am confident will continue to service the community with dedication and distinction."
The most significant developments for Revenue in 2011 were:
- The level of outstanding tax debt stabilised in 2011 and is now beginning to decrease. The overall debt reduced from €2.08 billion in 2010 to €1.99 billion in 2011. The debt available for collection also fell by almost 5.2% to €1.32 billion in 2011.
- While overall tax and duty receipts were €831 million below the Budget target, net tax and duty receipts in 2011 increased by 7.3% to €34.2 billion, reversing three years of falling returns to the Exchequer.
- The rate of timely filing of tax returns for both large and medium cases increased in 2011 despite the challenging business environment with 95% of the largest cases filing on time and 98% filing by due month plus one. For medium cases the figures were 87% and 95% respectively.
- Total audit and assurance activity yielded €528.1m from 557,568 interventions.
- The cumulative total from the major "legacy" investigation projects reached €2.63 billion, with €18.8 million collected in 2011. This includes the yield from the investigation into Trusts and Offshore Structures in 2011 which was €4.12 million, bringing the cumulative yield to €40.72 million.
- 30 Court convictions for serious tax and duty evasion, up from 13 in 2010. Eight custodial sentences, ranging from 7 to 36 months, imposed, with a further 15 custodial sentences suspended.
- 1,044,830 litres of illegally laundered fuel were seized and nine fuel-laundering plants were detected.
- 109.1 million cigarettes and 11,158kg of tobacco, valued at €46 million and €4 million respectively, were seized.
- Drugs with a street value of €24.1 million were seized, up from €9.02 million last year.
- By the end of 2011, a total of 642,808 customers had registered for our online PAYE anytime service, an increase of 27.4% on 2010. A total of 378,757 transactions were processed by the service during the year. The number of payment transactions made via ROS increased by 35.6% to 975,105, while the value of those payments increased by 16% to €32.1 billion.
- A new electronic Relevant Contracts Tax system was developed during 2011 and introduced on 1 January 2012. The new system streamlines the administration of the tax, reduces the opportunity for fraud and improves the cash-flow position of compliant subcontractors.
- In 2011, and for the fifth year running, Ireland was ranked the easiest country in the EU in which to pay business taxes, and the fifth easiest in the world (according to 'Paying Taxes 2012 – The Global Picture', a report by the World Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers).