Revenue Publishes List of Tax Defaulters
Today’s (07/03/17) edition of Iris Oifigiúil contains the List of Tax Defaulters in the period 1 October 2016 to 31 December 2016. The list is published in two parts.
Part I: Court Fine or Other Court Penalty
Revenue publishes details of cases where a fine or other penalty was imposed by a court.
254 such cases are published for the 3-month period to 31 December 2016. Court fines totalling €612,705 and other court penalties including suspended sentences, community service in lieu of imprisonment, and one closure order, were imposed in respect of:
- 142 cases of failure to file a tax return, failure to remit tax, or delivery of an incorrect return. (Court fines of between €1,250 and €15,000 were imposed; other court penalties included two of 240 hours community service and one of 2 years imprisonment, suspended for 2 years);
- 50 cases of misuse of marked mineral oil (Court fines of between €2,500 and €10,000 were imposed);
- 62 cases of excise and licencing offences including smuggling of tobacco or alcohol products, illegal selling of cigarettes, failure to hold a liquor licence, possession of counterfeit alcohol for sale, failure to display a gaming machine licence, and possession of an unregistered vehicle (Court fines of between €630 and €5,000 were imposed and court penalties included three suspended sentences, three of community service and one closure order).
Part II: Settlements
Settlements are only published when the extensive voluntary disclosure options are not availed of and the default arises as a result of careless or deliberate behaviour. Unpaid amounts are subject to normal collection and debt recovery procedures.
Settlements are published when Revenue accepts a specified sum arising from a settlement, instead of instituting court proceedings for the recovery of the penalties. The sum accepted must include tax, interest and a penalty. It must exceed €33,000 (€30,000 in respect of liabilities arising between 1 January 2005 and 1 January 2010) and the amount of the penalty must exceed 15% of the tax.
- 76 taxpayers are published in respect of the 3 month period to 31 December 2016
- €11.06m is the total of settlements in these cases
- 29 of these cases were for amounts exceeding €100,000; of which 4 exceeded €500,000.
Court-Determined Penalty Cases: Details are published when there has not been a qualifying disclosure, the penalty is determined by a court and exceeds 15% of the total tax; and the total tax, interest and penalty is more than €30,000. There were 16 such cases in the 3 months to 31 December 2016.
Important Advice from Revenue
Revenue's compliance programme is carried out under the Code of Practice for Revenue Audit and other Compliance Interventions (PDF, 2.41MB). The significant benefits of making a ‘qualifying disclosure’ are set out in the Code, and include availing of reduced penalties, avoiding publication in the List of Tax Defaulters, and avoiding possible prosecution.
From 1 May 2017, significant changes and restrictions are coming into effect where the case involves matters outside the Republic of Ireland, or 'offshore matters'. These changes, which are provided for in Finance Act 2016, will limit the opportunity to make a 'qualifying disclosure'. The changes coincide with increased international co-operation whereby Revenue gets more and more information automatically from other jurisdictions.
There are very significant advantages available to taxpayers who take action before Revenue contacts them and affected taxpayers are strongly advised to come forward and correct their tax returns by making a 'qualifying disclosure' before 1 May 2017.
Revenue Compliance Yield
The published settlements reflect only a portion of all Revenue audits and investigations.
In the 3-month period to 31 December 2016, a total of 1,453 Revenue audit and investigations, together with 22,284 Risk Management Interventions (Aspect Queries & Profile Interviews), were settled, resulting in yield of €151.9 million in tax, interest, and penalties.