Revenue publishes 2018 Annual Report

Announcing the publication today (09/05/2019) of Revenue’s Annual Report for 2018, Niall Cody, Chairman, said Revenue collected net Exchequer receipts of €54.6 billion for the year. He noted that

‘when compared to 2017, net Exchequer receipts increased by €4 billion. There were increased receipts for almost all taxes and duties including Income Tax, up 6.6%, VAT up 7% and Corporation Tax up 26.7%.’

Continued strong levels of timely, voluntary compliance rates of over 90% across all taxes confirm the reality that the vast majority of individuals and businesses pay the right amount of tax, on time. Mr Cody acknowledged taxpayers’ engagement, and that of tax practitioners and agents, in achieving the very strong compliance rates seen again for 2018.

The Chairman also announced the publication of a number of other reports, including research reports on Corporation Tax and VAT; summaries of the 2018 National Random Sampling Programme for marked mineral oil products, the results of the Tobacco Products Research Survey 2018; and the results of Revenue’s first survey of taxpayers with self-employed income below €10,000. The results of this survey provide key insights into how Revenue can further simplify the tax system for this cohort of customers, making it easier to be voluntarily compliant in the most cost-effective way possible.

Service to Support Compliance

Commenting on the level of tax debt available for collection, Mr Cody said Revenue

‘continued to focus on minimising the level of debt to the Exchequer. Through our new Debt Management Service, we provide easy to use phased payment facilities for taxpayers who work with us to resolve their payment difficulties.’

At the end of 2018, a total of over 9,000 businesses and individuals had phased payment arrangements in place, covering €93 million in debt. For the small minority of taxpayers who either refuse to work with Revenue, or refuse to pay their tax, Mr Cody explained that

‘we undertake a range of debt collection and enforcement actions to collect tax debt. In 2018, we collected €211.6 million as part of our debt collections and enforcement actions.’

Mr Cody said that today’s report

‘provides details of our continued support for taxpayers, enabling voluntary compliance by providing service in a timely, cost effective way. In 2018, we launched new telephone technology which significantly reduces costs for taxpayers who contact us.’

With 2.3 million individual taxpayers now registered for Revenue's myAccount online service, it continues to be the quickest, easiest and most convenient way for taxpayers to manage their affairs.

The Chairman also announced an extension of the Pay and File deadline for self-assessed taxpayers, who both pay and file online, to Tuesday 12 November 2019.

PAYE Modernisation

The new arrangements for PAYE reporting came into operation on 1 January 2019, whereby every time employers pay their employees, they report the pay and statutory deduction details to Revenue as part of the payroll process. Commenting on the success of the co-design approach taken for the project, the Chairman said that

‘we are grateful for the co-operation of the various stakeholders in helping us deliver PAYE Modernisation. Their input was central to the success of the project.’

As of 31 March 2019, Revenue had received 1.4 million payroll submissions (pay and statutory deductions) from almost 157,000 employers, reporting total gross salaries of almost €24 billion, for more than 2.6 million employees and pension recipients.

Mr Cody added,

‘with real-time reporting now in place for employers, we have turned our focus to the benefits of this new system for employees. From 15 May, all employees will be able to view their payroll details, as reported by their employer, through myAccount. Further improved services through myAccount will follow later in the year.’

Confronting Non-Compliance

Revenue supports a strong culture of voluntary compliance and is committed to confronting non-compliance in all its forms. The Chairman said that “in 2018 Revenue conducted over 580,000 compliance interventions, with a total yield of €572.1 million in tax interest and penalties.

On action against drugs, fiscal fraud and smuggling, the Chairman reported the seizure of over 1,500 vehicles for various offences as well as over 110,000 litres of illicit fuel. Illegal drugs valued at over €33 million and illicit tobacco products valued at over €42 million were also seized. This included the detection and closure of the first ever illegal cigarette factory in the State, where over 23 million cigarettes were discovered on site.

Looking Ahead

Mr Cody explained that

‘investing in high quality and secure digital and self-service channels will continue to be a key priority, including developments enabled by the receipt of real-time payroll data.’

Mr Cody went on to say that

‘it is very important that we support compliant taxpayers by identifying risks and tackling non-compliance in all its forms. We continue to be alert to, and pro-actively respond to, the risks arising from the changes in economic and business environments both nationally and globally.’

In relation to the UK's departure from the EU, Mr Cody stressed that Revenue

‘is strongly focused on supporting and helping businesses to plan and prepare for Brexit. Having an EORI number is the minimum requirement for businesses that wish to trade with, or through, the UK when they leave the EU. Despite a 110% increase in EORI numbers in 2019, when compared to the entire of 2018, there are still a significant proportion of businesses that we have identified as trading with the UK who have not registered for EORI. I would like to take this opportunity today to remind businesses that if they do not have a customs (EORI) registration, they are running a real and unnecessary risk that their business will experience significant delays and problems moving goods post Brexit. Applying for an EORI number is free and can be completed quickly and easily through Revenue’s secure online services.’

In closing, Mr Cody, on behalf of the Revenue Board, thanked Revenue's staff for their professionalism, commitment and strong work ethic which has enabled Revenue report the performance and results outlined in the 2018 Annual Report.

[Ends 09/05/2019]

Annual Report for the Year Ended 31 December 2018

Chairman's opening remarks

Corporation Tax 2018 payments and 2017 returns

Oil Random Sampling Programme 2018

Survey of Chargeable Persons 2018

Illegal tobacco products research - Survey results 2018

Tobacco products Survey Methodology note

VAT payments and returns