Revenue highlights potential tax implications arising from misuse of the planning appeals system
Today, (08/12/2023), Revenue noted concerns regarding misuse of the planning appeals system reflected in the Oireachtas and recent media reports and public commentary. Revenue wishes to draw attention, having regard to tax compliance obligations, to the potentially serious consequences for any individual or business in receipt of payments of the nature described in these reports, where such payments have not been included in the appropriate tax return.
Taxpayers are reminded that there are a range of opportunities available to taxpayers to regularise their tax affairs, including self-review, self-correction and making an unprompted qualifying disclosure. These opportunities help taxpayers to get things right as easily and cost effectively as possible, and reduce their exposure to a heavier level of penalty, to publication as a tax defaulter or to criminal prosecution. Full details of how to avail of these opportunities are set out in Revenue’s Code of Practice for Revenue Compliance Interventions.
The payment or exchange of funds, or other consideration, which ultimately influences the planning process potentially has tax implications. Revenue encourages anyone with information in relation to these matters to pass the details on to Revenue for the appropriate follow up.
Where an individual came across such information within a work-related context, perhaps while working in a construction or development company, or while working in a planning consultant’s office or in an accounts or other finance function, this information can be reported to Revenue under the framework of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (as amended). Revenue’s Director of Internal Audit is a prescribed person under the Act to receive such information.
Sometimes referred to as ‘whistleblowing’, a protected disclosure can be made using Revenue’s online protected disclosures reporting form. Those who make a report under the framework of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (as amended) are afforded a range of important legal protections, including the safeguarding of their identity.
Individuals who have information about payments made to influence the planning process, but did not come across this information in a work-related context, can also report the details to Revenue, in confidence, by completing and submitting Revenue’s online tax evasion report form.
Revenue welcomes all information about potential wrongdoing related to taxes, duties or customs controls, and treats all such reports seriously and with utmost confidentiality. Revenue follows up rigorously on all available information that suggests there may be a risk of non-compliance with tax and duty related obligations.