Sunday 28 December 2014

Innocent firms suffer when taxman 'goes nuclear' over defaulters, warns FF enterprise spokesman

Published 30/06/2014 | 02:30

Dara Calleary: Fianna Fail jobs spokesman
Dara Calleary: Fianna Fail jobs spokesman

REVENUE'S measures to remove millions of euro from the bank accounts of tax defaulters is putting "innocent small businesses" in jeopardy, it has been claimed.

New figures show an increase in the number of attachment orders to the earnings of defaulting businesses and their owners by the Revenue since 2012.

When struggling business owners "fail to engage" with Revenue, it has powers to either directly remove funds from any account held by a financial institution in the name of a defaulting taxpayer.

This pushes other businesses and third parties owed monies to the back of the queue.

However, Fianna Fail has raised concern at the impact of the increase in attachment orders on innocent third parties, including many small businesses across the country.

The party's jobs and enterprise spokesman Dara Calleary said he was "deeply concerned" that the increased use of attachment by Revenue was having a devastating impact on businesses.

"Many of these businesses are totally innocent and yet lose out once Revenue push the nuclear button and go for the attachment orders. I am deeply concerned and I call on Michael Noonan to do something about this," he told the Irish Independent.

Mr Calleary added that many innocent small businesses were losing out as a result.

According to the figures, in 2012, 4,039 enforcement orders were exercised by Revenue against tax defaulters, resulting in €38m being recouped. Last year that figure rose to 4,199, which resulted in €43,374,000 being regained for the taxpayer.

The figures show that in 18 counties, there was an increase in the number of attachment orders enforced by Revenue, with several counties seeing the number of orders doubling between 2012 and 2013.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan says he is fully supportive of the deployment of the necessary collection and enforcement measures to secure the taxes and duties due to the Exchequer.

The Revenue Commissioners have said that the debt collection environment continues to be challenging, given the ongoing difficult financial environment.

Irish Independent

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