Revenue hits bankers with bill for €1.3m in unpaid tax
Published 23/09/2011 | 05:00
THE Revenue recouped €1.3m in unpaid taxes last year after an audit trawl of almost 300 of the country's top bankers.
But Josephine Feehily, head of the Revenue Commissioners, could not say how many of the bankers were forced to make payments to the state.
Ms Feehily told the Dail Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday the Revenue targeted 300 of Ireland's top financial and banking executives. Of the 300, she said, cases had been closed on 290, with the remaining 10 nearing completion.
However, she also said it would be difficult to reveal the identities of the people who did settle with the Revenue because of confidentiality rules.
Under questioning from Fine Gael TD Kieran O'Donnell, she said they were "actively monitoring the banking sector".
A trawl of banks and other financial institutions yielded a further €12.2m last year, with VAT accounting for half of this, and corporation and payroll tax making up the rest.
However, Ms Feehily said this was small when compared with almost €1bn in payroll taxes paid by the sector every year.
Ms Feehily also told Dublin South-East TD Eoghan Murphy the tax authorities would have sent letters to 2,000 offshore account holders by the end of the year, informing them their accounts were being looked at.
The Revenue was recently granted orders by the High Court against clearing banks -- banks that operate outside the State -- AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and Danske Bank.
The orders require the banks to provide information on transfers to and from Ireland and the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Meanwhile, the PAC was also told yesterday that FAS could not have access to some of the findings of a report it commissioned for €250,000.
Paul O'Toole, director general of the state training agency, acknowledged auditors Mazars had found 18 inaccuracies and two partial inaccuracies in FAS evidence to the PAC during five hearings in 2008 and 2009.
However, he said Mazars could not give him details of the inaccuracies due to confidentiality undertakings.
Sinn Fein's Mary-Lou McDonald said PAC had been misled and Mr O'Toole was given a week to give a comprehensive reply.