Thursday 21 September 2017

Taxpayers get €6.4bn back while €300m is written off

Tax refunds

Siobhan Creaton

THE Revenue gave refunds worth €6.4bn to taxpayers and wrote off another €300m in unpaid taxes last year according to the Comptroller and Auditor General's report.

Most of the tax rebates were made to individuals who paid too much income tax while businesses that have seen slower sales were amongst those who were entitled to VAT refunds.

The Revenue collected €31.8bn in taxes in 2010, down from just over €33bn in 2009. Overall it returned 17pc of this to taxpayers that included €2.7bn in excess income tax and €2.6bn to those who paid too much VAT. The total refunds amounted to about 17pc of the total tax take.

The report shows that at the end of 2010 the Revenue was owed €2.1bn in unpaid taxes and wrote off €300m of these debts. The decision not to pursue these debts was made on a case-by-case basis, according to the report.

A small number of cases, where individuals owed less than €1,000 were automatically cancelled because the Revenue decided it wasn't worth its while to chase them.

But most of the write off -- amounting to €259m -- was owed by businesses that had either collapsed or were in financial difficulty. Another €40m was cancelled either because the Revenue couldn't locate the taxpayer or it decided it would be too expensive to collect that money. Some debts were cancelled on compassionate grounds, it said.

The biggest single amount written off was €3.8m while another 16 cases where the amounts owed were cancelled involved sums of more than €1m.

Irish Independent

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