GAA managers to come under scrutiny from Revenue
GAA managers are believed to be the latest group that Revenue is targeting in their latest trawl to catch tax defaulters.
The issue of managers, at club and county level, receiving under-the-counter payments, is already a thorny issue which the GAA has been unable to solve.
Managers can be reimbursed for 'official expenses,' but are not allowed, under association rules, to receive anything above the official guidelines.
Yet there is widespread belief that this rule is being abused.
The Irish Independent understands that Revenue is about to focus its beady eyes on GAA managers in a concerted effort to ensure they are declaring any monies, or benefit in kind, that they receive from the game, officially or unofficially.
This is not the first time that GAA managers have been targeted. Mick O'Dwyer revealed in his autobiography that, after finishing up as Kildare senior boss in 2002, he was audited by tax officials.
"I received a letter from Revenue informing me that I was to have a complete tax audit," he revealed.
"All aspects of my business and personal affairs were to be investigated, which they duly were.
"They waded through everything and were satisfied that everything was in order and I have the tax clearance to prove it."
O'Dwyer believed he was targeted because of the rumours that he was earning a fortune managing football teams, something he has always strenuously denied.
Revenue refused to comment yesterday when asked about strong speculation that they are about to hone in on GAA managers.
But a spokeswoman stressed: "sports managers, like any taxpayers, are obliged to return all sources of income for tax purposes.
"Revenue select cases for intervention based on the presence of various risk indicators and other information available.
"Cases may also be selected on the basis of external/further information provided to Revenue.
"If it comes to our attention that any individual or company is not complying with their tax obligations, we will take appropriate action."
With government coffers so bare, Revenue is exploring every last avenue to recoup outstanding taxes.
They have implemented an especially tight 'shadow-economy project' this year, which, in order to catch defaulting landlords, has even seen them undertake door-to-door checks of estates where there is a high proportion of rented properties.