Saturday 17 March 2018

Revenue to hire 50 extra staff in bid to crack down on evasion

Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners Niall Cody
Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners Niall Cody
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

The Revenue Commissioners have been allocated additional funding and staff to crack down on tax evasion and collect an additional €75m next year.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has provided money for increased audit and investigation activities, which is expected to lead to improved compliance.

Some 50 additional staff will be employed at a cost of €3m, Budget documents show, to "continue to confront non-compliance".

The tax authorities have also been given money for a new debt analysis tool, to reduce tax arrears.

The move comes as the Revenue Commissioners announced earlier this year that it planned to mount a crackdown on tax evasion in the construction sector, which includes a focus on VAT returns and ensuring that employees were paying the proper rates of tax.

Last year, Revenue collected €610m in tax, interest and penalties for non-compliance, mounted 531 criminal prosecutions and published details of settlements with 437 defaulters.

It also conducted 400 random audits.

The renewed focus will cover all sectors of the economy, ranging from random audits to investigations into offshore bank accounts and smuggling.

Revenue currently employs 5,700 staff, of which some 2,000 are dedicated to cracking down on evasion.

A spokeswoman said that a new 'debt analysis tool' allowed officials to identify potential defaulters, which would result in early intervention and increase the likelihood of collecting taxes.

Irish Independent

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