Revenue probing tax 'loopholes' in the farming sector
Revenue has begun "actively" probing to see if tax loopholes in the poultry sector are in operation elsewhere in the farming sector.
Tax officials warned they were "conscious of the risks" that VAT loopholes could be used in the beef and lamb sectors.
Last year, then Finance Minister Michael Noonan admitted to the European Parliament that "VAT avoidance schemes were being developed and probably [were] in place, particularly in the poultry sector."
His comments came after poultry producer Alo Mohan raised issues which were then highlighted by Midlands North-West MEP Marian Harkin to the European Commission.
The ICSA has called on the Minister for Finance to clarify if the VAT loophole uncovered in the chicken sector is also being used in the beef sector.
The ICSA's beef chair Edmond Phelan said the use of the loophole made chicken more competitive than it would otherwise have been.
"The losers are the chicken farmers who did not participate and farmers who produce other meats such as beef and lamb without the advantage of VAT manipulation," he said.
Mr Mohan, who was a former IFA poultry committee chair, contended that he lost out on €25,000 per year because he did not participate in VAT arrangements, including reclaiming VAT on inputs for farmers that were unregistered for VAT.