Thursday 22 February 2018

State forced to write off €200m taxes

State forced to write off €200 million in tax
State forced to write off €200 million in tax
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

THE State has had to write off €200m in uncollected taxes in the first nine months of the year, figures have revealed.

In 2012, €287m was written off, which was down by 11pc on the previous year.

The Revenue Commissioners said the main reasons for tax having to be written off were because businesses were unable to pay, or they became insolvent and were no longer trading.

It comes as Revenue also netted more than €80m in a blitz on businesses not paying tax in the so-called shadow economy.

"The amount of write-off in any particular year is dependent on the level of occurrence of these factors, in particular the number of businesses becoming insolvent," a spokeswoman said.

In the first nine months of the year, €20.75m was written off in income tax; €10.93m in corporation tax; €9.17m in capital gains tax; €88.59m in VAT; €32.17m in PAYE; and €30.79m in PRSI.

The details were provided in a response to a parliamentary question from FF finance spokesman Michael McGrath.

Revenue has not yet finalised the figures for October or November.


Meanwhile an investigation by the Revenue Commissioners into the shadow economy has recouped almost €82m.

Activity within that sphere is often carried out by people and businesses already in the tax system and can occur across a range of economic sectors.

It can range from businesses understating their sales, underdeclaring cash payments or paying their employees off the books, to individuals carrying out 'nixers' either in addition to their normal taxed employment or while also claiming welfare.

In the first eight months of the year, €18m was recouped from cash businesses; €17m from the construction industry; €55,000 from the cash-for-gold and jewellery business; €730,000 from nursing homes; and €460,000 from garage forecourts.

"We used a wide range of compliance initiatives, including covert surveillance, cold calls, third-party information and localised blitzes to identify non-compliant businesses which were then requested or, where necessary, compelled to regularise their tax and duty affairs," the spokeswoman said.

Irish Independent

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