97pc paid property tax last year, says Revenue
Compliance with the controversial local property tax far outstrips compliance with water charges, new figures show.
The Revenue Commissioners said yesterday that 97pc of people liable for property tax had paid in 2015. By contrast, acting Environment Minister Alan Kelly said yesterday that compliance with water charges had been less than 70pc.
Revenue chairman Niall Cody said yesterday that the tax collectors had tried to make the property tax as easy to pay and as hard to avoid as possible.
He said the vast majority of property tax payments were voluntary. From around 1.9 million properties that had to pay the tax, there were around 60,000 "mandatory deductions at source" from incomes, he said.
Mr Cody was speaking at the launch of Revenue's 2015 annual report, which showed that the tax collectors' receipts rose 10.6pc to €45.79bn last year.
Revenue investigations yielded more than €642m for the Exchequer last year, a 5pc increase on 2014.
The amount of corporation tax collected rose by almost 50pc to €6.87bn last year. Mr Cody said the spike was reflective of a recovery in the economy, favourable exchange rates and low oil prices, but added that the corporation tax take is volatile.
"The growth in receipts in 2015 reflects improved trading conditions, in particular of foreign-owned multinational companies. While corporation tax is concentrated among payments by large multinational companies, the analysis shows that the growth in receipts in 2015 is broad based in nature...payments from indigenous companies, while lower in monetary terms, are growing at similar rates," the report published by Revenue yesterday said.
In the aftermath of the Panama Papers controversy, Mr Cody said Revenue "strongly recommend any person or business that has used offshore financial structures to evade tax to contact us and make a full disclosure before we contact them".
He said Revenue would "carefully consider how to make the maximum use of all data sources to identify any cases of tax evasion by Irish residents using offshore structures".