Tuesday 19 March 2019

Wealthy should declare assets to taxman annually: PAC

PAC chairman Sean Fleming. Photo: Damien Eagers
PAC chairman Sean Fleming. Photo: Damien Eagers
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Wealthy people should be required to declare their assets to the Revenue every year, according to a draft recommendation by the Dáil's spending watchdog.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) may also recommend lowering the €50m net asset threshold for inclusion in the Revenue's High Wealth Individual (HWI) category.

It comes after a report published by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) in September found a quarter of 480 HWIs had declared taxable income below the average industrial wage.

PAC chairman Seán Fleming said at the time that "most people will be shocked to hear this".

Revenue subsequently told the committee that among a number of reasons for this was that some HWIs are not living in Ireland and are subject to tax only on Irish-sourced income.

The PAC is in the process of preparing a report on the work it carried out between September and November last year.

The draft recommendations on HWIs are contained in a "discussion document" being considered by TDs and may be altered in the coming days.

One conclusion says there is "insufficient clarity in relation to the statements of assets" by HWIs. It adds: "The committee recommends that Revenue requires High Wealth Individuals to provide an annual statement of assets to provide more detailed information regarding this category of tax-payer".

It also contains a proposal to widen the net of those who qualify as HWIs saying the threshold is "too high" and should be more closely aligned to international averages. It acknowledges the Revenue are investigating this and recommends this review is completed next month with any new threshold brought in by the end of the year.

Irish Independent

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