The Revenue Commissioners yielded €611m last year from a continuing crackdown on tax defaulters and interventions including audits
Its chairman, Niall Cody, said the agency is also continuing to “target and disrupt shadow economy activities”.
In its annual review published today, Revenue said that it secured €570m in 2018 as a result of so-called risk management interventions and €2.6m from detecting postal items delivered to Ireland where tax and duties were due.
The figures also show that a total of €54.5bn in tax and duty was collected by the agency last year from individuals and companies, while Revenue also collected €13.5bn on behalf of other departments, agencies and EU member states.
Revenue Commissioners chairman Niall Cody said the taxes and duties collected during 2018 reflected a backdrop of continued strong growth in the economy.
“During 2018, we completed 572,785 audit and compliance interventions, which yielded €572.6m, seized 158 unlicensed gaming machines, settled 22 tax avoidance cases yielding €5.7m and secured 17 criminal convictions for serious tax evasion and fraud,” said Mr Cody.
The 256 tax settlements published by the Revenue last year included a raft of well-known personalities and business people.
A firm owned by comedian Mario Rosenstock made a settlement of more than €118,000.
A €701,000 settlement made by a company called Gaiety Investments, which is controlled by music promoters Denis Desmond and Caroline Downey.
A settlement for €183,751 was made by UK national Andre Levy, the founder of Wild Geese Irish Whiskey, who has been living in Switzerland.
Mr Cody added that the “vast majority” of individuals and businesses “pay the right amount of tax, on time”.
Revenue said that it seized more than 67m cigarettes last year. That included a single haul of 23.5m cigarettes, with a potential loss to the Exchequer of €37.5m, discovered at a counterfeit cigarette factory in Co Louth. It was Ireland’s first ever illegal cigarette factory.
Almost 6,500 kilos of drugs with an estimated value of more than €33m were also seized by Revenue last year.
There were three million PAYE employments registered last year with Revenue, which includes workers with more than one job, and recipients of occupational pensions. A further 730,000 workers were self-assessed. More than 201,000 companies paid corporation tax.
Mr Cody urged anyone having difficulties meeting their tax obligations to contact Revenue at the earliest possible opportunity. He said that the agency facilitated 9,088 taxpayers last year with phased payment arrangements that covered €93m in debt.
“We can, and do, very successfully work with taxpayers who engage early with us to resolve their payment difficulties,” he said.