Friday 23 March 2018

Over 130 filling stations closed in Revenue illegal fuel blitz

Revenue Commissioners
Revenue Commissioners

Public Affairs Editor

SOME 134 filling stations have been closed down in the past four years as part of a clampdown by the taxman on fuel laundering.

The Revenue Commissioners also said three million litres of illegal fuel had been seized and 31 oil laundries had been detected and closed down since mid-2011.

Speaking at the publication of its annual report for 2014, Revenue chairman Niall Cody said it was impossible to hazard a guess as to how much illegally laundered fuel was entering circulation.

However, he said he was confident that new measures would make it increasingly difficult for fuel launderers to operate.

This included the use of a new marker for rebated fuel, in partnership with the UK’s Revenue and Customs.

Mr Cody said gangs involved in fuel laundering were also responsible for much of the country’s tobacco smuggling.

A new tax stamp for cigarettes, with enhanced security features, is being introduced this month.

The Revenue chairman said tax officials would continue operations against cash businesses who are avoiding tax liabilities.

Last year tax Revenue officials identified 437,000 such instances involving cash businesses, yielding €610m.

These included:

* 889 audits in the construction industry, yielding over €35m;

* 539 actions against landlords, recovering €22m;

* 729 audits of retail businesses, where nearly €20m was recouped;

* 439 audits of wholesalers, resulting in €14m in taxes being clawed back.

Mr Cody said the Revenue would be recruiting over 400 new staff in 2015 and would be intensifying a number of projects.

These include targeting illegal fuel businesses, questionable tax write offs claimed by contractors and medical consultants. 

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