| 9.2°C Dublin

Taxman hits medical consultants for €20m


Michael McGrath

Michael McGrath

Michael McGrath

THE Revenue Commissioners have collected almost €20m as part of a long-running investigation into the earnings of medical consultants.

The probe was launched amid concerns that certain consultants were not declaring their full private incomes for tax reasons.

Revenue has set up a system with the HSE to differentiate between consultants' public and private incomes.

According to information supplied to Fianna Fáil's finance spokesperson Michael McGrath, the incomes of 331 consultants have been scrutinised.

Around 128 of these cases have been concluded, a Revenue spokesperson said, resulting in almost €20m being collected.

According to the figures, the average settlement is around €150,000.

"I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they are engaged in an ongoing programme of compliance work in relation to medical consultants.

"Revenue's main focus at this time in the context of this programme is the tax issues arising from the incorporation of medical consultants businesses," said a parliamentary response from Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

"To date, Revenue has opened a total of 331 compliance interventions.

The investigations that have been concluded have resulted in the collection of €19,199,325 in tax, late payment interest charges and penalties, he added.

Revenue contacted the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) last year and informed it that its members may be subject to audits.

The body has said that each consultant has individual tax arrangements and therefore they should consult their accountants to ensure that they are tax compliant.

Mr McGrath, a TD for Cork South Central, last night described the figures as "extraordinary", adding that the final sum could be significantly higher.

He told the Irish Independent: "With a further 200 cases still live, the overall amount being recouped from medical consultants could well be in region of €50m.

"It seems to me that many are being very badly advised by professional advisers in terms of how they are setting up and operating private structures."

Mr McGrath said he believes the matter should be examined by the HSE and Health Minister Leo Varadkar.

"Every individual citizen has an obligation to be tax compliant," he added.

Irish Independent