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Revenue seizes €114m with blitz on tax dodgers

THE Revenue Commissioners recuperated €114m from investigations into tax evasion last year, which was more than double the 2008 figure.

Investigations into National Irish Bank accounts, tribunals, offshore assets and life assurance products have now totalled as much as €2.59bn to date.

During 2009, the total tax take for the State dropped by €7bn to €33bn as the recession took hold.

As unemployment figures continued to rise and the number of people working and paying tax fell, income tax dropped by €1.4bn to €11.8bn, according to the preliminary figures.

In 2009, a total of €18.3m was taken from tax in offshore assets while €7.7m came from bogus non-resident accounts.

A further €12.05m came from life assurance products and €3.21m from Ansbacher accounts investigated by Revenue.

The investigations were headed by 14,867 cases relating to offshore assets, 12,175 to bogus non-resident accounts, and 5,486 to life assurance products.

Other investigations related to Ansbacher, interest reporting and trusts and offshore structures.

By the end of the year, 126 cases were being investigated or being considered by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

A total of 10 convictions were made throughout the year, while another four cases are being considered by the DPP.

A further 17 tax evasion cases are now before the courts and 83 are the subject of ongoing Revenue investigations.

A total of €5.31m was raised in fines and penalties for other prosecutions, including 1,622 cases of people not filing their P35, VAT, income tax or corporation tax returns.

Falling property purchases hit the amount of stamp duty collected, which fell from €1.65bn to €929m while capital gains tax slumped from €1.43bn to €542m.



alcohol

During the year cigarettes worth €92.1m were seized as well as €30.2m worth of cannabis.

Revenue said that there were 392 seizures of alcohol in 2009, comprising 96,532 litres and officials made 34 hauls of suspected criminal cash, amounting to €1.35m.

The Revenue Commissioners also issued a reminder that payment of capital gains tax (CGT) is due on January 31.

Since 2009, the tax year has been divided into a revised set of two periods for CGT payment purposes.


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