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Tax Collection.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 16 September 2009

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Questions (131)

Paul Kehoe


285 Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Finance his views on whether the black economy will thrive in the current recession; the number of inspections on private one-off house building sites carried out to date in 2009 by the Revenue Commissioners here; the number of inspectors involved in calling to building sites in which one-off houses or extensions are being built; if this is correlated to the commencement notice sent in by home owners for these buildings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31295/09]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that statistics are not maintained in a manner which can identify Revenue compliance interventions or activities specific to one-off house building sites or extensions. Revenue maintains statistics on its activities in the construction industry as a whole, and has completed 1,794 audits in the industry to end August 2009, recovering €62m in taxes, interest and penalties. In addition, 83 site visits and 12,155 assurance checks yielding a further €10m have been completed up to the same date. The Commissioners have advised me that as part of their compliance programmes at a local level, projects are undertaken from time to time drawing on information about planning permissions for one-off housing.

The Hidden Economy Monitoring Group operates under the chairmanship of the Revenue Commissioners bringing together the Social Partners and the government departments involved in policing the shadow economy. In this regard, the Revenue's Joint Investigation Unit works closely with the Department of Social and Family Affairs and the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) in relation to specific shadow economy risks. The Revenue Commissioners keep their audit and tax compliance programmes under constant review to ensure that they are focussed on the areas of greatest risk, including risks from any upsurge in the shadow economy. In total in 2008, Revenue completed 13,414 audits recovering €569.2m in tax, interest and penalties, and over 347,445 assurance checks which brought in €63 million.