Thursday, 17 April 2014

Questions (66)

Charles Flanagan


66. Deputy Charles Flanagan asked the Minister for Finance the current staff numbers in County Offaly and from where in the county such Customs and Excise service is provided. [18405/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that their office is a fully integrated tax and customs administration and that it is not possible to disaggregate the resources deployed exclusively at any given time on customs or excise work. If there is a particular Excise or Customs service which the Deputy has in mind, it may be possible for Revenue to give a more helpful reply. Customs work, i.e. declarations relating to the movement of goods in and out of the State are made online, supported by helpdesks based in Customs Division in Nenagh. Large elements of Excise customer service have been centralised for many years. For example disabled drivers excise refunds in Monaghan, excise licences in the National Excise Licence Office in Waterford.

If the Deputy is concerned about non-compliance, I am further advised that Revenue currently has approximately 2,000 staff engaged on activities that are dedicated to target and confront non-compliance. These front-line activities include anti-smuggling and anti-evasion, investigation and prosecution, audit, assurance checks, anti-avoidance, returns compliance and debt collection. Enforcement strength at particular locations is regularly augmented with additional personnel on a risk-assessment basis, or when particular operations are taking place. The Deputy will appreciate that, for reasons of operational sensitivity, the Revenue Commissioners are not in a position to give precise details of enforcement deployment in specific locations.

While 10 Revenue staff are currently based in County Offaly (at Tullamore), that county is managed as part of Revenue s Westmeath/Offaly District where the bulk of the staff (81 in total) are based in Athlone.