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Tax Collection

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 21 March 2017

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Questions (180)

Kevin Boxer Moran

Question:

180. Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran asked the Minister for Finance if the Revenue Commissioners have discretion to allow tax defaulters who have built up debts to some extent due to mental illness or addiction to alcohol or drugs but who are now recovering, subject to independent medical assessment and verification, to be able to repay their liabilities to an agreed programme and timescale without necessarily being loaded with sometimes punitive levels of interest; if not, if he will examine this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13030/17]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that as regards any element of tax default, details of how a taxpayer can correct any errors that have been made in or remedy any omissions from any tax return they have filed are set out in Revenue's Code of Practice for Revenue Audit and other Compliance Interventions (the Code), which has recently been updated. More details, including the full Code are available on the Revenue website at www.revenue.ie.

Revenue will work with taxpayers towards dealing with tax debts, no matter how they might arise, in a way that has regard to the need to support a strong voluntary tax compliance culture, the need to ensure a level playing field for all taxpayers and has appropriate regard for the circumstances of the taxpayer in any given situation. In this latter context I am further advised that it is Revenue practice to respond sensitively to the type of circumstances outlined by the Deputy.

Revenue's ability to arrive at a mutually acceptable arrangement will be predicated on open and honest engagement by the taxpayer and by timely compliance for future tax debts as they arise. Payment of arrears of tax or payment by way of a phased payment arrangement will include interest, which is a statutory charge legislated for by the Oireachtas and provided for in Section 1080 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. I am satisfied that collection of interest by Revenue is a key element in reflecting the value of money forgone by the Exchequer where a taxpayer does not pay what is due on time and is also vital in supporting the efforts of the vast majority of taxpayers who are voluntarily and fully compliant.

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