Thursday, 26 September 2019

Questions (27)

Joan Burton


27. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the estimated increase in the number of high net worth persons dealt with by the Revenue Commissioners' large cases division if the threshold for inclusion was reduced to €30 million; the additional resources which would be required to provide for such a reduction; if such resources will be made available to the Revenue Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39047/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that it split its Large Cases Division into two divisions in 2018, one of which, Large Cases – High Wealth Individuals Division (LC-HWID), has a focus on HWIs, avoidance and pensions. As reflected in one of the recommendations in the 2017 Annual Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), this new Division reviewed the case base with a view to increasing the number of HWIs it manages.  This review has been published on the Revenue website and sets out the revised criterion to be considered a HWI and to therefore come within the remit of the HWI branches of LC-HWID is net assets of €20 million and over.  

I am advised by Revenue that as there is no statutory obligation on individuals to return details of their net worth on returns of income it is not possible to estimate the number of individuals with a net worth within the threshold requested by the Deputy. 

The allocation of resources is a matter for Revenue, but I understand that Revenue’s structural realignment, of which the setting up of the LC-HWID was a part, was supported by an expansion in the number of specialist and experienced staff assigned to the oversight of the new Division’s case base.  The number of staff currently assigned to the HWI branches is c.60.

Finally, I would like to say to the Deputy that over the last number of Budgets I supported the business case put forward by Revenue in relation to additional resources, both personnel and ICT, and I will continue to examine any proposal put forward by Revenue in the future.