Thursday, 5 December 2019

Questions (89)

Michael McGrath

Question:

89. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of penalties issued by the Revenue Commissioners in each of the years since 2012; the value of fines imposed in each case; the value of interest charged in each case; the amount of fines, penalties and interest paid; the number of cases each year that involved personal insolvency and corporate insolvency, for example, receiver, liquidator and so on in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51046/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that it strongly encourages payment and tax return filing compliance by making it as easy as possible for taxpayers to meet their statutory obligations on a timely basis, thereby avoiding any exposure to interest or penalties. This is achieved by providing simplified procedures to the greatest extent possible, user friendly on-line solutions that are available on a 24/7 basis and high levels of customer support when required.

Revenue’s risk identification systems and procedures constantly monitor tax returns to ensure compliance and where anomalies are identified interventions are carried out to confirm the accuracy of the data provided. The intervention type is dependent on the level of risk involved and the level of engagement displayed by the taxpayer. The intervention types include assurance checks for the more straight-forward issues up to tax audit and investigation with a view to prosecution for the more serious risks. Any additional liability identified is subjected to additional penalty and interest charges.

Revenue also has a clear preference to engage with taxpayers experiencing temporary tax payment difficulties to agree mutually acceptable solutions, which will include an interest element, rather than deploying debt collection/enforcement sanctions to secure outstanding liabilities. However, where there is no engagement or a lack of commitment to identifying and agreeing a solution then Revenue has no option other than to use its debt collection/enforcement powers up to and including insolvency proceedings in the most egregious cases.

The number and value of penalties charged/collected together with the amounts of interest charged/collected by Revenue for the years 2012 to 2018 and to date in 2019 by tax head are set out in tables 1-4 below. Table 5 sets the number of insolvency cases by category for the years 2012 to 2018 and to date in 2019 that are monitored by Revenue. The monitoring process includes engaging with insolvency practitioners to maximise payment of liabilities, ensuring Company Law is enforced and working constructively with Personal Insolvency Practitioners (PIPs) and Approved Intermediaries. The Liquidation and Bankruptcy proceedings initiated by Revenue are separately identified in the tables contained in the link below:

Tables 1 - 5