Wednesday, 4 February 2004

Ceisteanna (154)

John Deasy

Ceist:

245 Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Finance if persons who have been subject to penalties for holding bogus non-resident accounts were interviewed by members of the Revenue Commissioners to determine the role of the financial institution in the promotion and presentation of these accounts; his views on whether, in the interests of fair play, such an undertaking should be considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3420/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that their staff have interviewed holders of bogus non-resident accounts on many occasions in regard to their incorrect returns and undeclared tax liabilities. No evidence has emerged from these meetings to date that financial institutions presented or promoted bogus non-resident accounts to their customers. The Revenue Commissioners will evaluate any evidence made available to them which might indicate that financial institutions presented or promoted bogus non-resident accounts.

In 1999 and 2000 Revenue conducted and concluded on-site look back audits on 37 financial institutions. Payments amounting to €220 million, including penalties, were made to Revenue at the conclusion of this audit programme by the deposit taking financial institutions. Revenue made a report on the matter to the Committee of Public Accounts. This committee commented on the outcome of these audits, including the approach taken by Revenue in relation to dealing with deposit taking institutions, in its final report on the DIRT inquiry in April 2001.