I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that a dedicated anti-avoidance team exists in the Large Cases Division of their office. Each of the Regions in the Revenue organisation and Revenue’s Investigations and Prosecutions Division also has an anti-avoidance representative that liaises with the anti-avoidance team in the Large Cases Division by means of a national anti-avoidance network. The Regional representatives are responsible for ongoing Regional anti-avoidance activities and, in particular, for the identification of new avoidance cases as they emerge.
Currently, the areas of the various tax codes that are being investigated from a tax avoidance point of view by Revenue’s Large Cases Division and the national anti-avoidance network include:
- The creation of losses for use in reducing liability on both capital gains and income.
- The inappropriate use of certain tax reliefs (e.g. interest relief claims and certain gift tax relief claims).
- The conversion of income to capital for tax purposes.
- Attempts to extract monies from companies without liability to tax or with reduced liability to tax.
- Attempts to lower the VAT liability applicable to property transactions.
I am further informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the Special Projects Branch of Revenue’s Investigations and Prosecutions Division is also currently engaged in the examination of tax avoidance schemes. A number of schemes have been identified that use share rights value transfers in the extraction of cash from close companies. The Special Projects Branch also monitors other potential tax avoidance activities such as transactions involving property in the State using offshore registered companies and the transfers of assets abroad.