New tax defaulter list
Nearly €20 million in tax settlements have been announced by the Revenue Commissioners in the latest list of Tax defaulters while nearly €90 million was collected as a result of more than 11,000 interventions.
The Revenue Commissioners latest publication is in respect of the period 1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020.
Revenue says settlements are published when the "extensive voluntary disclosure options are not availed of" and the default arises because of "careless or deliberate behaviour".
The tax office published 17 cases which resulted in €19,985,948 is the total settlement. Some eight cases were for amounts exceeding €100,000 of which five exceeded €500,000 and four of which exceeded €1m.
There were nine cases in which the settlement was not fully paid as at 30 September 2019. A total of €11,736,486 was unpaid. Revenue says that in some cases, collection/recovery of the full unpaid amount will not be possible (for example, company liquidation).
The biggest default and which remains unpaid is DMG Energy Ltd. The fuel retailer wholesaler was based in Ranelagh in Dublin.
A Revenue Investigation for non-declaration of Excise Duty and under-declaration of VAT found that the company owes €9,168,064 due to taxes and penalties on the original tax debt of €3,428,467. Nothing has been repaid.
The next biggest amount owed was by farmer and company Michael Feeley of Antogher Road, Roscommon. After a Revenue Audit case for non-declaration of Capital Gains Tax he was sent a bill for €4,920,000. All has been repaid.
Others on the list include a milkman, a marquee supplier, a journalist, solicitor, builder and confectionary supplier.
The Revenue has also published a list Court imposed fines, imprisonments or other penalties. Details are published when a fine or other Court penalty is imposed in respect of tax or duty offences. Court penalties may include imprisonment, partly suspended or suspended sentences, community service in lieu of imprisonment, and closure orders.
80 such cases are published and €183,098 is the total of court fines imposed.
These cases included 32 cases of failing to lodge tax returns and delivering incorrect returns. Court fines totalling €83,750 and one 18-month sentence (1 year suspended), were imposed.
A total of 24 cases of misuse of marked mineral oil, in respect of which Court fines totalling €68,500 were imposed.
A further 24 cases of excise offences for illegal selling of tobacco, processing of illicit tobacco products, failure to hold a current liquor licence, alcohol smuggling and possession of untaxed alcohol for sale.
Fully suspended 10-month sentences were imposed in 7 Lithuanian nationals fro the processing of illicit tobacco.
Court fines of up to €2,500 imposed for the remaining cases.
Revenue say these published settlements reflect only a portion of all Revenue audits and investigations.
In the 3-month period to 30 September 2020, a total of 212 Revenue audit and investigations, together with 10,914 Risk Management Interventions (Aspect Queries and Profile Interviews), were settled, resulting in a yield of €88.3 million in tax, interest, and penalties.
Revenue publishes the List of Tax Defaulters each quarter under the provisions of Section 1086 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, as amended. The list is published in two parts.
Revenue's compliance programme is carried out under the "Code of Practice for Revenue Audit and other Compliance Interventions" (the Code). The significant benefits of making a ‘qualifying disclosure’ are set out in the Code and include availing of reduced penalties, avoiding publication in the List of Tax Defaulters, and avoiding possible prosecution.
Revenue publishes the List of Tax Defaulters under the provisions of Section 1086 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, as amended. The list is published in two parts:
Part 1: Court Penalty Determinations and Court imposed fine, imprisonment or other penalty
Court penalty determinations are published where a taxpayer has not made a qualifying disclosure, the Court determined penalty exceeds 15% of the total tax, and the total of the tax, interest and penalty is more than €35,000.
All cases where a fine, imprisonment or other Court penalty is imposed by a Court, in respect of a tax or duty offence, are published.
Part 2: Accepted Settlements (and Settlements deemed to be agreed due to full payment)
Where a taxpayer has voluntarily furnished complete information relating to undisclosed tax liabilities and paid the tax and interest due (made a qualifying disclosure of tax defaults), settlements are not published.
Since 1 May 2017, significant changes and restrictions have come into effect where the case involves matters outside the Republic of Ireland, or 'offshore matters'. These changes limit the opportunity to make a 'qualifying disclosure' and coincide with increased international co-operation whereby Revenue gets more and more information automatically from other jurisdictions.
Legislation introduced in the Finance Act 2016 obliges Revenue to identify settlements where the person has failed to pay within the relevant period.
Settlements are not published where the taxpayer has made a qualifying disclosure relating to undisclosed tax, as defined in Section 1077E (1) of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, where the settlement amount does not exceed the relevant threshold, currently €35,000, or where the amount of fine or other penalty does not exceed 15% of the amount of tax.
Calculation of Penalties
Where a qualifying disclosure has not been made, penalties between 15% and 100% are applied, depending on the category of default and whether or not the taxpayer has cooperated fully with Revenue in the course of enquiries. The categories of default are Deliberate Behaviour or Careless Behaviour.
Deliberate Behaviour involves either a breach of a tax obligation with indicators consistent with intent on the part of the taxpayer or a breach that cannot be explained solely by carelessness
Careless Behaviour involves lack of due care, which results in the incorrect declaration of tax liabilities by a taxpayer, or which results in the making of incorrect repayment claims. The level of penalty may be further reduced having regard to the level of cooperation provided by the taxpayer once the default is uncovered. Full details of the level of penalties applicable to audit settlements are set out in Penalty Table 1 (Paragraph 5.6.2) of the Code.
Innocent errors and adjustments due to different interpretations of legislation
Penalties are not applicable where a tax default is not deliberate, or is not attributable in any way to the failure by a taxpayer to take reasonable care to comply with his or her tax obligations. Neither is a penalty applicable where an adjustment to liability arises from differences in the interpretation or the application of legislation, and the taxpayer could reasonably have considered her/his interpretation to be correct.