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Revenue acknowledge ‘voluntary compliance’

Revenue collected €45.79 billion for the Exchequer last year, an increase of 10.6% on 2014, it has been confirmed.

This is the fifth successive annual increase in returns to the Exchequer and the second highest figure for net receipts in the history of the State (only 2007 was higher, at €47.5 billion). Almost all taxes and duties recorded substantial increases with Corporation Tax up 49%, Capital Gains Tax up 28%, and VAT up 7%.”

Referring to a strong voluntary compliance culture, Niall Cody, chairman of the Revenue Commissioners, acknowledged the contribution of individual taxpayers, businesses and tax and customs practitioners in the achievement of these results.

“I am pleased to report that, for all taxes, the overwhelming majority of customers continue to pay and file on time,” he said at the launch of Revenue’s 2015 annual report.

Speaking about Revenue’s objective to provide more services through digital channels, Mr. Cody highlighted some of the advances made during 2015.

Turning to the “minority of people (who) choose to be non-compliant”, the chairman set out Revenue’s response to non-compliance and said, “In 2015, our staff conducted over 460,000 compliance interventions, which yielded over €640 million in tax, interest and penalties– an increase of more than 5% on 2014.”

Mr Cody referred also to the success of Revenue’s compliance projects targeted at specific business sectors. These included the National Contractors Project, where, to the end of 2015, 1,246 cases yielded over €18 million, and the Medical Consultants Project, with a yield of just over €23 million from 170 cases.

Pointing to increased activity in the construction sector during 2015, Mr Cody spoke of the nationwide Construction compliance programme, and reported a compliance yield of almost €51 million in the construction sector during 2015.

On fiscal fraud, Mr Cody spoke of the success of Revenue’s framework to combat criminality in the fuel sector, and the introduction in 2015 of a new mineral oil marker.

Pointing to the €2.8 billion that has been collected to date from Special Investigations, and Revenue’s strong stance against tax evasion, including offshore evasion, Mr Cody said, “We are examining the implications of the developments in Automatic Exchange of Offshore Financial Information for the Audit Code of Practice. While we have had major successes in investigating tax evasion, the new information sources that are coming on stream will shine a light on individuals and businesses that have used offshore facilities.”

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