Dáil Éireann - Volume 552 - 23 April, 2002

Written Answers. - Revenue Investigations.

  41. Mr. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance the number of High Court orders sought to date by the Revenue Commissioners under the Finance Act, 1999, to require financial institutions to supply names, addresses and other relevant information regarding holders of bogus accounts; the number of cases where orders have been granted; the general progress made to date in identifying the holders of such accounts who did not avail of the recent voluntary disclosure scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12405/02]

  Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): Authorised Revenue officers are empowered to make an application to a judge of the High Court seeking [916] an order requiring financial institutions to supply names, addresses and other relevant information concerning account holders who may have held bogus non-resident deposit accounts. Such applications are made under section 908 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, as provided for by the Finance Act, 1999. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that information supplied by the financial institutions under section 908 orders is the principal basis of identifying bogus nonresident account holders who did not avail of Revenue's voluntary disclosure scheme in 2001.

  I am also advised by the Revenue Commissioners that 11 applications for orders under section 908 have been made and have been granted. When one includes institutions which have been taken over or amalgamated with other institutions, these orders seek information in respect of accounts in 15 financial institutions. Six other applications are pending. Work in preparing one other application is currently progressing.

  Information under a number of the court orders has recently been supplied. This information is currently being processed. More such information will become available on a phased basis. In addition, work is in progress as regards those cases which were detected in the course of the DIRT look-back audits of financial institutions in 1999 and 2000 and did not avail of the voluntary disclosure scheme in 2001.

  While it is clear that Revenue is facing a long programme of investigations over a number of years, the Revenue Commissioners are satisfied that significant progress is being made in this new phase of the investigations. Deputies will recall that the earlier voluntary disclosure phase resulted in receipts of €227 million, £179 million, for the Exchequer, in addition to the €219 million, £173 million, received under the earlier look-back audits of financial institutions.