Dáil Éireann - Volume 596 - 01 February, 2005
Written Answers. - Revenue Commissioners’ Investigations.
Ms O’Sullivan Ms O’Sullivan
70. Ms O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance the number of persons, companies and trusts being investigated by the Revenue Commissioners arising from the Ansbacher accounts at the latest date for which figures are available; the number of cases in which settlements have been agreed and the total amount paid to date; the number of cases still outstanding; if additional action has been taken by the Revenue Commissioners arising from the report of the Ansbacher inspectors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2484/05]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Mr. Cowen: I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that their Ansbacher review team has inquired into 289 cases to date and 108 of these cases have been finalised with Revenue. The 289 cases, taking account of spouses and connected companies, consist of 300 names. The 289 cases are made up of 179 cases listed on the High Court inspectors’ report and 110 similar cases discovered by Revenue or listed on the authorised officer’s report. A total of 211 cases have been under active investigation. The remaining cases consist of 62 non-resident persons, including 17 former Irish residents, 12 individuals who claimed the 1993 amnesty provisions and four cases with insufficient identity information.
The investigation includes examining the tax position of disclosed entities and accumulating and assembling information on other connected entities. The number of connected entities in relation to cases under investigation is now nearly 700. Revenue is making extensive use of its legislative powers to seek books, records, documents and information in the cases being investigated. Where appropriate, prosecutions will be considered but these will depend on the level of evidence available. Revenue has made six successful applications to the High Court for the production by financial institutions and third parties of books, records and other documentation, which are relevant to liabilities of Ansbacher account holders. Some 150,000 documents have been received under the terms of the High Court orders. Advanced investigative computer  software is used in controlling and managing the documentation.
To date a total of €45.53 million has been received, consisting of settlements and payments  on account, in respect of 95 cases. This is made up of:
Overall, 108 cases have been finalised to date with Revenue. These consist of 65 cases which were settled on payments of €35.56 million, 26 non-resident cases which are covered by the provisions of double taxation agreements and 17 cases which had no additional liability of which two were covered by the 1993 amnesty provisions.
Revenue made an application under section 11 of the Companies Act 1990 for a copy of the High Court inspectors’ report which was made available to Revenue on 6 July 2002. The information in this report has been carefully considered as regards the tax liabilities of the persons concerned. In addition, Revenue made a further application to the High Court for access to the supporting papers to the High Court inspectors’ report. Judgment was delivered by the President of the High Court in May 2004 to allow access to documents relating to clients of Ansbacher named in the High Court inspectors’ report and those persons and companies, including members of the board, found by the High Court inspectors to have failed to co-operate with their inquiry. The judgment also allows for Revenue to make application and grounding affidavit for the obtaining of information and documents relating to any other individual or company. Access to documents is subject to the direction of the High Court. The High Court orders in the matter were granted in June 2004 and perfected in January 2005. Revenue has applied, on foot of the orders, for access to documentation in respect of certain cases named in the High Court inspectors’ report.
Revenue has informed me that the investigations are time consuming and complex and are likely to continue for some time to come. Information regarding yields from the Ansbacher and other special investigations by Revenue is posted, and regularly updated, on its website www.revenue.ie.
Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin
71. Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Finance the number of persons, companies and trusts being investigated by the Revenue Commissioners arising from the clerical medical insurance-NIB inquiry at the latest date for which figures are available; the number of cases in which settlements have been agreed and the total amount paid to date; the number of cases still outstanding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2479/05]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Mr. Cowen: I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that arising from the clerical medical insurance-NIB inquiry, 452 cases have been targeted for investigation. To date, 296 cases have been settled on payment of tax, interest and penalties amounting to a total of €48.70 million. A further 116 cases have been finalised with no additional liability arising. The remaining 40 cases are the subject of ongoing investigation, and in respect of which €4.76 million has been paid on account.
In the course of 2003, three cases were prosecuted, with fines being imposed in two cases and a suspended sentence imposed in the other. The individuals concerned have also settled their tax affairs and paid the outstanding tax, together with interest and penalties. A further case is currently under investigation with a view to prosecution.
Aggregate results of the ongoing investigations have been published each year since 1998 in the annual reports of the Revenue Commissioners. Individual details of settlements have also been published where the provisions of section 1086 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 applied.
Dáil Éireann 596 Written Answers. Revenue Commissioners’ Investigations.