Dáil Éireann - Volume 641 - 20 November, 2007
Written Answers. - Tax Collection.
Deputy Kathleen Lynch Deputy Kathleen Lynch
Deputy Kathleen Lynchasked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance his views on the con tinuing high level of tax evasion as indicated by the number of financial settlements revealed in the quarterly defaulters list published by the Revenue Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29571/07]
Deputy Brian Cowen Deputy Brian Cowen
Deputy Brian Cowen:The Revenue Commissioners are dealing in a very determined way with tax evasion and are very effectively using the additional powers they have been given in recent years. For example, Revenue special investigations, capitalising on the powers given in the Finance Act 1999 and subsequent legislation, have yielded a total of €2.4 billion to date. Revenue’s normal audit programme each year also continues to recover significant tax, interest and penalties and these successes are reflected in the settlements revealed in the published quarterly defaulters lists.
I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that their high level of success in securing settlements is also the result of a more sophisticated and targeted approach on their part to focus its audit and enforcement resources on those areas where they are needed most. An associated strategy is to minimise the number of contacts with largely compliant taxpayers. Accordingly, as Revenue’s audit selection is now increasingly targeted at areas of highest risk, the level of published settlements must be seen in that context and it would be wrong to draw any conclusions from the published lists (which still include a number of “legacy” investigation cases) about the current level of tax evasion.
I am further advised by Revenue that tax compliance generally is improving. This is partly attributable to lower rates of direct taxation and partly due to the highly visible success of Revenue’s special investigations and ongoing audit and enforcement programmes, backed up by appropriate powers.
Dáil Éireann 641 Written Answers. Tax Collection.