Category: Archive

Ireland’s turning the screws on tax dodgers

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

About 13,500 account holders discovered so far in a wide-ranging probe have been given until Dec. 17 to settle their tax liabilities.
Before a renewed warning, issued last October, euro 227 million had been collected from dodgers under a voluntary disclosure program. Settlements made under the program involved reduced penalties.
Many more people are expected to be targeted as disclosure orders are issued by the courts and Revenue Commissioners enforcement staff sift through details from banks and other financial institutions.
To date, 217 High Court orders, covering 23 financial institutions, have been granted to the Revenue.
One further order is before the courts at the moment. Information under Section 908 of the 1997 Taxes Consolidation law will continue to become available. Further enquiry letters are scheduled to be sent out next month.
At this stage, those discovered have to pay the tax plus interest and penalties due — the total could be up to 170 percent of the amount in the accounts.
Those who have to make settlements of more than euro 12,700 will have their names published as part of a “name and shame” campaign.
Those who ignore the Dec. 17 deadline could face prosecution.
So far, the DIRT tax probe has yielded almost euro 500 million, including euro 220 millions from the financial institutions.
What is being sought now from the account holders is the “underlying” tax on the cash they put in the deposits accounts.
People used fictitious address in places like Britain and the United States to register the bogus non-resident accounts.
A lot of the money that was put in the accounts was skimmed untaxed profits or hot money earned in the black market without the Revenue Commissioners office’s knowledge.

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