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Farmers make up worst offending group

FARMERS, company directors, builders, shop-keepers and publicans are the worst tax offenders in the country an analysis of almost 5,000 settlements made with the Revenue Commissioners reveals.

But individuals in the legal and medical professions made the biggest settlements of the 4,961 people named and shamed by the Revenue Commissioners over the last nine years.

Farmers make up the biggest cohort of those listed by the taxman over the last nine years, followed by company directors and builders.

The biggest settlements are made by those in the legal profession, barristers and solicitors, with the 32 legal people named and shamed over the last nine years making an average settlement of €460,847.

Doctors/dentists with an average settlement of €297,134 were the next largest settlers, followed by company directors who made settlements with an average payment of €270,087, builders made the next largest settlements with an average payment of €230,244.

Over a nine-year period, from the fourth quarter of 2001 to the third quarter of this year, an analysis of the 4,961 cases published by the Revenue Commissioners shows that 904 farmers, almost one fifth of the total, had their names published as tax defaulters.

The 904 farmers made settlements totalling €101,070,335, an average of €111,803 each.

Cork had the largest number of defaulting farmers at 151, followed by Kerry 121 and Tipperary 80. Cork’s 151 defaulting farmers made settlements worth €10,699,377 over the last nine years.

Company directors were the next worst offenders with 733 people listed over the nine-year period of the review. These directors made settlements totalling €197,973,949, an average of €270,087 each.

Dublin dominates this list with 176 directors compared with 52 in Cork and 49 in Galway, with just two company directors from Longford over the last nine years making the list. Dublin’s defaulting named directors made settlements totalling €67,436,240 with the Revenue over the last nine years.

A total of 616 builders had their tax affairs brought to light by the Revenue Commissioners in the Iris Oifigiúil. Builders made settlements totalling €141,830,337 over the last nine years, an average of €230,244 each. Once again Dublin has the most offenders at 86 with Kerry next at 58 followed by Cork at 48. Dublin’s 86 named defaulting builders made settlements totalling €34,012,387 with the Revenue over the last nine years.

A total of 385 retailers were named and shamed by the Revenue over the last nine years with the most in Dublin, 46 who made settlements of €9,404,588 over the period.

The number of named and shamed tax defaulting publicans at 364 was just behind retailers who far out number publicans in the general business community. Kerry publicans are the most targeted by the Revenue Commissioners with 51 Kerry bar owners making settlements with the Revenue over the last nine years. They paid a total of €4,150,867 with the Revenue Commissioners.