Tax probe raises €54.6m

A TOTAL of €54.6 million was raised last year via the Revenue Commissioners’ latest round of special investigations into tax evasion.

Revenue’s headline results for 2008, published yesterday, detailed that €29m was taken in tax from offshore assets, €18.7m came from life assurance products, €4.1m came from bogus non-resident accounts and a further €2.47m from Ansbacher accounts. The remainder came from tribunals and NIB accounts.

A total of 20 convictions were made, while another 11 cases were referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions. In addition, a further 13 tax evasion cases are presently before the courts and 85 are the subject of ongoing investigations by Revenue.

Special investigations by Revenue have, to date, yielded just under €2.47 billion in tax take for the State.

Last year’s total tax take — from a combination of the likes of capital gains tax, capital acquisitions tax, customs, excise, income tax, stamp duty, VAT and corporation tax — amounted to just under €40.8bn. The biggest single ingredient of that was a €13.43bn take from VAT.

While yesterday’s figures from Revenue detailed that the tax compliance rate, for large cases, was over 91% last year, over 85% for medium cases and over 70% for all other cases, a total of €353.8m was yielded from 55,250 enforced collections — €67.2m coming after legal threats from solicitors and a further €257.7m collected from the Revenue’s sheriff department. A total of 13,406 individual audits were carried out during the year, yielding €570m in previously unpaid tax for the State. Of these, 3,904 were comprehensive audits — raising €262m.

In terms of substance seizures and detections, 83,400 litres of volume — across 279 separate cases — to the value of €700,000 were recovered.

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