Revenue turns screw on potential tax cheats

THE Revenue Commissioners are tightening their grip further on potential tax evaders through automatic reporting of deposit interest information from financial institutions.

These new rules will apply to banks, buildings societies, credit unions and the Post Office Savings Bank. They cover accounts that pay more than €635 in a year on investments and the new regulations will be implemented on a phased basis.

In the first phase, payments made by the relevant institutions from which DIRT was deducted for the years 2005 and 2006, must be reported to Revenue by September 15, 2008.

The payments to be reported for the year 2008 and subsequent years include all interest and other similar payments made by Irish financial institutions and must be made by March 31 in the following year.

In the case of credit union dividends, the reporting requirements will not operate for dividends paid in respect of periods ending before the end of 2008.

Further crackdowns on those still evading tax are understood to be under review.

It emerged last night that, as the Revenue Commissioners continue to turn the screw on tax dodgers, credit cards may become the next Revenue target.

Aidan Clifford, advisory services manager for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants said it was known among the accounting fraternity that Irish residents use credit cards issued to them in other jurisdictions, which allows them to access undeclared income, from property and other investments.

“We are aware of this practice and so are the Revenue,” he said.

“Under the law accountants who come across the practice when carrying out company audits are obliged to advise the Revenue of the activity,” he said.

Revenue are investigating how to tackle that particular form of tax abuse.

“We are currently considering how to do this and what methodology to use. We have been in close contact with other Revenue authorities who have undertaken similar investigations”, they said last night.

It is anticipated also that the Revenue will seek powers to oblige estate agents to hand over details of those who have purchased properties overseas as they continue to turn the screws on tax evaders.


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