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Revenue owed €40m in tax, fines and interest by defaulters

Revenue owed €40m in tax, fines and interest by defaulters

More than €39.82m remains unpaid to the Revenue Commissioners in taxes, penalties and interest from published tax defaulters in 2017 and 2018.

That is according to figures provided by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe which show €15.5m remains unpaid by published tax defaulters in tax, penalties and interest from last year.

In a written Dáil reply to Labour’s Joan Burton, Mr Donohoe confirmed that a further €24.2m remains unpaid in taxes, penalties and interest from the 2017 lists of published tax defaulters.

The figures show that of the 265 tax settlements agreed last year with defaulters, the numbers that remain unpaid amount to 79 or 30pc of settlements.

This compares to 289 settlements agreed for 2017 where 101 settlements remain unpaid or 35pc of the overall total.

Ms Burton said: “I’m very shocked at the level of non-payment of tax settlements.” She said: “It is very unfair on the hard-pressed taxpayer that some of these tax defaulters can seemingly walk away from their obligations.”

A spokeswoman for Revenue said while Revenue vigorously pursues collection/enforcement of unpaid settlements “in some cases, the collection/recovery of the full amount unpaid will not be possible”.

“In some instances for example, a company may have gone into liquidation, while a number of the unpaid settlements in the Tax Defaulters List are as a result of the taxpayer claiming ‘inability to pay’,” she said.

Documentary evidence of inability to pay must be submitted to Revenue, with each case then considered on its own merit, as to whether an ability to pay exists or not.

Revenue currently has 500 people employed in all aspects of debt management.

The spokeswoman said: “In 2018, we collected €211.6m as part of our debt collections and enforcement actions. We can, and do, work very successfully with businesses and individuals who engage early with us to resolve their payment difficulties.”

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