Rev­enue to tar­get higher earn­ers and land­lords

The Irish Times - Business - - FRONT PAGE - FIONA RED­DAN

Rev­enue is set to cre­ate a new di­vi­sion with 380 tax-col­lec­tion spe­cial­ists fo­cused on en­sur­ing com­pli­ance by peo­ple with in­comes of €500,000 or more, or sig­nif­i­cant prop­erty and cap­i­tal port­fo­lios.

The cre­ation of the new unit, which will also tar­get medium-sized busi­nesses, comes as part of a wider re­struc­tur­ing of the State’s tax col­lec­tion agency, and fol­lows a re­port from the Comptroller & Au­di­tor Gen­eral ear­lier this year, which found 90 of the wealth­i­est peo­ple in the coun­try paid in­come tax at a lower rate than the av­er­age tax­payer.

Pre­vi­ously, Rev­enue op­er­ated a sin­gle large-cases di­vi­sion, as well as four ge­o­graph­i­cally-based re­gions (Border-mid­lands-west re­gion, Dublin, east-south­east, and south­west. It is now mov­ing to a new struc­ture that is based on the char­ac­ter­is­tics of tax­pay­ers, rather than their geo­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion. “This re­aligned struc­ture will mean ev­ery tax­payer is now man­aged, from both a ser­vice and com­pli­ance stand­point, by one na­tion­ally-based di­vi­sion,” a spokesman for Rev­enue said.

This will see the cre­ation of two new units fo­cused on wealthy in­di­vid­u­als. The first, a “high wealth in­di­vid­u­als” (HWIs) di­vi­sion, will deal with in­di­vid­u­als with a net worth of €50 mil­lion or more, as well as pen­sions and tax-avoid­ance is­sues. Sixty-four Rev­enue staff have trans­ferred to this new unit, about 25 of which are fo­cused solely on HWIs. Pre­vi­ously, HWIs were dealt with by the large-cases di­vi­sion.

High wealth’ unit

The sec­ond unit, known as “medium en­ter­prise” will deal with those who don’t fall into the “high wealth” unit. The Rev­enue spokesman said the new di­vi­sion would deal with in­di­vid­u­als with to­tal in­come greater than €500,000, as well as those with “sig­nif­i­cant” cap­i­tal or prop­erty trans­ac­tions. The al­lo­ca­tion of cases is still un­der re­view, and may be sub­ject to “fur­ther re­fine­ment”.

It’s un­der­stood the new unit will have a work­force of 380 peo­ple by year end, and will mon­i­tor com­pli­ance through var­i­ous risk-as­sess­ment pro­grammes, sup­ported by data an­a­lyt­ics, in­ter­ro­ga­tion of both tax­payer and third-party in­for­ma­tion, and an ex­am­i­na­tion of spe­cific wealth in­di­ca­tors.

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