Revenue planning clampdown on white collar tax evasion

Possible use of third-party data to detect non-compliance being considered by body

Revenue officials said they were looking into using third-party data such as matching Local Property Tax details with income and payment records to detect non-compliance

Revenue officials said they were looking into using third-party data such as matching Local Property Tax details with income and payment records to detect non-compliance

 

The Revenue is stepping up efforts to tackle tax evasion by high-earning professionals, as part of a clampdown on the so-called shadow economy.

Among measures being considered by the Revenue Commissioners is the use of “third-party data” – such as payments by professionals to government departments – to help detect white-collar tax evasion.

The move comes less than two weeks after senior tax officials from a number of countries, including Ireland, met at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development offices in Paris to consider actions following publication of the Panama Papers.

The leaking of the 11.5 million documents covering 210,000 companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions has led tax authorities to consider ways to better co-operate to fight widespread tax evasion.

Third-party data

Revenue officials outlined plans for tackling white-collar non-compliance at a recent meeting of the Tax Administration Liaison Committee, a body that includes the Irish Tax Institute and Law Society of Ireland.

Officials said they were looking into using third-party data such as matching Local Property Tax details with income and payment records to detect non-compliance.

As part of its white-collar clampdown, Revenue may also take advantage of the EU directive on administrative co-operation to access information such as foreign earnings, property deals and pensions.

At the meeting Revenue also highlighted a recently-introduced facility on its website that allows individuals to report tax evasion.

Chartered Accountants Ireland director of taxation Brian Keegan said that while Revenue “is of course correct to maintain their focus on tax evasion . . . this has to be matched with service for compliant taxpayers.”