Revenue targets 'shadow' economy

Tue, Oct 2, 2012, 01:00

REVENUE IS focusing on cash businesses in efforts to combat the black economy, according to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

In the first four months of this year, 803 people “previously unregistered” for business, were recorded, he said, as a result of their operations.

“All possible sources of information, including following up on services advertised on TV, radio, local newspapers, internet, special interest publications are used by Revenue,” Mr Noonan said.

The exchequer loses an estimated €5 billion a year to the “shadow” economy.

Mr Noonan gave the information in written replies outlining efforts by the Revenue Commissioners to combat the black economy to Labour TD Tommy Broughan. The Dublin North East TD had asked if the Minister would consider further measures to ensure small businesses were not undercut by unfair competition from operators in the black economy.

Revenue’s investigations “have detected the use of computer programmes or electronic devices to alter or conceal sales records”. Legislation was enacted last year against the use or supply of automated sales suppression devices, called “zappers”, in order to evade tax.