Revenue construction crackdown yields €15 million

Tax authorities raiding building sites as industry recovers

New computer systems allow Revenue to track how money flows through the construction sector. Image: Thinkstock

New computer systems allow Revenue to track how money flows through the construction sector. Image: Thinkstock

 

The Revenue’s clampdown on construction yielded €15 million in settlements and penalties from defaulters last year, one tax expert says.

Technology and new systems demanding that Revenue receive details of all building contracts and sub-contracts in the Republic mean the tax authority has up-to-date information on the overall sector.

According to Ivor Feerick, tax practitioner with BDO Ireland, the defaulters’ lists published last year show that the Revenue collected €15 million in settlement across five main construction tax headings in 2015.

Revenue began a crackdown on the sector as it began to grow again in recent years following a sustained recession.

Mr Feerick says that a new system requiring companies to provide details of all contracts and sub-constracts has given it the information it needs to target the industry, down to individual building sites.

Gaps

“They can track what’s going on, they can see where the money flows, and more importantly , where the gaps are,” says Mr Feerick said.

“They have begun turning up unexpectedly at sites, sometimes with other State agencies, and they can interview everybody on those sites,” he adds.

He notes that the system is far more effective than the old method of simply carring out random audits in the hope of finding something.

Mr Feerick will be addressing this year’s Institute of Taxation annual conference in Galway on Friday.

He says that the reason the Revenue is targeting construction is that the industry’s recovery is now in full flow and large amounts of money is being “pumped into it”.