Some €40m due from tax defaulters remains unpaid
Figures show €15.5m remains unpaid by in tax, penalties and interest from 2018
Of the 265 tax settlements agreed last year with defaulters, 30 per cent remain unpaid. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Over €39.82 million remains unpaid to the Revenue Commissioners in taxes, penalties and interest from tax defaulters who were named last year and in 2017.
Figures provided by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe show that €15.5 million remains unpaid by published tax defaulters in tax, penalties and interest from 2018.
In a written Dáil reply to Joan Burton TD, Mr Donohoe confirmed that a further €24.2 million remains unpaid in taxes, penalties and interest from the 2017 lists of published tax defaulters.
The figures show that the percentage value of unpaid tax, penalties and interest from the final quarter of last year from defaulters totalled 42.1 per cent and this compared to 26.3 per cent for the third quarter, 29.4 per cent for the second quarter and 44.7 per cent for the first quarter of 2018.
Of the 265 tax settlements agreed last year with defaulters, 30 per cent remain unpaid. This compares to 289 settlements agreed for 2017 where 101 settlements remain unpaid or 35 per cent of the overall total.
Labour finance spokeswoman, deputy Burton said: “I’m very shocked at the level of non-payment of tax settlements.”
She added: “It is very unfair on the hard-pressed tax-payer that some of these tax defaulters can seemingly walk way from their obligations. A lot of tax-payers will feel angry over these figures.”
Ms Burton said that she would be asking Revenue to attend at the Oireachtas finance committee to explain the reasons behind the level of non-payment.
A spokeswoman for Revenue said that while Revenue vigorously pursues unpaid settlements “in some cases, the collection/recovery of the full amount unpaid will not be possible”.
She explained: “In some instances for example, a company may have gone into liquidation, while a number of the unpaid settlements in the tax defaulter’s list are as a result of the taxpayer claiming ‘inability to pay’.”
“It is the responsibility of the taxpayer claiming ‘inability to pay’ a tax or duty default settlement to satisfactorily demonstrate that inability. 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,” she added.
“If it is accepted that the taxpayer has no ability to pay, we do not pursue collection of the unpaid amounts.”