Revenue’s new plan to target high earners and landlords
Unit will oversee those with annual income of €500,000 or significant property portfolios
The creation of the new unit comes as part of a wider restructuring of the State’s tax collection agency. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
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 that 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.
However, 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 that 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.
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 that 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.
Recent figures from Credit Suisse show that some 133,000 Irish adults are dollar millionaires, with assets of $1 million or more, while almost 600 Irish people fall into the $50 million-plus category.
The restructuring means that larger enterprises previously dealt with by the large-cases division will now be overseen by a “large corporates” division, while a “personal” division will cover individual taxpayers plus not-for-profits, and a “business” division will cover the majority of business taxpayers.
The medium enterprise unit will also deal with businesses that are not quite big enough to be dealt with by the larger division, such as those with turnover greater than €3 million, or more than 100 employees.