Revenue 'completely revamps' audit checks

Wednesday 08 January 2014 23.53
Revenue carried out 8,000 audits in 2013, compared with 11,000 in 2011
Revenue carried out 8,000 audits in 2013, compared with 11,000 in 2011

Revenue Commissioners Chairman Josephine Feehily has said Revenue has completely revamped its audit and compliance checks.

She was commenting on the 2013 preliminary results, which showed that 8,000 audits had been carried out compared with 11,000 in 2011.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Ms Feehily said that efficiencies introduced over the past couple of years had led to more money being taken in for the Exchequer.

"We don't want to be wasting either our time or the time of compliant businesses on expensive audits if we don't need to. 

"So we do a lot of much lighter transactions, which perhaps might be simply a telephone call to check a transaction, a single letter to a taxpayer to check a particular item on their accounts.

"So we are doing a lot more risk-focused lighter interventions and we're getting an increase in the yield for less effort," she added.

Revenue has been collecting €1m in Local Property Tax each day since the start of January.

Ms Feehily said those who have not yet paid the tax for 2014 are technically overdue, and these property owners should contact Revenue before it begins its compliance campaigns.

She added that people could enter into phased payment arrangements by direct debit, and that these payments would not be actioned until 21 March.

Ms Feehily also pointed to evidence of increased activity in the construction sector, including a greater number of PAYE payments and a rise in VAT returns.

She said Relevant Contracts Tax, which operates mainly in the construction industry, had increased significantly over the past 12 months, with 26% more contracts registered in 2013, compared to the previous year.