More than €150m of tax owed by businesses has been written off by the Revenue so far this year. The bulk of that figure is accounted for by businesses failing.

The figure compares to €129m written off for the whole of last year. Liquidations, receiverships and ceased trading accounted for €101m of that figure.

Revenue chairperson Josephine Feehily said that the number of businesses failing was growing by the week.

She was addressing the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee, which is looking at abuse of the concept of limited liability.

Ms Feehily said between €1-2m of last year's write off was accounted for by so called Phoenix cases - companies which Revenue has been monitoring closely.