Public listing of tax defaulters ‘a good deterrent’

Publishing the Revenue Commission’s tax defaulters list publicly acts as a good deterrent, according to a representative for Revenue.

Speaking on radio station Midlands 103, Revenue principal officer Kieran Twohey outlined the authority’s reasoning behind the public ‘name and shame’ listing of defaulters and settlements.

Commenting, Twohey said: “We’re obliged to do it; we send them out and say ‘look, are you aware of whatever else and your name will be published’.

“And if they have issues then they get on to Revenue and plead their case.

In the vast majority of cases the publication goes ahead anyway unless there’s some technical reason why it won’t.

This follows on from the publication yesterday (Tuesday, March 5) of the tax defaulters list for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018 by Revenue.

23 farmers were found to have been in violation of tax rules, plus two agricultural contractors and a number of related professions.

19 of the listed farmers were named on the publication for the reason of failing to lodge income tax returns; one of whom had their profession marked as ‘dairy farmer’.

Apart from failure to lodge tax returns, the only other reason that farmers were named as defaulters was because of misuse of marked mineral oil (green diesel).

The largest fine handed out to any of these farmers was €20,000, for Alan Sherwood from Co. Kildare.

The next highest penalty handed out to a farmer was €4,000, for James Fitzpatrick from Co. Limerick, while Co. Tipperary farmer P.J O’Donnell was fined €3,750.

Most farmers received fines of between €1,250 and €2,500.

During Q4 of 2018, just one farmer made an out-of-court settlement with the revenue commission.

That payment was made by Clem Tully of Co. Roscommon, who paid revenue a settlement of €72,784 for non-declaration of Capital Gains Tax.

This included: €38,720 in tax; €22,448 in interest; and €11,616 in penalties.