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File photo. Laura Hutton/
chunk of change

Revenue lost out on €100 million it was owed in last five years because of 'inability to pay'

The average amount foregone by Revenue was €130,000.

REVENUE HAS LOST out on a total of €102.4 million in the past five years, over a taxpayer’s inability to pay what was owed. 

Last year, €24.8 million was foregone in unpaid tax, interest and penalties across 130 different cases. 

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe released the figures following a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath.

Donohoe said that any instance where someone claims an inability to pay “must be supported with clear evidence of the taxpayer’s financial situation”.

He also said that Revenue reserves the right to subsequently reverse a decision if the person’s situation unexpectedly improves. 

Here’s a breakdown of the number of cases and the overall amounts since 2014:

  • 2014 – 172 cases – €22.9 million
  • 2015 – 186 cases – €21.3 million
  • 2016 – 148 cases – €19.6 million
  • 2017 – 125 cases – €13.8 million
  • 2018 – 130 cases – €24.8 million

Overall, across 761 overall cases, Revenue opted to forego an average of over €130,000 in each case.

Donohoe said that when the inability to pay claim is not accepted, Revenue pursues collection for the full amount and avails of options such as Sheriff, court judgements and attachment orders to secure payment.

“In the most egregious cases, Revenue will apply to the courts to commence insolvency proceedings including liquidation (corporate entities) and bankruptcy (individuals),” the minister said. 

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