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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019
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People have tried to get millions in pension funds out of Ireland

The Revenue Commissioners are investigating if any of this activity was illegal.

Image: old man via Shutterstock

PEOPLE HAVE TRIED to transfer tens of millions in pension funds out of Ireland over the past three years, the Minister for Finance has said.

Michael Noonan was providing an update on an investigation by the Revenue Commissioners into whether offshore pension transfer were being made to avoid tax payments.

This investigation was launched last year. No settlements have been paid, however, as the scale of the issue – and any potentially illegal activity – has not yet been ascertained.

The Department of Finance is also looking to review policy in this area.

Since 2012, Revenue has received a total of 456 notifications to transfer pension arrangements off-shore, amounting to total of €54,707,326.

Three-quarters of these payments were to Australia, Cyprus, Malta and the United Kingdom.

“It is important to bear in mind that not all of these transfer notifications may actually have proceeded to an actual transfer,” Minister Noonan said in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath.

Also many would have been made for bona fide purposes and fully compliant with tax legislation and pension tax policy.

Noonan noted that if it was found that moving pension funds off-shore was an effort to circumvent the requirements of Irish pension tax legislation could trigger a withdrawal of approval for the transfer, resulting in “significant tax liabilities on the sums moved off shore”.

Read: Revenue apologises to 5,000 pensioners after tax blunder >

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Nicky Ryan

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