Revenue published preliminary results for 2021 recently, including tax and duty collected, services provided to customers, compliance rates and yield from risk focussed interventions.
Also published is information on Revenue’s continued delivery of critical Covid-19 Government supports to businesses affected by the pandemic, Local Property Tax statistics for 2022 and key customs related information following the UK’s exit from the EU.
Commenting on the results late last week, Revenue chairman, Niall Cody, said: “The provisional statistics we have published today show that, on a number of fronts, 2021 was an exceptional year for Revenue. The on-going pandemic led to further economic and social disruptions during the year, with significant public health restrictions impacting many business sectors.
“However, despite this, there was a strong economic performance resulting in record tax receipts. Revenue collected €67.5 billion in taxes and duties for the Exchequer, as well as over €17 billion on behalf of other Departments, Agencies and EU Member States.
“Notwithstanding the challenging and uncertain business environment arising from the on-going pandemic, overall timely compliance rates for 2021 remained strong. We thank businesses, individual taxpayers and tax practitioners for their positive engagement during the year and for their efforts in ensuring a continued culture of strong voluntary compliance, despite the difficult challenges many are facing.
“Like many organisations across the country and globally, we have adapted to new ways of working. For example, we have developed new processes and guidelines for conducting risk management interventions in a remote working environment and 2021 saw a record yield of €1.38 billion from these intervention programmes. We also secured 6 criminal convictions for serious tax evasion and fraud, published 80 tax settlements in the List of Tax Defaulters and settled 125 tax avoidance cases yielding €11.7 million.
“Our work in tackling smuggling and other illegal activity continued to be a priority focus for us, resulting in the seizure of over 60 million cigarettes valued at approximately €43.5 million and over 5,700 kilos of drugs with an estimated value of almost €115 million.”
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Commenting on the updated Local Property Tax (LPT) statistics for 2022, Mr. Cody said: “Following the enactment of legislation last July that changed how LPT operated we put all the necessary measures in place, including system changes, an updated online property valuation guide and a comprehensive communication campaign, in advance of the new valuation period which began on 1 November 2021.
“The return compliance rate for LPT for 2022 currently stands at 81%, while the payment compliance rate is 91%. Payment of the Local Property Tax for 2022 is due by Wednesday, 12 January. I strongly encourage property owners who haven’t yet paid or made arrangements to pay or haven’t already filed their LPT return to do so now.”
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a major impact on citizens, employers and businesses alike.
Commenting on Revenue’s delivery of critical Government supports as part of the national response to the global pandemic, Mr. Cody said: “Throughout 2021, Revenue continued to play a significant role in the delivery of key supports to individuals and businesses impacted by Covid-19. In 2021, over €4.6 billion was paid under the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme to 47,600 eligible employers in respect of 628,000 employees.”
“The Covid Restrictions Support Scheme provided further support to businesses significantly affected by Covid-19 public health restrictions, particularly in the first half of last year when large parts of the economy were closed. In 2021, 21,300 businesses received subsidy payments totalling over €470 million in respect of 24,500 premises under the scheme.”
The Debt Warehousing Scheme permits Revenue to park VAT and Payroll tax debt arising on foot of Covid-19 related restrictions as well as self-assessed income tax debt and Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme overpayments. During 2021, the scheme was extended to cover Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme overpayments and tax liabilities of certain self-assessed income taxpayers with employment income. At present, more than 100,000 businesses and individuals are availing of the scheme in respect of just over €2.9 billion of tax debt.
With the lifting of public health restrictions on a phased basis last summer, along with the extremely high Covid-19 vaccination uptake amongst our citizens, we began to see the economy recover and businesses were trading without the support of the Covid Restriction Support Scheme.
However, the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has brought further disruption to businesses, in particular those in the hospitality sector such as bars, restaurants and hotels as well as indoor entertainment venues. For these businesses, we have reopened the claim portal for the Covid Restriction Support Scheme.
“Additionally, such businesses will be able to continue to avail of the Debt Warehousing Scheme for the first quarter of 2022, and we will be issuing updated guidance to reflect this shortly.”