Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Finance
Ciarán Lynch (Cork South Central, Labour)
Question 180: To ask the Minister for Finance the value of legitimate green diesel fuel transactions recorded for the years 2010 and 2011; the current monitoring system for the sale of green fuel; if there is any record or database of purchasers of green diesel and quantities purchased per transaction; if he will provide an estimate of the loss in quantity and cost in revenue due to fuel laundering for the years 2010 and 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8401/12]
Michael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the quantities of marked diesel for which mineral oil tax was paid in 2010 and 2011 were 1.226 billion litres and 1.155 billion litres respectively, and the net mineral oil tax receipts for those years in respect of that fuel were €51.04 million and €50.49 million. Premises or places from which marked diesel is sold or delivered, other than tax warehouses or certain small-scale operations, are required to be approved by the Revenue Commissioners in accordance with the Mineral Oil Tax Regulations 2001 (S.I. No. 442 of 2001). Those Regulations also require the keeping of specified records of stocks, sales and movements of fuels by mineral oil traders.
The Finance Bill 2012 proposes to enhance the supervision and control of the mineral oils supply chain by requiring that, in future, any person dealing in marked mineral oils will have to be licensed by the Revenue Commissioners to do so. It is envisaged that this important change will be complemented by amendments to the Mineral Oil Tax Regulations that will lay down new requirements for the recording and reporting of transactions by mineral oil traders.
The Deputy will appreciate that it is not possible to estimate accurately the loss to the national Exchequer from particular activities in the shadow economy such as fuel laundering. It is clear, however, that illegal activity in the fuel market is significant, and that it poses a threat to the tax yield and to legitimate business. Combating it will, therefore, continue to be a priority for the Revenue Commissioners, and the legislative action that is being taken will provide additional support for them in this important work.