Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Matt Carthy (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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98. To ask the Minister for Finance the estimated amount that would be generated by imposing a €500 per year tax on all second homes, a €850 per year tax on all third homes and a €1,300 per year tax on all fourth and subsequent homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6247/20]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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I am informed by Revenue that the Exchequer yield from the introduction of the additional taxes suggested by the Deputy is estimated to be in the region of €290 million in a full year. This yield assumes that that tax would be imposed on all non-principal private residences, excluding residential properties in the ownership of local authorities and approved housing bodies.

Matt Carthy (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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99. To ask the Minister for Finance the estimated revenue which could be achieved by increasing the number of audit staff employed by the Revenue Commissioners by an extra 180 persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6248/20]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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Revenue has advised me that investment in the training and development of a Revenue auditor or investigator can take up to three years, depending on previous relevant experience. Therefore, it is not possible to accurately estimate the additional yield that would immediately arise from the recruitment of 180 audit staff.

Revenue has also advised me that it undertakes a range of risk management interventions to target and confront different types of non-compliance in addition to tax evasion, for example, shadow economy and smuggling detection activity. The range of interventions used by Revenue has expanded in recent years to cover such diverse risks and includes, assurance checks, aspect queries, profile interviews, enforcement, investigations and prosecutions in addition to tax audits.

The intervention deployed by Revenue in a case depends on the level of risk involved, and the average rate of return varies, depending on the scale of non-compliance. Also, in some types of interventions, for example enforcement, the focus is on the detection of drugs and fiscal smuggling where the direct exchequer yield is not the immediate objective.

As Minister for Finance, I have always responded positively to any requests from Revenue for additional resources needed to tackle identified areas of tax or duty risk. For example, in each Budget since Budget 2016 I have introduced a series of ‘compliance measures’ changes, which were aimed at raising tax revenue through enhanced taxpayer compliance and on each occasion, I have provided the necessary additional resources required by Revenue to ensure successful delivery. The analysis of the results of these compliance measures is available on the Revenue website at: www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/research/reviews/index.aspx, which may be of interest to the Deputy.

Photo of Seán HaugheySeán Haughey (Dublin Bay North, Fianna Fail)
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100. To ask the Minister for Finance the number of companies without an EORI number; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6275/20]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that there are currently 65,946 businesses registered for a Customs EORI number. The Revenue Commissioners noted that 92.7% of the value of imports from the UK in 2019 and 95.8% of the value of exports to the UK in 2019 was carried out by businesses who now have an EORI number.

In relation to businesses who trade with the UK, the Revenue Commissioners have analysed the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) returns and identified some 96,000 businesses that traded with the UK in 2019. Of these 96,000 businesses, approx. 57,000 do not currently have an EORI number. Of the larger businesses with annual UK import or export trade in excess of €50,000, and therefore with a potential significant supply chain exposure to trade with the UK, the number without an EORI number is approximately 3,000.

The Revenue Commissioners have engaged closely with businesses during 2019 and this has continued in 2020. This engagement has contributed to the positive picture portrayed by this data. However, I am aware that many businesses have been and continue to be adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that social distancing requirements, while essential to prevent the spread of the virus, are unfortunately significantly impeding their ability to carry out many operational tasks.

Nonetheless and with this is mind, there are a range of actions that the Revenue Commissioners have encouraged and continue to encourage relevant businesses to consider, to ensure that businesses can trade with the UK after the transition period. This includes:

- Undertake supply chain and cash flow assessments so as to fully understand and identify the impact of Brexit, 

- Register for customs by getting an EORI number, if not already registered,

- Ensure they have the capability to lodge customs declarations, by either getting customs software or engaging a customs agent,

- Understand the impact of and make arrangements for paying import duties,

- Know the origin and commodity code(s) of the goods traded,

- Ensure compliance with product certification requirements, 

- Understand the obligations involved if trading in animal or plant products, and

- Consider what customs related simplifications or authorisations might be relevant and that would further ease the smooth and efficient flow of trade and goods at import or export.

I very much support this engagement by the Revenue Commissioners and I urge all businesses to take the necessary steps to ensure they can trade with the UK post the transition period.

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