Written answers

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Department of Finance

Revenue Commissioners

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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312. To ask the Minister for Finance the number of warrants that have been issued for the collection of debts owed to the Revenue Commissioners by revenue sheriffs in the past five years and to date in 2022, by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39532/22]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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I am advised by Revenue that it uses the services of thirteen Sheriffs to assist in its debt recovery operations, comprising of two in Dublin (city and county), two in Cork (city and county) and nine located in multiple bailiwicks (areas of operation) across the country. The Sheriffs are Officers of the Court, holding office under Section 12 of the Court Officers Act, 1945. Their debt collection activities, including seizure procedures, are covered by the Enforcement of Court Orders Act, 1926, as amended. The execution of Revenue referrals (warrants) is specifically provided for in Section 960L of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Revenue suspended debt collection enforcement in line with the Government’s introduction of the Debt Warehousing Scheme to provide a vital liquidity support to businesses experiencing cash-flow and trading difficulties due to the pandemic. Under the scheme, businesses can temporarily ‘park’ certain tax debts on an interest free basis until the end of this year (or until 30 April 2023 for businesses impacted by the public health restrictions introduced in December 2021). Almost 90,000 individual entities are availing of Debt Warehousing to the value of almost €2.9 billion. Consequently, these debts are not subject to current enforcement action and the level of referrals for enforcement of collection by sheriffs shown in the table below reflects that fact.


I am advised that coming towards the end of this year, Revenue will engage with all businesses availing of the debt warehousing scheme to agree suitable phased payment arrangements in respect of the ‘parked’ liability. The payment arrangements will be flexible and tailored to take account of the financial circumstances of each business concerned. Provided returns are filed for all periods covered by the debt warehousing scheme and current returns are filed and taxes are paid as they fall due, these parked debts will remain in the debt warehouse and a reduced interest rate of 3% will apply to phased payments arrangements for the payment of those debts.

The table below provides the number of warrants issued to the Sheriffs from 2017 to 30 June 2022, broken down by county.


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