Revenue Chairman comments on “shadow economy”

In her opening statement before the Public Accounts Committee last Thursday, Revenue Chairman Josephine Feehily spoke about the shadow economy. She commented that the shadow economy grows in times of recession “as people look for ways to replace lost income or profits”. In 2010 Revenue “placed great emphasis on tacking cash economy risks by a combination of risk analysis, intelligence collation, assurance checks and outdoor operations including audit and investigation” this emphasis is continuing in 2011 and while focussing on specific sectors, Revenue has already this year:

  • made over 4,700 cold calls or site visits and nearly 3,200 assurance checks;
  • completed over 1,200 audits in the construction sector with a combined yield of €37 million;
  • closed 1,400 audits with a yield of €50 million in the wholesale, retail, restaurants and pubs trades combined;
  • selected over 21,000 PAYE cases for intervention, yielding over €13 million and disallowed credits valued at nearly 25 million.

She referred to lower tax yields, higher tax debt, and liquidity issues facing businesses in the current economic environment and acknowledged Revenue’s responsibilities which include making repayments quickly and working with viable businesses that need time to pay.