Ireland: New Law Makes It a Crime To Snoop On Tax Affairs
25 October 2013
Posted by: Author: Thomas Molloy
Author: Thomas Molloy (Irish Independent)
CONTRACTORS who snoop on the tax affairs of
neighbours, partners or celebrities will soon be breaking the law under
new rules slipped into the Finance Bill.
The new law makes it an offense for outside workers linked to the
Revenue Commissioners to look at tax details not related to an official
The new offence follows problems earlier this year when
an employee at an outside company administering the property tax
inappropriately obtained the credit card details of people paying the
It is already a criminal offence for tax officials to snoop
into other people's accounts despite a string of reports about problems
inside Revenue involving unauthorised searches by staff who were
curious about their ex-partners or celebrities' tax affairs.
legislation was contained in the Finance Bill, which gives legal effect
to Budget measures. While most measures were contained in last week's
Budget speech, the bill also contained a few surprises not introduced in
Finance Minister Michael Noonan's Budget speech.
unheralded measures included powers to allow the Government to withhold
licences for oil traders who have broken tax laws or engaged in
Horses will also attract a higher VAT rate unless they are being sold for horse meat.
are also new rules to help Ireland's flourishing aircraft leasing
industry. Other unannounced measures include a provision to allow people
to claim mileage allowance in kilometres for company cars.
previously reported in this newspaper, Mr Noonan will allow anybody
doing home renovations to claim back VAT from today rather than January
after the building trade complained that demand for builders had dried
up as soon as the change was announced.
The move was welcomed by
Hardware Association Ireland boss Jim Copeland who said that the "early
start date will allow projects to begin and in some cases be completed
in time for Christmas, which may be a determining factor for the work
to proceed in the first place."
The Government also introduced plans to allow Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks to offset losses posted in recent years against future profits.
analysts say the decision will cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions
of euros over the next few years as it will allow the lenders to set
losses against profits like any other company.
This article first appeared in independent.ie.