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Ireland: Revenue Will Use Property Tax Data To Catch Income Cheats

18 November 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Irish Independent
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Author: Irish Independent

THE Revenue Commissioners are to mount a New Year trawl of property tax records to catch homeowners who are under-declaring their income.

The new operation will effectively target those who own more than one house and will cross-reference their property details against their tax returns or social welfare payments.

The information gathered on the owners of the 1.6 million houses covered by the property tax is now to be analysed by the Revenue's main computer system to identify those most likely to be evading tax.

The 'high-risk' cases will be identified by the system and Revenue officials will then carry out an audit to ensure that they are not under-paying their tax.

The move is part of Revenue's continued crackdown on tax cheats.

The checks will cover PAYE taxpayers, the self-employed and those who are on social welfare payments, such as the dole and the state pension.

Around 160,000 people – or 10pc of those who have paid the property tax – own four homes or more.

It comes just 10 days before the final deadline for householders to file their property tax return for next year – when they will have to pay a full year's worth of property tax for the first time.

Until now, Revenue's priority has been to get as many people as possible to pay the property tax in its first

half-year of operation. And the only people warned that they faced the prospect of a Revenue tax audit were the estimated 159,000 homeowners who have not paid the property tax so far.

But Revenue has signalled for the first time that it is going to add in property-tax data from all householders into its Risk Evaluation Analysis and Profiling (REAP) computer system in the New Year.

"Our priority this year has been to establish the tax and secure the yield for the Exchequer. We will be adding property ownership data to the REAP system early in 2014," a spokesperson said.

Revenue said its auditors could already use the property tax database on a "case-by-case basis".

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