THE Revenue Commissioners have recently published their annual report for 2021.
The report shows an exceptional year for Revenue. There was a record amount of tax and duty collected. despite the major economic disruptions due to the Covid- 19 pandemic, along with the major change to the trading relationship between Ireland and the UK.
The Revenue also completed an overhaul of the Local Property Tax (LPT) system by introducing an up-to-date valuation period, the first revaluation since the LPT was introduced in 2013. Furthermore, they continued to play a big part in the delivery of the Covid-19 supports to businesses across the country.
The net exchequer receipts of €67.5bn were up by 20% on 2020. According to Revenue chairman Niall Cody, in his commentary, the strong timely compliance rates across all taxes are indicative of a general acceptance of the importance of timely tax and duty compliance.
He went on to state that they also show the positive engagement by taxpayers and tax practitioners during the year and their contribution to a strong culture of voluntary compliance, despite the difficulties faced by many of them.
Brexit continued to bring challenges, especially in early 2021, in order to come to terms with the significant increase in the level of customs activity. Since January 1st last year, goods which once moved freely between Ireland and the UK are now subject to customs rules. These new trading arrangements are the biggest change for businesses in 30 years since the creation of the single market. To put it in context, the Revenue processed 27.1m import delcarations in 2021 compared to just over 1m in 2020.
The updated LPT regime has seen a substantial level of engagement and compliance by property owners in advance of the November 1st deadline in 2021 which has continued into 2022 with return compliance rates for this year at 90% and payment compliance at 95%.
In 2021 also, the Revenue continued to make improvements to its online and digital services in order to make things more accessible and more timely for taxpayers. There were over 463,800 compliance interventions carried out yielding a record €1.388m along with a total of €30m raised from tax settlements with 86 taxpayers.
The efficient collection of taxes and duties remains the primary role and focus of the Revenue. To this end, the stated aim is to strengthen the resources currently in place to continue delivering the core business by further investing in people and increasing the access to and use of real time data. While the figures in 2021 broke records, it is expected that Revenue activity levels will increase going forward so as to deliver similarly strong results this year and into the future.
• Siobhan Healy is a tax advisor with FDC