The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General for 2011 has been published. In relation to tax and Revenue it includes a number of interesting points:
• Income tax receipts increased by a net €2.5 billion (bn) in 2011 when compared with 2010, reflecting the introduction of the Universal Social Charge (USC) and the reduction in tax bands and credits.
• Tax forecasting has been made more difficult with the emergence of significant corporation tax losses. The utilisation of losses in 2010 is estimated to have reduced potential corporation tax receipts by €2.75bn.
• A new debt analysis tool was introduced on a pilot basis in February to allow Revenue case workers prioritise the recovery of debt by reference to the age of the debt. It also allows them to determine the type and timing of interventions to maximise recovery.
• Total tax outstanding at the end of March 2012 was just under €2bn. The two largest categories of debt outstanding are income tax and VAT. Overall, about one third of the debt outstanding was under appeal.
• 3 economic sectors accounted for 59% of the total tax written off in 2011; construction, wholesale and retail trade and accommodation and food services. The majority of these write offs arose due to liquidations and the trade ceasing with insufficient liquid assets
Thanks to the Institute of Tax for the above summary.