Report on the Accounts of the Public Services 2018

Oct 07, 2019

 The Comptroller and Auditor General Report on the Public Services for the year ended 31 December 2018 has been published. The report includes chapters on compliance interventions and tax relief for film production.  The chapter on compliance interventions summarises the type of audit and non-audit interventions carried out by Revenue and their approach to dealing with taxpayers.  Interestingly, non-audit interventions – aspect queries, assurance checks, profile interviews, generated €316 million in 2018, over half of the total yield from all compliance activity that year.   

Compliance Interventions – Chapter 17 

The Report (page 278) details the extent to which interest and penalties were applied in respect of all interventions finalised in 2018. The rate of application of penalties and interest (relative to tax due) as a result of intervention activity varies between Revenue divisions and regions.  Large Cases Division took in the most.  The Customs Division the least; this may change following Brexit!  

The summary of the length of time intervention cases were opened, from initial contact with the taxpayer or agent to the date of closure (at page 286) shows us that 13% of cases took more than 600 days, the majority of cases took between 101 and 365 days.   

The Report makes a number of recommendations which includes that Revenue should consider reporting the differences between tax assessed and the tax settled for and collected and the reasons for those variances.  Actions taken by Revenue to address recommendations made in 2012 are summarised (page 291).  

Tax relief on film production – Chapter 18 

The Report summaries the history of tax relief for film investment/production – section 481 Taxes Consolidation Act 1997.  A useful diagram illustrating the application and certification process is set out (page 297).  The Report contains several other useful tables and diagrams with stats on operation of the relief and employment generated therefrom.  Recommendations are also made in the Report.