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Irish Revenue Advises On Changes To Voluntary Disclosure Regime

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

06 January 2017

The Irish Revenue has published guidance on changes to the voluntary disclosure rules that will prevent individuals from benefitting from lower penalty rates when the disclosure relates to "offshore matters."

Revenue explained that Finance Act 2016 prevents a person from making a disclosure that would otherwise be considered a "qualifying disclosure" if that disclosure relates to "offshore matters." These provisions will apply from May 1, 2017.

A "qualifying disclosure" is a type of voluntary disclosure. A taxpayer can make a qualifying disclosure by freely disclosing a tax default to Revenue. Currently, those eligible for a qualifying disclosure face reduced penalties for the underpaid tax, are not included in the list of tax defaulters, and are not subject to investigation with a view to criminal prosecution by Revenue.

From May 1, 2017, it will no longer be possible to obtain the benefits of a qualifying disclosure if matters included in the disclosure relate indirectly or indirectly to any of the following: an account held or situated in a country or territory other than Ireland; income or gains arising from a source, or accruing, in a country or territory other than Ireland; and property in a country or territory other than Ireland.

It will not be possible to make a qualifying disclosure in cases that involve both liabilities arising within Ireland and liabilities relating to offshore matters.

Revenue said that these changes will mean that those with liabilities relating to "offshore matters" could be liable to higher penalty rates, the settlement could be published in the quarterly defaulters' list, and a criminal prosecution could be pursued.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | tax compliance | Ireland | tax avoidance | tax authority | offshore | penalties | individual income tax

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