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Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan has confirmed that 13 voluntary disclosures relating to offshore matters have been made since the Budget announcement that the regime would change from May 2017.
In his October 11, 2016, Budget speech, Noonan announced that from May 1, 2017, a "qualifying disclosure" will no longer be permitted where the tax liabilities involved relate to offshore matters. 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.
Noonan was asked by a member of parliament to explain how many voluntary disclosures have been made since the announcement, and the estimated total in penalties that would have been collected had those disclosures not been made under the current system.
Noonan said he had been advised by Revenue that 13 voluntary disclosures relating to offshore matters have been received since Budget day, resulting in settlements amounting to EUR188,650 (USD199,019) in tax, interest, and penalties. He added that "the intention to make a voluntary disclosure has been indicated to Revenue in two other cases, and a payment of EUR47,000 has been made on account of one of them."
Noonan explained that, due to the manner in which penalties are calculated for non-qualifying disclosures, it is not possible to say precisely what levels would have been applied had the 13 disclosures not fallen under the current qualifying disclosures rules.
However, he said it is estimated that, "had those cases not been voluntary disclosures, and if the category of default had been deliberate behavior and cooperation had been forthcoming, the penalties imposed would have been some EUR75,000 higher."
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