Dáil Éireann - Volume 588 - 29 June, 2004

Written Answers. - Tax Collection.

  139. Ms Burton asked the Minister for Finance the number of individuals, companies and trusts [496] being investigated by the Revenue Commissioners arising from the Ansbacher accounts at the latest date for which figures are available; the number of cases where settlements have been agreed and the total amount paid to date; the number of cases still outstanding; if additional action has been taken by the Revenue Commissioners arising from the report of the Ansbacher inspectors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18611/04]

  Mr. McCreevy:I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that their Ansbacher review team has inquired into 289 cases to date and 75 of these cases have concluded settlements with the Revenue Commissioners. The 289 cases, taking account of spouses and connected companies, consist of 300 names. The 289 cases are made up of 179 cases listed on the High Court inspectors’ report and 110 similar cases discovered by the Revenue Commissioners or listed on the authorised officer’s report.

A total of 211 cases have been under active investigation. The remaining cases consist of 62 non-resident persons, including 17 former Irish residents, 12 individuals who claimed the 1993 amnesty provisions and four cases with insufficient identity information. The investigation includes examining the tax position of disclosed entities and accumulating and assembling information on other connected entities. The number of connected entities to cases under investigation is now nearly 700.

The Revenue Commissioners continue to make use of their legislative powers to seek books, records, documents and information in the cases being investigated. Where appropriate, prosecutions will be considered but these will depend on the level of evidence available. The Revenue Commissioners have made five successful applications to the High Court for the production by financial institutions and third parties of books, records and other documentation relevant to liabilities of Ansbacher account holders. Some 150,000 documents have been received under the terms of the High Court orders. Advanced investigative computer software is used in controlling and managing the documentation.

To date a total of €42.79 million has been received, mostly by way of payments on account, in respect of 87 cases. This is made up of the following.

Cases involving Ansbacher or Ansbacher type arrangements

75 Cases

34.55 million

Other cases involving offshore funds or deposits

12 Cases

8.24 million

Total

87 Cases

42.79 million

The 75 cases which have concluded settlements with the Revenue Commissioners consist of 40 cases which were settled on payments of €25.89 [497] million, included in the amount outlined, 25 non-resident cases which are covered by the provisions of double taxation agreements, eight which had no additional liability and two which were covered by the 1993 amnesty provisions.

The Revenue Commissioners made an application under section 11 of the Companies Act 1990 for a copy of the High Court inspectors’ report, which was made available on 6 July 2002. The information in this report has been carefully considered as regards the tax liabilities of the persons concerned. In addition, the Revenue Commissioners made a further application to the High Court for access to the supporting papers to the High Court inspectors’ report. Judgment was delivered by the President of the High Court on 25 May 2004 to allow access to the supporting papers relating to clients of Ansbacher named in the High Court inspectors’ report and those persons and companies, including members of the board, found by the High Court inspectors to have failed to co-operate with their inquiry.

The judgment also allows for the Revenue Commissioners to make application and grounding affidavit for the obtaining of information and documents relating to any other individual or company. Access to documents is subject to the direction of the High Court. The matter as to the precise terms of the High Court order was adjourned for further directions by the High Court. The Revenue Commissioners have informed me that the investigations are time consuming and complex and are likely to continue for some time to come.

  140. Ms Burton asked the Minister for Finance the number of individuals, companies and trusts being investigated by the Revenue Commissioners arising from the Clerical Medical Insurance/NIB inquiry at the latest date for which figures are available; the number of cases where settlements have been agreed and the total amount paid to date; the number of cases still outstanding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18612/04]

  Mr. McCreevy:I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that arising from the Clerical Medical Insurance/NIB inquiry, 452 cases have been targeted for investigation. To date, 291 cases have been settled on payment of tax, interest and penalties amounting to a total of €45.35 million. A further 113 cases have been finalised with no additional liability arising. The remaining 48 cases are the subject of ongoing investigation, in respect of which €5.02 million has been paid on account.

In the course of 2003, three cases were prosecuted, with fines being imposed in two cases and a suspended sentence imposed in the other. The individuals concerned have also settled their tax affairs and paid the outstanding tax, together with interest and penalties. A further case is currently under investigation with a view to prosecution.

[498] Aggregate results of the ongoing investigations have been published each year since 1998 in the annual reports of the Revenue Commissioners. Individual details of settlements have also been published where the provisions of section 1086 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 applied.