Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said the losses reported to date under the tax debt warehousing scheme are evidence that “the recovery of monies owed will be a balancing act”.
The Dublin-Fingal TD called for a sensible response to ensure all monies owed under the scheme are recovered, while not putting small and medium enterprise and micro-business at risk.
Teahcta O’Reilly said:
“The Revenue tax warehousing scheme offered businesses some respite during the height of the Covid-19 crisis by allowing for the deferral of VAT, employer PAYE and certain self-assessed income tax liabilities, including Covid-19 wage support overpayments.
“The volume of tax warehoused under the scheme showed how much of a lifeline it was for business and next year will be a crunch year for those with warehoused debt as repayments will commence from 1st May 2024.
“However, data released to me via Parliamentary Question shows that there have been losses to the State of over €60 million in taxes owed, due to companies entering liquidation, examinership, ceasing trade and bankruptcy.
“Given the impact of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, and the inflation crisis, it is essential that Revenue engages with companies sensibly and responsibly in terms of recovering monies owed under the scheme.
“This should not be seen as a carte blanche for businesses. What we are advocating is for Revenue and the Minister for Finance to approach repayment in a manner that ensures all monies owed are repaid, but that does not push companies towards the brink of administration or liquidation.
“There is currently over €2.2 billion in tax debts warehoused, so a delicate approach is needed, and business must be proactive with Revenue as data also shows a worrying lack of engagement and persistent non-compliance with current tax obligations by some firms.
“To date, over 12,800 customers with warehoused tax debts of €197m have had their warehouse status revoked due to persistent non-compliance issues and the debt concerned is now being pursued.
“It is essential that there is reciprocal engagement between business and the State in terms of warehoused tax debts, and that Revenue and the Minister for Finance approach repayment in a manner that ensures all monies owed are repaid, but that does not push companies towards the brink of administration or liquidation.”