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Revenue collected 26% more corporation tax last year

Revenue collected 26% more corporation tax last year

The amount of corporation tax collected by the state last year increased by 26% to €10.4 billion, according to the Revenue Commissioners’ annual report.

The increase was driven by higher payments from manufacturing companies and increased payments from big multinational companies.

The report also shows that the share of corporation tax paid by the top ten corporate taxpayers now accounts for 45% of all the corporation tax paid, up from 40% the year before.

Almost €1 in every €5 of tax collected by the Revenue Commissioners came from corporation tax last year – an extraordinarily high proportion by international standards.

The amount paid surged by 26%, underlining again the volatile nature of this tax head and how vulnerable the public finances have become to the risk of a sudden downturn in corporation tax payments.

There are 164,000 companies in Ireland, but just 100 of them pay almost three quarters of the corporation tax collected. Foreign owned companies paid 77% of last year’s corporation tax take.

In total, Revenue said it collected net Exchequer receipts of €54.6 billion for last year, up €4 billion on 2017.

There were increased receipts for almost all taxes and duties including Income Tax, up 6.6%, VAT up 7% and Corporation Tax.

Niall Cody, Revenue’s chairman, said that continued strong levels of timely, voluntary compliance rates of over 90% across all taxes confirm the reality that the vast majority of individuals and businesses pay the right amount of tax, on time.

Mr Cody acknowledged taxpayers’ engagement, and that of tax practitioners and agents, in achieving the very strong compliance rates seen again for 2018.

Today’s report also reveals that 400 additional customs officers have been hired of the estimated 600 required for Brexit duties.

Revenue said the delay to Brexit has enabled them to complete additional training, adding that as Customs and Revenue is an integrated service, staff can be redeployed from one are to another rapidly.

This means that in the event of a sudden Brexit, additional staff can be redeployed to cope.

The Commissioners appealed once again to firms that have not applied for an EORI number – which is free and facilitates customs declarations when trading with the UK after Brexit – to do so.

They warned that Brexit could happen suddenly before the 1 November deadline.

Revenue also said it it was “confident that our systems will successfully handle the increased transaction levels arising as a result of Brexit”.

Last year the authority processed 1.6 million customs declarations through their electronic systems.

It said it believes customs import and export declarations could rise to as many as 20 million a year after Brexit, due to the amount of trade the country has with the UK.

Looking ahead, Niall Cody said that it is very important that Revenue supports compliant taxpayers by identifying risks and tackling non-compliance in all its forms.

“We continue to be alert to, and pro-actively respond to, the risks arising from the changes in economic and business environments both nationally and globally,” he added.

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