Revenue publishes headline results for 2022

Today (05/01/2023), Revenue published preliminary results for 2022 including tax and duty collected, details of assistance provided under critical Government support schemes, services provided to customers, timely compliance rates and yield from a range of compliance and enforcement interventions.

Commenting on the results, Revenue Chairman, Niall Cody said:

“2022 saw record breaking tax receipts, with Revenue collecting €82.2 billion in taxes and duties for the Exchequer, an increase of some €14.7 billion or 21.5% on 2021. In addition, Revenue collected over €22.3 billion on behalf of other Departments, Agencies and EU Member States.

These unprecedented Exchequer receipts are underpinned by continued high levels of voluntary timely compliance, notwithstanding the challenging circumstances in which many taxpayers found themselves. We acknowledge the cooperation of businesses, individual taxpayers, and tax practitioners and thank them for their positive engagement throughout the past year.

Revenue continued to evolve our compliance approach in 2022 with the launch of a new Compliance Intervention Framework to underpin our support for voluntary compliance and our response to non-compliance and management of risk. Last year, we completed over 427,000 audit and compliance interventions which yielded €813 million. We also secured 9 criminal convictions for serious tax evasion and fraud, published 53 tax settlements in the List of Tax Defaulters and settled 104 tax avoidance cases yielding €16.1 million. The identification, targeting and disruption of shadow economy and other illegal activity continues to be a key focus for Revenue. In 2022, we seized over 51 million cigarettes valued at €39.4 million and over 3,600 kilos of drugs with an estimated value of €46.4 million.”

Revenue continues to play a significant role in supporting businesses which are still recovering from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with the challenges posed by the current energy crisis. Remarking on Revenue’s delivery of critical supports, Mr. Cody said:

“The economic and social disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic continued into 2022. The impact of these disruptions was compounded by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia with businesses across many sectors being significantly impacted by inflationary pressure, particularly in relation to energy, and supply chain challenges. Revenue launched the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) with registrations opening for eligible businesses in November. The scheme will assist qualifying businesses with their energy costs from September 2022 to February 2023 inclusive. Registered businesses have been able to make claims under the scheme since early December. In its short time of operation, over 8,800 businesses have registered for the scheme. Almost 3,000 claims have been processed with a total value of some €6.6 million.

2022 saw the coming to an end of the Covid-19 subsidy schemes. Revenue’s administration of these schemes on behalf of the Government made a significant contribution to protecting livelihoods and keeping businesses operating. Over the lifetime of the Wage Subsidy Schemes and the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme we paid out over €10.2 billion to support businesses, employers and employees.

Recognising the very substantial challenges faced by businesses in meeting their tax obligations, Revenue announced a significant extension to the Debt Warehousing Scheme last October. Businesses with warehoused debt were due to enter into arrangements with us to deal with that debt by the end of 2022 (or by 1 May 2023 for those with an extended deadline). We extended that timeline to 1 May 2024. Coupled with the ongoing availability of the reduced rate of interest of 3%, the extension provides greater certainty for businesses by giving additional time before the warehoused debt needs to be addressed. At present, almost 72,000 businesses are availing of the scheme in respect of some €2.48 billion of tax debt.”

Highlighting the growth in customs activity, Revenue Commissioner and Director-General of customs, Gerry Harrahill, said:

“2022 was another very busy year from a customs perspective reflecting the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU on 1 January 2021 and the broad and wide-ranging international dimension of the supply chain in respect of goods imported into Ireland. The growth in online purchases has been a particular feature since the Covid-19 pandemic and has continued unabated. Where these purchases originate from outside the EU, like all other non-EU goods, their import is subject to customs formalities, and this is also reflected in the increase in customs declarations. Revenue processed 40.2 million customs declarations in 2022, an increase of 58% on 2021 declarations.

Customs duty collected in the year was €0.64 billion, up €110 million or 21% on the previous year. Of the €0.64 billion customs duty collected, €0.28 billion is in respect of imports from the UK indicating that businesses by and large have successfully adapted to the customs formalities that govern the trading relationship with the UK. Revenue is fully committed to supporting businesses to meet their customs obligations, to facilitate legitimate trade to move as efficiently and speedily as possible and to identify, risk assess and interrupt illegitimate trade.”

Returning to the theme of strong voluntary compliance levels, Mr. Cody said:

“Businesses, taxpayers and tax practitioners should always be mindful of the importance of making sure that tax returns and payments are made on time. That importance is underlined by the requirement for tax compliance by businesses that want to avail of State support schemes, including the TBESS. Additionally, continued eligibility for the debt warehouse is dependent on current returns and payments being up to date. This requirement ensures that businesses who are tax compliant are not at a disadvantage to those who are not.

In this context, following the suspension of general debt enforcement during the pandemic, we resumed normal debt enforcement activities in 2022, including referral to the Sheriff, enforcement through the Courts process and attachment. We do, of course, understand that businesses can have temporary cash-flow difficulties. In those circumstances, the important thing is to file the required tax returns and engage with us early. We have a proven record of engaging successfully with viable businesses who have temporary cash flow difficulties.”

Mr. Cody concluded by saying:

“2022 was another year of unprecedented challenges. Revenue continues to meet these challenges, and this is due in no small part to our people who demonstrate resilience, commitment and professionalism at all times. I acknowledge and thank our staff for their engagement and dedication. Their professionalism has once again ensured we have delivered another year of high performance.”

Separately, today (05/01/2023), Revenue published the first weekly statistical report in relation to the TBESS. The report is available on the Revenue website.