Revenue publishes headline results for 2023

Today (05/01/2024), Revenue published preliminary results for 2023, including tax and duty collected, services provided to customers, timely compliance rates and yield from a range of compliance and enforcement interventions.

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

2023 saw record tax receipts with Revenue collecting €87.2 billion in taxes and duties for the Exchequer. In addition, Revenue collected over €26 billion on behalf of other Departments, Agencies and EU Member States.

The record receipts for 2023 was underpinned by high timely compliance rates across all taxes. This reflects very positive engagement by businesses, individual taxpayers and agents with their tax compliance obligations. We acknowledge and thank all of them for their co-operation, which reflects the importance that society generally places on a strong culture of voluntary and timely tax compliance.

Revenue supports this culture by providing a wide range of services to make it as easy as possible for taxpayers to pay the right amount of tax at the right time, while also confronting and tackling non-compliance in all its forms. Our approach underpins effective and fair administration of tax and customs law, minimises costs for compliant taxpayers, ensures a level playing field for all businesses, facilitates legitimate trade, and protects society through effective frontier control.

The identification, targeting and disruption of shadow economy and other illegal activity such as smuggling, continues to be a key focus for Revenue. In 2023, Revenue seized almost 70 million cigarettes valued at over €55 million, and a record breaking 9,085 kilos of drugs with an estimated value of almost €302 million.

Commenting on the significant successes achieved through Revenue’s enforcement work in 2023, Revenue Commissioner and Director-General of Customs, Gerry Harrahill, remarked:

The significant level of drug seizures during 2023 included a high profile Joint Task Force operation in September, which comprised members of Revenue‘s Customs Service, Naval Service and An Garda Síochána, supported by Naval and Air Corps assets and interagency personnel, including the Irish Army Ranger Wing, resulted in the seizure of over €157 million worth of cocaine detected onboard the MV Matthew, several arrests and charges before the Courts. Other notable drug seizures during 2023 include the seizure of over €11 million worth of cocaine in Rosslare Europort in July, and approximately €21 million worth of cocaine in the Port of Foynes, Limerick, in December.

The exceptional results achieved in 2023 reflect the hard work and dedication of Revenue’s enforcement teams and the excellent working relationships we have with our national and international law enforcement partners. I would like to acknowledge the key role of all those who contribute to Revenue’s work in identifying criminality and disrupting and dismantling the core supply chains of those involved.

Revenue enforcement teams can deploy a range of resources in their essential work, including our mobile x-ray scanners and detector dog teams. The procurement of a new replacement Customs Cutter vessel will further enhance the quality of assets available to our teams. Additionally, our risk-based detection and intervention strategy, supported by the most modern real-time analytical capabilities and techniques, enables us to adapt the way in which we deploy our assets and capabilities in response to the increasingly inventive and complex smuggling methods and concealment techniques used by those involved in trading illicit goods and products.

Revenue’s work against drug crime is determined and multi-faceted and is kept under continuous review to ensure that it makes the most effective contribution possible to deal with this very serious criminality and illegal activity challenge.

Tackling tax and duty non-compliance in all forms and confronting those who use tax-avoidance schemes to gain an unfair advantage remains a key priority for Revenue. During 2023 Revenue  secured 21 criminal convictions for serious tax evasion and fraud, published 63 tax settlements in the List of Tax Defaulters and settled 85 tax avoidance cases yielding €16.5 million. During 2023 Revenue completed over 291,000 audit and compliance interventions which yielded €787 million.

Outside of the Debt Warehousing Scheme, a balance of €1.4 billion of unpaid taxes remains available for collection. Speaking about the debt available for collection and the importance of timely compliance, Revenue Commissioner, Ruth Kennedy, said:

The past four years have been a period of exceptional disruption in which we suspended our enforcement activity for a considerable period of time. This has had an impact on timeliness of payment and the levels of debt. At the end of 2019 the debt available for collection was €0.9 billion compared to €1.4 billion now. Our Debt Management System, which we developed in 2019, is now fully deployed in dealing with outstanding liabilities.

Where taxpayers experience challenges in being timely compliant, we strongly encourage them to engage with us as soon as such difficulties start to emerge so that a mutually agreeable solution that takes account of their financial circumstances can be agreed. In the absence of meaningful and timely engagement with Revenue, Revenue will proceed with appropriate collection and enforcement action to recover the debt.

Looking ahead to 2024, Mr Cody drew attention to some specific issues of importance or significance:

Revenue will be working with affected businesses and agents on the application of the minimum effective corporation tax (Pillar Two) rules for accounting periods beginning on or after 31 December 2023. Revenue will issue detailed guidance regarding the implementation of these rules, and actively develop the systems required to enable Pillar Two to be administered on a self-assessment basis. Additionally, Revenue will continue to contribute to ongoing discussions with the OECD, EU Commission and other relevant stakeholders.

Changes from Budget 2024 have also been implemented, and the next few months are the peak period for contacts from PAYE taxpayers.

Speaking about online services available to PAYE taxpayers, Commissioner Kennedy added:

Since the introduction of real-time payroll reporting, there has been a year-on-year increase in the number of taxpayers managing their own affairs through our MyAccount service. Already this week just under 200,000 have filed their 2023 Income Tax Return to claim credits such as health expenses and rent tax credit, and return additional non-PAYE income. This is a significant increase compared to the number who had filed their 2022 Income Tax Return at this stage last year. Individuals are also able to make any corrections or additions required to their Revenue record themselves through MyAccount - it’s quick, it’s easy and it’s free.

The Debt Warehousing Scheme provided a vital liquidity support to businesses from the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and businesses now have until 1 May 2024 to make arrangements to repay their warehoused debt. Speaking about the action now required by businesses that have availed of the scheme, Commissioner Kennedy advised:

Businesses with debt in the warehouse should start making realistic plans for dealing with this debt based on their individual circumstances. We are ready to work with businesses so that they can secure the viability of their business into the future while still meeting the requirements of the debt warehousing scheme, including the requirement that current liabilities are filed and paid on time.

Mr Cody concluded by saying:

2023 marked a century of Revenue’s dedication and commitment to serving Ireland, through the implementation and administration of effective tax and customs controls on behalf of the State.

2023 was also another year of exceptional performance. This would not have been possible without the professionalism and commitment of our people, and Commissioners Harrahill and Kennedy, and I, would like to acknowledge and thank all Revenue staff for their dedication and service. It provides an excellent platform with which to address the challenges and opportunities ahead for 2024.

[ENDS 05/01/2024] 

Headline Results 2023                                                           

Headline Results 2023 - Infographic                                   

Headline Results 2023 – Debt Collection and Debt Warehousing Scheme