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Irish tax authorities tighten offshore disclosure regime

Irish tax authorities tighten offshore disclosure regime

DUBLIN: The Irish tax authorities have issued new guidance on the disclosure of foreign income and assets, outlining changes to the voluntary disclosure rules that will prevent individuals from benefitting from lower penalty rates when the disclosure relates to offshore matters.

Revenue has pointed out that restrictions introduced in the Finance Act 2016 include a measure to preclude a person from making a disclosure that would otherwise be a qualifying disclosure if the disclosure relates to offshore matters. Currently, those eligible for a qualifying disclosure face reduced penalties for the underpaid tax, are not included in the list of tax defaulters, and are not subject to investigation with a view to criminal prosecution by Revenue

From 1 May 2017, it will no longer be possible to obtain the benefits of a qualifying disclosure if the matter relates either directly or indirectly to an account held or situated in a country or territory other than Ireland; income or gains arising from a source, or accruing, in a country or territory other than Ireland; or property situated in a country or territory other than Ireland.

In addition, Revenue guidance states that where there are liabilities arising within Ireland as well as liabilities relating to offshore matters, a qualifying disclosure will be unavailable in respect of all of those liabilities except in limited circumstances.

It will also mean that, from 1 May 2017, persons with liabilities involving offshore matters could be liable to higher penalty rates, the settlement could be liable for publication in the quarterly defaulters’ list, and the person concerned could be the subject of a criminal prosecution.