Home > Uncategorized > Tax Evasion by the Irish Super-Rich (With Assistance of Government)

Tax Evasion by the Irish Super-Rich (With Assistance of Government)

(SEE ALSO on this Blog:  SUPER-RICH IRISH AWASH WITH MONEY    http://wp.me/pKzXa-n4)

Only 13 Millionaire Tax Exiles Pay Up The Revenue.  Brian Lenihan introduced the Tax , NOONAN/BURTON LEFT IT TO WITHER ON THE VINE As they Slashed the Diabled, Loan Parents, the lowly paid and those in Fuel Poverty!!!

“One small example of the mentality of these people towards paying their fair share is available in figures for the so-called Domicile Levy (Tax Exiles)”.

Time to make wealthy elite pay their dues

Time to Stop Government Savagery

Irish Examiner Tuesday, November 07, 2017     Michael Clifford

The latest tax avoidance revelations by wealthy companies and individuals should hopefully prompt greater action to make them pay their taxes.

One small example of the mentality of these people towards paying their fair share is available in figures for the so-called domicile levy.

This was introduced during the depths of the recession in 2009 to bring into the net tax exiles who pay little or no tax here.

The levy was for a relatively modest €200,000 for Irish domiciled people — either resident or non-resident — and who earned over €1m for the tax year.

In the first year of the levy, 2010, a total of 32 individuals stumped up, but by 2015, this had dropped to 13. Does anybody believe that such a low take-up reflects the number of individuals who would qualify for the levy?

Far more likely that hundreds of those who would qualify have found legitimate routes to avoid paying it. If that’s the attitude to a symbolic contribution to the national coffers, what lengths do these people go to in order to avoid serious taxes?

But of course, they tell themselves that they are paying their fair share, and are merely being “creative” and engaging in “tax planning” through the myriad of off-shore avoidance vehicles.



KENNY, Burton, Noonan, Howlin ETC  Allowed This Cruelty While PUBLIC INTEREST DIRECTOR OF AIB  LOOKED ON!!

Paradise Papers: AIB targeted Irish clients looking to avoid tax after bailout

Colm Keena, Irish Times,  Monday, November 6, 2017,

AIB, Ireland’s largest bank, continued to target Irish customers who wanted to avoid paying tax after it had been bailed out at a cost to the public of €7 billion, leaked documents show.

Leaked files from the Isle of Man (IOM) offices of offshore law firm Appleby reveal Government-owned AIB also refused to give the Revenue Commissioners access to data on its offshore customers when responding to a court order in 2015.

The customers of its offshore operations included former clients of Anglo Irish Bank in the Isle of Man, which had merged with AIB International Savings Ltd (ISL) in Douglas.

The offshore operation instead sought to have the data moved from the bank’s central server in the Republic to Jersey and the Isle of Man, to better provide for its clients’ confidentiality.

AIB ISL and AIB (CI) Ltd, which is based in Jersey, “declined to provide the consent requested and confirmed to AIB plc that the Irish Revenue Commissioners should follow established procedures under IOM and Jersey law should they wish to proceed to obtain any such information,” said a letter prepared by the law firm in the Isle of Man, for the two offshore banks.

The files show that when AIB was forming its unified group data system in 2006, AIB Offshore foresaw that such a development would create confidentiality issues for its high net worth customers if the Revenue was able to argue that the data held on the AIB server was under the “power, possession and procurement” of Dublin-based AIB plc.

A spokesman for the bank would not say whether it subsequently acceded to the Revenue Commissioners’ request.

The Isle Of Man, which disputes claims that it is a tax haven, has strong banking confidentiality laws.

Appleby has provided legal advice to AIB Offshore, as the Irish bank’s offshore business is called, for more than two decades, and more recently has been providing management services to the offshore branches following AIB’s decision in 2012 to close and wind down the business.

The Appleby documents, seen by The Irish Times as part of the Paradise Papers project organised through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, provide a unique insight into AIB Offshore’s battles with the Revenue Commissioners over the past 20 years.

They show that the bank changed its business model in 1998 to only accepting residents of Ireland who could avail of legitimate tax planning opportunities.

A note drafted prior to a board meeting of AIB IOM in 2004 broke the business into a pre-1998 model, from which period the bank continued to have “legacy” customers, and post-1998 when the offshore bank business become more focused on high net worth individuals who “legitimately” availed of the bank’s services.

The pre-1998 customers were “resident and domiciled in Ireland [and] may have a tax liability on income arising”, the note said.

“The vast majority of our Irish resident customers taken on since 1998 will have a tax planning rationale for holding an offshore account as AIB Bank (Isle of Man) Limited adopted a policy of only accepting non-domiciled residents of Ireland who could avail of legitimate tax planning opportunities.”

Attractive taxation position

An internal document dated 2006 said the offshore subsidiaries “provide services to Irish and UK resident non-domiciled individuals, most of whom are very wealthy and legitimately avail of offshore services due to the attractive taxation position that applies to them in Ireland and the UK”.

The documents show that the bank’s offshore arm continued to target Irish residents after it was taken into State ownership and hoped to generate business from existing AIB customers. Its offshore operations argued that they could continue to be a crucial source of deposits for the AIB group, pointing out that the AIB offshore subsidiaries, and the now-merged Anglo IOM branch, had combined deposits at their height of “almost €7 billion”.

Up to the time the decision was made to close it in 2012, AIB Offshore saw itself playing a crucial role in the AIB group by getting business from “high net worth individuals”, the vast bulk of whom would be doing business with the bank for “tax planning” reasons, the documents show. The resultant deposits could then be used by the group.

In a document prepared by AIB (CI) in 2011, prior to a meeting with the Jersey Financial Services Commission – which was at the time concerned about the stability of the AIB group – the offshore bank said it remained “a key provider of funding for AIB” with deposit balances peaking at £2.8 billion in June 2010, after which credit rating difficulties led to a sustained withdrawal of funds. By April 2011, deposits had fallen to £1.36 billion.

Opportunities existed for the merged Anglo/AIB offshore businesses in the expatriate market. “Leverage the strengths of both businesses in both pure deposit taking and transactional banking for ex pats,” the document said. “Gain larger share of worldwide ex-pat market to produce long term sticky retail deposits.” The bank would also “generate referrals from the AIB group for genuine ex-pats.”

The decision of the offshore operations to change their focus coincided with a clampdown by the Revenue on money held in the offshore arms of Irish banks following a number of well-publicised controversies.

The documents show it sparked a lengthy battle with, on one side, the offshore arms of the banks, arguing that they were separate legal entities operating under the laws of the offshore jurisdictions where they were located, while the Revenue sought to use the transaction links between AIB in the Republic and AIB Offshore to gain access to information held in the Republic about offshore trusts, deposits, and other offshore assets that were linked to Irish taxpayers.

While the data held offshore might be beyond the Revenue’s reach, details of many of the Irish owners of offshore trusts and deposits were traceable on the IT systems in the Republic as a result of so-called clearing transactions.

‘Qualified disclosure’

The leaked documents show that in December of 2003 the then group chief executive of AIB, Michael Buckley, wrote to the IOM subsidiary about the planned Revenue investigation into offshore assets and the Revenue’s suggestion that the banks write to customers advising them of the benefits of making a “qualified disclosure”.

The opportunities to grow the company in the future depended on the Irish authorities drawing a line under the ‘bad name’ offshore has in Ireland once and for all

A qualified disclosure is when the person with a tax liability approaches the Revenue before it has noticed the offender and begun its inquiry. The benefits of disclosure include avoiding the possibility of prosecution, having your name published, and certain penalties.

The IOM bank sought legal advice and in February 2004 met to discuss Buckley’s request. Chris Howland, managing director of AIB’s IOM branch, told the meeting that the case for acceding to Buckley’s request was compelling.

“This was because the opportunities to grow the company in the future depended on the Irish authorities drawing a line under the ‘bad name’ offshore has in Ireland once and for all.”

AIB in Dublin, he said, had indicated to him that this was the approach being taken by the Revenue. However, “in order to follow through, the Revenue Commissioners had to produce a satisfactory outcome for the [Dáil] Public Accounts Committee from the requests made to the onshore parent companies regarding their subsidiaries”.

That it would be good “to have the matter sorted once and for all” was a view echoed by the Assessor of Income Tax in the Isle of Man when he and the chief executive of the Financial Supervision Commission met with Howland and another AIB IOM director, Diarmuid Lynes, the meeting heard.

The Appleby documents, seen by The Irish Times as part of the Paradise Papers project organised through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, provide a unique insight into AIB Offshore’s battles with the Revenue Commissioners over the past 20 years. File photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg
The Appleby documents, seen by The Irish Times as part of the Paradise Papers project organised through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, provide a unique insight into AIB Offshore’s battles with the Revenue Commissioners over the past 20 years. File photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

“Mr Howland said that without a fundamental change in the attitude of the Irish authorities, the difficulties in sourcing business from the parent would be likely to remain. Set against this, the potential for growing the company’s business from customers of the parent who are leaving Ireland is of much greater significance than all of the company’s existing sources of business combined.”

Examining debits and credits

By 2005 the Revenue’s inquiries had led it to an account belonging to AIB (CI) with AIB Lansdowne Road, Dublin. A High Court order had been served on AIB and the Revenue was now examining debits and credits on the account above a certain threshold, with a view to identifying AIB customers in the Republic who had dealings with AIB (CI)’s operations in Jersey and IOM.

Rory Farren, then head of operations with AIB Offshore, wrote to senior management of the unit in May 2005 to update them as to what was happening. Where people who made drawings from or lodgments to the account, did so using accounts with AIB in the Republic, identifying them would be achievable, he warned. Where non-AIB accounts were used to cash cheques from the account, that information would also be given to the Revenue. About 5,000 customers affected by the Revenue’s inquiry were to be written to, he said.

Farren advised his colleagues that Revenue was also going to seek court orders in relation to two other accounts held in the Lansdowne Road branch, one belonging to AIB (CI) and the other to AIB in the IOM. The Revenue was also going to seek court orders concerning all AIB accounts held by the offshore subsidiaries with the bank in the Republic in the period 1991 to date, commencing with the two offshore banks’ “vostro” accounts with the AIB in the Irish Financial Services Centre.

Vostro accounts are accounts held by a foreign bank with a domestic bank. Farren’s note included data on recent transactions across the Vostro accounts. In the period 2000 to May 2005, there were outward payments of €1.17 billion from the IOM vostro account, and €1.12 billion from the Jersey vostro account. In relation to both operations, there was a sharp jump in the value of the outward payments in 2004 in comparison with other years. That was the year the Revenue began its offshore products investigation. The total number of outward payments during the period was 72,484.

The leaked files show that the Revenue’s investigations of AIB’s offshore operations created difficulties for the bank’s desire to establish a group-wide IT and data handling system.

In 2006, AIB was introducing a centralised transaction processing and data storage capability in the Republic. In February of that year, Ray O’Connor, the head of group taxation with AIB in Dublin, wrote to Howland in the IOM suggesting that they get legal advice on whether outsourcing their data to the Republic might create a risk for the offshore branch.

“Under current Irish legislation, one relevant point is whether the data could be within the ‘power, possession and procurement’ of AIB plc and therefore within the scope of a potential information request from Revenue. This is not a simple legal principle and would be worthy of discussion between your advisers, [AIB law agent] Bryan Sheridan, and myself,” O’Connor wrote.

‘Significantly repositioned’

Two months later the IOM branch drafted a note on the matter. “The offshore business has been significantly repositioned over the past ten years,” it said. “As a result, banking services are not available to Irish or UK resident, ordinary resident and domiciled individuals. However, in common with other banks, there is a small legacy client base.”

The business now provided services to Irish and UK resident, non-domiciled individuals, most of whom were very wealthy and availed of offshore services due to the attractive taxation position which applies to them in Ireland and the UK.

Given the historic “offshore issues” in Ireland, the generally negative and aggressive press treatment of offshore, and the Irish tax authorities’ approach to this type of business, clients were keen to protect their confidentiality, the note said.

The leaked files give an insight into the sort of business done by AIB’s offshore arm

The location of data in Dublin about clients’ offshore activities could leave the bank exposed to suits from customers and “given the profile and the quality of many of these clients, this could result in significant damages and adverse consequences reputationally”. No access to customer information should be available to AIB in the Republic. “Only in this way can we protect the bank and its customers.”

The leaked files give an insight into the sort of business done by AIB’s offshore arm. A large percentage of the loans issued by AIB in Jersey and the Isle of Man were linked to property owned in the UK and the Republic. When the financial crisis hit, the value of these loans to the banks was severely diminished.

In April 2012, the then State-owned AIB announced it was winding down its operations in Jersey and IOM as part of its plan to become a smaller, domestically focused bank.

As part of the process of running down the two operations, Appleby was engaged to provide management services. The winding down involved dealing with depositors and managing the stressed loan book. Consideration was given to selling the loans, which included loans inherited from Anglo Irish Bank’s IOM operation, but when the loan book shrank in size, from £200 million to £123 million, this became commercially unattractive. So the loans were sold to AIB UK, by way of an operation christened “Project Nora”.

In banking terms a loan due to a bank is an asset, ie it has a value. During the crash, significant reductions in value, called haircuts, were applied to loans that were linked to property or property developers. The National Asset Management Agency paid €9 billion for AIB loans with a book value of €20.4 billion, which is a haircut of 56 per cent.

The leaked documents show that the AIB (CI) loans were sold to AIB (UK) for a price that involved a discount, or haircut, of 32 per cent, following an assessment of their value by PwC. A further 10 per cent discount was then applied to the loans to cover the future cost of administering the portfolio.

According to a note prepared for the board of AIB (UK), the loans were of “broadly acceptable quality, being secured primarily on residential property with a strong loan-to-value ratio.” The note also described the loans as “mainly non-complex property loans”.

As at the end of March 2013, the bulk of the loans were to property companies (£78 million) with personal advances being £24.3 million, home mortgages being £19.7 million, and miscellaneous being approximately £700,000.

Another note prepared for the UK bank said “the typical client base consisted of “UK/ROI domicile (expatriate) [high net worth] individuals and special purpose vehicles managed by trusts and investing surplus income in residential and commercial investment property”.

The note said the bank was working to mitigate the effect of the decision to wind down on its customers. AIB (CI) would remain the “lender of record”, meaning the loans would still be “offshore”.

“Customer tax arrangements will not be impacted. This has been agreed with local offshore tax authorities and KPMG.”

AIB UK, the note added, would be required to comply with the IOM and Jersey data protection laws. Customers who wished to bring their loans “onshore” could discuss this with the bank but customers who required new offshore lending “would be “required to take independent action”.

Deemed problematic

Since taking over the running down of the Isle of Man and Channel Islands businesses, Appleby produced quarterly reports on its work for AIB, including information on its efforts to run down the deposits, and deal with loans. There were accounts that were deemed problematic, including accounts where efforts to contact the owners of the money proved troublesome.

According to the report on AIB (CI) for the third quarter of 2015, the bank’s former IOM and Jersey branches had £6.48 million on deposit for customers who could not be contacted. A further £6 million was in accounts where contact had been made but the client was unresponsive. Suspicious activity reports were to be made in some cases where contacts with the owners of deposits had been made but no steps taken to withdraw the funds.

A spokesman for AIB did not respond to questions about the role played over the years by AIB Offshore, when asked to comment.

“Arising from the recapitalisation and restructuring of AIB, and the European Commission decision on State Aid, it was decided to wind down AIB ISL Limited and AIB CI Limited in 2012,” he said.

The banking licence of both companies was terminated and the administration of both, which is a legal and regulatory requirement as part of the orderly wind down of the banking operations, was migrated to and continues to be carried out by two companies, Estera Trust (Isle of Man) Limited and Estera Trust (Jersey) Limited. The Estera companies were part of the Appleby group until a management buy-out in December 2015.














The 850 Irish Millionaires declared combined incomes of €2.8 billion, or almost €3.4 million each in 2015

All these Millionaires will benefit in full from Government plan to raise threshold for entry to higher income tax band. Those who are self-employed will benefit even more.

Those on less than 33,800 per year (half the work-force) will not benefit at all

Sunday Times 24/09/2017

“Irish millionaires

The Sunday Times also reports that Ireland is home to 850 millionaires, according to the latest figures from the Revenue Commissioners. The number is up 40 per cent in two years. The 850 declared combined incomes of €2.8 billion, or almost €3.4 million each in 2015.”


Calculation Below: TOP 5% of Earners To Get 58.7 Million in Budget

Government Promises Significant Income Tax Concessions to the Rich but None

 to the Poor in Budget at Fine Gael “Think-In”


1)Threshold above which 40% Marginal rate of income tax applies is increased by 2000Euro. Current threshold is 33,800 for a separate earner and 42,800 for a couple with one earner

2)The self-employed tax credit will be increased by 400 Euro as it was last year

3) There will be no other changes to income tax or USC

4) There are 110,000 taxation units in the top 5% of earners. The average income of these units is 186,000 Euro per year stretching from over 100,000Euro per year to over 2 million Euro per year. A taxation unit is either a separate earner or a couple with one income

5) One Third of top 5% of earners(average income of 186,000) are self employed



This is because their income are below the current thresholds of 33,800(separate earner) or 42,800(couple with one income ). These account for approximately  50% of all earners.

This is grossly unfair

The Top 5% of Earners will each gain  20% of 2000 Euro

Total Gain=110,000 x 400=44 million Euro

Increase in self-employed Tax Credit

Number of Self-Employed in top 5%=110,000/3=36,666

Total Gain  36,666 x  400=14,666,400=14.7 million euro


TOTAL GAIN OF TOP 5% from both Measures=58.7 million Euro T

The many low earning self-employed will rightly get 400 Euro Each if they pay tax. But lowly paid employees will get nothing.

Will Trade Union Leaders allow the discrimination against lowly paid employees to happen?


Government Telling Lies Again This Year on Income Tax Changes!

Government says it will provide tax reductions to those “on Low and Middle Incomes” by increasing the Income Threshold above which the 40% higher rate applies.


The 59% of earners (1.3 million) below the current threshold of 33,800 Euro per year will get no benefit whatsoever.

If the threshold is increased by 2000 Euro,, The 1% earning from 200,000 to 2 million per year (22,000) will get 8.8 million Euro between them !This is part of the 46.2 million Euro going to those over 100,000 Euro per year.

In the last two budgets governments claimed that the tax/usc reductions would “be “capped” at 70,000 per year to maximise the benefits to those on low and middle incomes. Butt hey did not tell us that “capped” did not mean that those above 70,000 per year would get no relief. They would get the same as a person on 70,000.

Income Tax and USC Relief To top 5% on High Incomes Over Two Most Recent Budgets Totalled  172 Million Euro



Government Refuses to DEFINITIVELY Close TAX LOOPHOLE USED BY SUPER-RICH TO AVOID 500 Million in Tax

Avoidance to continue While Super-Rich Appeal Circuit Court Decision to High Court

Deputy Seamus Healy  asked the Minister for Finance if he plans to legislate before the summer recess to make certain that a tax-avoidance loophole cannot continue in view of the report in a newspaper (SB POST).  [31794/17]  –This tax scam matter needs to be tackled urgently. It needs to be dealt with through legislation and this should be done before the recess.

Deputy Paschal Donohoe:   This matter is being tackled and dealt with by the Revenue Commissioners.

Full Dáil Exchange Further Down


200  Irish Super-Rich Individuals (including household names) Evaded 500 million in Tax  !-Sunday Business Post 25/06/2017

Will the Government legislate to close the loop-hole identified by the revenue commissioners now so that  the money-bags cannot continue to benefit while they appeal?

” The Circuit Court in an in-camera (secret-PH) hearing, found that the scheme fell outside the tax code. The tax-avoidance scheme had previously been judged by the Tax Appeals Commissioner. The commissioner had found in favour of the scheme, but then ruled against it, following an appeal by the Revenue Commissioners. The matter was then appealed to the Circuit Court and will now be appealed to the High Court” (by the 200 super-rich-PH) -SB POST

Unlike most Citizens they can afford to appeal again and again!

Why was the case heard in secret?

Will the High Court and following that the Supreme Court Case be also held in private?

No Coverage on Radio, TV, Irish Independent, Irish Times


Government Allows Super-Rich Tax Scam To Continue Pending Appeal(s) By 200 High Net Worth Individuals

Dáil Report  05/07/2017 Tax Avoidance

  1. Deputy Seamus Healy   asked the Minister for Finance   his plans to legislate before the summer recess to make certain that a tax-avoidance loophole cannot continue in view of the report in a newspaper (details supplied).  [31794/17]

Deputy Seamus Healy:   Since 2011, up to 200 high net worth individuals, in other words wealthy and powerful people in society, including many household names, have been involved in a tax scam allowing them to avoid paying up to €500 million in tax. This involves the transfer of valuable rights attaching to shares in a company to shares owned by its members. I ask the Minister to put a stop to this once and for all by bringing in legislation before the recess to make sure this scam cannot continue.

Deputy Paschal Donohoe:   I assume the Deputy is referring to a recent Circuit Court decision regarding the tax treatment of the transfer of share rights from a company to its shareholders. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that section 130(3)(a) of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides that the transfer of an asset by a company to its members constitutes a distribution for tax purposes. In regard to the case in question, the view of the Revenue Commissioners is that the transfer of rights attaching to shares owned by a company to shares owned by its members amounts to a transfer of an asset and, as such, is a distribution pursuant to section 130(3)(a).

Both the appeal commissioner and the Circuit Court have ruled in favour of the Revenue Commissioners and determined that the transfer of share rights is chargeable to income tax as a distribution in the way I have outlined. It is, therefore, considered by the Revenue Commissioners that the current legislation operates as intended and is sufficiently robust to provide for distribution treatment on such share rights transfers. The Revenue Commissioners will continue to challenge taxpayers who attempt to extract cash from companies in a tax-free manner.

The Revenue Commissioners carry out a robust programme of compliance interventions to minimise the burden on the compliant taxpayer and tackle the non-compliant taxpayer. This involves taking account of all risks that apply to a taxpayer across all taxes and duties. The role of the Revenue Commissioners is to recover any unpaid tax or duty along with interest and penalties.

The anti-avoidance units of the Revenue Commissioners specifically deals with the identification and challenging of aggressive tax-avoidance schemes in the way I have outlined.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   I am simply not happy with the Minister’s reply. My question relates to the future. (TAX APPEALS COMMISSIONER ORIGINALLY FOUND IN FAVOUR OF The SUPER_RICH 200)We understand that this matter has been before the courts. The Circuit Court has found in favour of the Revenue Commissioners but we are aware that there is an appeal pending. We obviously cannot interfere with what happens in the courts but what happens in the future is not a matter for the courts; it is a matter for the Government. It is the responsibility of the Government to introduce legislation to ensure this loophole is closed, and closed for all time. I asked the Minister to do that again.

It is important to remember that the individuals involved are household names. They are very wealthy and powerful and are part of a group with significant financial assets, amounting to €37 billion more than at peak-boom levels. They have done very well out of the recession and the recovery. There is no doubt they have used their position in this regard effectively to be part of a scam against the State and the public generally.

Deputy Paschal Donohoe:   The answer to the question is contained in the Deputy’s own statement. Look at what happened. The Revenue Commissioners became aware of a matter and issued amended tax assessments in regard to it. A challenge was brought to the appeals commissioner and the Revenue Commissioners won. They were then brought to the Circuit Court, where they also won. There was a further appeal. That appeal was heard and the Revenue Commissioners won. Therefore, at each stage of this process when the Revenue Commissioners became aware of this issue and took action thereon, on which action it has been challenged, the law they have used and the way in which they have acted have been upheld. For those reasons, the Revenue Commissioners have advised me that no change to the law is needed as its position is being upheld. As the Deputy will be aware, in the Finance Acts 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, action was taken on the advice of the Revenue Commissioners and others to deal with the issue of tax avoidance.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   Again, what I am referring to is the future. It is a matter for the Government to ensure that the activity in question is precluded in the future. The Minister referred to budgets in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Issues arose in those budgets since the profits of banks are now not taxable until 2047. The question of the taxing of vulture funds was addressed in those budgets.(There will be no Capital Gains Tax on Vulture purchases if the property is retained for 5 years-even if it remains empty)

This tax scam matter needs to be tackled urgently. It needs to be dealt with through legislation and this should be done before the recess.

Deputy Paschal Donohoe:   This matter is being tackled and dealt with by the Revenue Commissioners.



Revenue windfall from high net worth individuals

Gordon Deegan Irish Times  Friday, June 30, 2017, 18:11

Eighty two high net worth individuals face a potential tax liability of €43.8 million before interest and penalties.

An investigation by the Revenue Commissioners’ large cases division has identified a number of cases where taxpayers had structured their tax affairs in such a way that they extracted large amounts of cash from profitable trading companies without paying any tax.

In a written Dáil reply to Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath on the issue, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the Revenue investigation, dating back to 2011, had identified 120 individuals who had taken cash from their companies in this way.

He said a circuit court decision last year regarding the tax treatment of the transfer of share rights from a company to its shareholders has upheld the Revenue’s view that income tax was due on these transactions.

Minister Donohoe said that “82 cases remain open and the amount of tax at stake in these cases amounts to approximately €43.8 million, based on the transfer of share rights valued at over €100 million”.

He said: “It is not possible to quantify the amount of interest and penalties that may become due in relation to the outstanding tax should Revenue be successful in these cases, but any interest and penalties that become due will be calculated in accordance with the relevant legislation.

“As the taxpayers involved are awaiting dates for hearings of their own tax appeals, it is not possible to specify the timeframe for receipt of any such tax, interest and penalties.”

The minister said that, since 2014, a number of taxpayers involved had come forward to settle their cases. The yield in those cases, comprising tax, interest and penalties, amounted to €11.8 million.

Others are currently engaging with Revenue with a view to settling their cases and payments on account have been made in a number of cases amounting to €937,000.

The Minister said the scheme worked primarily by the transfer of valuable rights attaching to shares owned by a company to shares owned by its members.

“Revenue’s view is that the movement in rights attaching to a class of shares owned by a company to a class of shares owned by its members is a transaction chargeable to income tax as a distribution pursuant to section 130(3)(a) of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997.

Revenue has raised amended income tax assessments on the taxpayers involved on this basis, the Minister said, and a number of those taxpayers appealed the Revenue assessments to the Appeal Commissioners.

One of the appeals was heard before an Appeal Commissioner last year and the Commissioner determined that the transfer was chargeable to income tax.

The appellant subsequently sought a rehearing of the appeal before the Circuit Court but the court also determined that the transfer was chargeable to income tax.

Minister Donohoe said: “The appellant in the aforementioned case has requested a case stated to the High Court.”

© 2017 irishtimes.com


Why Doesn’t the Government cancel the concession to the super-rich, end the lock-out and re-open the schools?

Income Tax and USC Relief To  High Incomes Over Two Most Recent Budgets Totalled  172 Million Euro

Government Concession to Top 5% of Income recipients (110,000 units) with average incomes of 186,000 EU per year

( Assuming One third of units or c. 37,000 in this high Income bracket  are self-employed- There were 85,000 self-employed with paid employees and 231,000 without employees active in irish economy in 2014)

Budget 2017

                Employee Gain 353 Eu    Self Employed Gain  753 eu

Top 5 %   Average income 186,000 Eu  Number of Units    110,000                Tot Gain

Employees              73,333               25,886,549

Self-employed               36,667              27,610,251

All                                                 53,496,800


Budget 2016


Employee Gain 902 Eu    Self Employed Gain    1452Eu

Employees          73,333                 66,146,366

Self-Employed        36,667               53,240,484

All                  119,386,850


Concession To Top 5%  Over  2 Years     All               172,883,650


Irish Economy 2014: Number of employees remains below bailout quarter of 2010
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
May 27, 2014 – 6:08 AM
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Printer friendly page

All self-employed       318.3

Employees(Including Schemes)                    1,541.2

Schemes                                                              85.0

Actual Employees                                                       1,456.2

Actual Self Employed +Actual Employees    =        1,774.5

% Self-Employed                                            =  18%


Budget First Time  Buyer Scheme immediately Drives up House Prices-Developers, Auctioneers are the only ones to Benefit as Widely Predicted

“Within hours of the Budget speech, a number of houses advertised on property websites jumped by between €17,000 and €45,000.

The Irish Independent identified three new homes, whose purchasers will qualify for the new scheme, which rose in price.”  Irish Independent  14/10/2016


Minister Noonan: Tax and USC reductions have been targeted at those on low and middle incomes”


Full Text of Budget Speech of Seamus Healy TD  Below

Those over an annual income of 70,000 Euro are getting 146 million  in Tax/USC Relief or almost 50% out of total relief of 300 million in Budget

The 300,000 over 70,000EU per year are getting at least 40 million more in tax relief than the 324,000 in the 30,000 to 40,000 category (average industrial wage 36,500).

A TD is getting an extra 7 euro per week from Jan 1

 A person on average industrial wage(36,500 per year) is getting an extra 3.42 Euro per week

A person on minimum wage (18,720 per year) is getting Tax/USC relief of 2 Euro per week

 A rich business person on 200,000 per year is getting 14.5 euro per week from Jan 1

An adult social welfare recipient including pensioners is getting a social welfare increase 5 Euro from March 1 which is equivalent to 4 Euro per week from Jan 1

Budget Speech-Seamus Healy TD

Listen Live on you tube https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ftt9wX2daRI

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy In his Budget Statement, the Minister, Deputy Donohoe, told us the budget will create a fairer society. This is dishonest claptrap. The budget maintains and widens the rich-poor gap in our society. Under the tax and the universal social charge changes alone, the wealthiest 5% of people in our society, those on average incomes of €186,000 a year, will get a €15 per week increase and, of course, they will get it from 1 January. They are not subject to any wealth tax and neither are they subject to any assets tax, even though net financial assets have increased and are now higher than peak boom levels. They have increased threefold from €69 billion in 2008 to €192 billion in 2015.

The budget also provides for outrageous increases to politicians, to which I am opposed. It provides for an increase of €15,000 for the Taoiseach of the day, an increase of €11,000 per annum for a Minister and €5,500 for a Deputy in the House. Compare this to how our old age pensioners were treated in the budget. Pensioners on a little over €12,000 per annum will receive an increase of €5 a week, but not until March. This is less than what they received last year. Despite the promises of the so-called Independence Alliance, there is no return of the telephone allowance, no increase in fuel allowance, no increase in the household benefits package and no increase in the living alone allowance.

This budget is socially divisive and deeply unfair.

It means that a total of 750,000 people continue to live in poverty in this country; one in five children will live in households with incomes below the poverty line; one in four of those living in poverty is a child; almost 20% of those whose income is below the poverty line are working and they are the working poor; since 2007 the deprivation rate has almost doubled; and, therefore, that 1.3 million or 29% of the population live in a state of deprivation. This budget, once again, protects and supports the rich and powerful in our society while low, middle income and poor families are doomed to live from hand to mouth.

This budget is a pretence. In it, the Government is pretending to determine public expenditure and taxation in the State. The reality is that revenue from all sources will be approximately €50 billion. The House is determining the disposal of only less than €2 billion or 4% of the total. The EU powers, through the fiscal treaty, have determined the disposal of the other 96%. The charade being enacted here tonight flies in the face of the 1916 Proclamation, which declared “the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible”. The Government, similar to the outgoing Government, has sold our sovereignty to the EU.

The Minister for Finance recently told the Committee of Public Accounts that the EU powers insisted on the rapid sell-off of NAMA properties, even though retaining them would have led to higher prices being achieved for the taxpayer. Together with the sell-off of assets by banks, it is probable that there is now greater foreign ownership of Irish assets than when British landlords owned all the land. Effectively there is no sovereignty residing in the State.

The various proposals in the budget in respect of health, housing and education are grossly inadequate. Housing is a fundamental right of human beings, but, shamefully, the Taoiseach has written to the EU seeking permission to borrow the money required to build social housing. Ireland does not have even the sovereignty to house its own people. The Government has also refused to formally declare a housing emergency, something that is necessary to deal with the housing crisis. It is essential under the Constitution but the Government through banks it owns, other banks, and landlords, including vulture funds, is continuing to evict people. As a result, unfortunate families have been devastated by suicides.

Unnecessary deaths will continue in our hospitals despite heroic efforts by staff. According to the Irish Medical Organisation, IMO, hospitals are now operating in “the death zone” where occupancy levels are in many cases more than 92.5%, which is leading to significant increases in mortality rates. Despite the intense efforts of front-line staff, in particular, once occupancy rates reach this level, deaths occur that would not otherwise happen. Ireland needs an additional 3,500 inpatient hospital beds immediately to bring us in line with the western European average. By abiding by the fiscal treaty, the Government is causing unnecessary deaths and unnecessary pain.

With regard to education, class sizes in the primary sector are the highest in the eurozone. The programme for Government makes a specific commitment to smaller classes, but the budget proposals are inadequate. The pre-cut capitation rate should be restored immediately. In primary and second level schools, the full pre-cut quota of assistant principal and special duties posts must be restored in the interest of pupils. Our third level system is grossly underfunded and being continuously damaged. Today’s measures are grossly inadequate to solve these problems.

At a time the Government cannot deliver safe hospitalisation or housing, or halt evictions and related suicides, it is farcical that an additional €255 million must be contributed to the EU budget this year. In his presentation to the Committee on Budgetary Oversight, the Minister for Finance confirmed that the financial emergency is over. This was also recently re-certified by the Minister for the Public Expenditure and Reform. The confiscation of public service pensions under the FEMPI legislation is, therefore, unconstitutional. The right to private property of pensioners in their pensions must be fully restored immediately. This is not provided for in the budget. In addition, the pension reductions imposed on occupational pensioners in State bodies and in the private sector must be restored.

The budget is a joint effort by Fine Gael, the so-called Independent Alliance and Fianna Fáil. Fianna Fáil has taken responsibility for this shameful and socially divisive budget. The problems relating to health, education, housing, roads and various other public services will not be resolved until Irish sovereignty as set out in the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil of 1919 is re-established. This requires the political defeat of the austerity parties, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Labour Party, and those prepared to support or to coalesce with them in the framework of the fiscal treaty. It is important to recall what the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil said. It stated, “We declare in the words of the Irish Republican Proclamation the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be indefeasible, and in the language of our first President, Pádraig Mac Phiarais, we declare that the Nation’s sovereignty extends not only to all men and women of the Nation, but to all its material possessions, the Nation’s soil and all its resources, all the wealth and all the wealth-producing processes within the Nation, and with him we reaffirm [remember this] that all right to private property must be subordinated to the public right and welfare.” That sentence is particularly relevant to the housing crisis and the need immediately to formally declare a housing emergency.

Chris Johns   Irish Times   12/10/2016

Taking fiscal powers away from politicians and giving it to technocrats, similar to the way interest rates are now set by independent central bankers would appear to be an undemocratic step too far. But the reality is that we have done this already: the annual budget doesn’t matter much in the overall scheme of things – €1.3 billion is not that big a deal – because of rules set by Brussels. All of the furore is really the narcissism of small differences.


Government Covering-Up Names of Irish True Owners of Tax-Dodging Off-Shore Companies as Charities Call for Disclosure

Noonan is lobbied over Revelations in Panama Papers-Jack Horgan Jones, Sunday Business Post, May 1, 2016

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan is coming under pressure to force the publication of the true owners of companies which are used to shelter in revenue from taxation authorities.

A letter sent to Noonan by heads of some of Ireland’s biggest charities and tax reform campaigners, which has been seen by Sunday Business Post, calls on him to establish a register containing the names of true or “beneficial owners” of these companies.

The charities including Christian Aid, Oxfam Ireland, Trocaire and Social Justice Ireland, are calling on Noonan to establish a list as part of the transposition of EU anti-money laundering rules, which is currently ongoing.

It comes after this newspaper revealed last month that powerful lobby groups including the Law Society and the Irish Funds Industry Association, were seeking to restrict new rules around the disclosure of beneficial ownership.

The signatories (of the letter to Noonan rom the charities) are Father Sean Healy of Social Justice Ireland, Patricia King, the general Secretary of ICTU, Siobhan McGee, the chief executive of Action Aid and Jim Clarken, the chief executive of Oxfam, as well as the leaders of Christian Aid, ATTAC and Transparency Ireland.

In the letter, they argue that the transposition of the EU Directive “comes at a time of unprecedented public demand for increased transparency from corporations and individuals, and offers the government a timely opportunity  to respond to public anger at what was exposed by the Panama Papers.



Panama Papers and the Irish Super-Rich

“The leaked data includes more than 300 offshore companies linked with Irish addresses, hundreds of Irish shareholders and beneficial owners, and numerous cases of Irish passports used in Mosack’s due diligence process.

The ICIJ said early next month it will release names of the more than 214,000 offshore entities, as well as beneficiaries, shareholders and directors connected to them. An exact date has not been disclosed. The actual documents in the files will not be published.”–Colm Keena, Irish Times, 13/04/2016


State Intensely Lobbied by Funds Industry and Law Society not To Name Off-Shore Trust Holders

Sunday Business Post  April 10, 2016 Jack Horgan-Jones and Ian Guider

The state has come under intense pressure to water down new rules that would reveal the true owners of shell companies.

Such companies were shown by last week’s Panama Papers leak to have facilitated widespread tax shelters.

Lobby groups have been pressing the Department of Finance not to allow public access to a register of the owners of the so-called beneficial trusts.

Campaigners say a central register of those who own these trusts, which is required under a new EU law, would allow the Revenue Commissioners to discover if they are being used to evade tax.


John McManus: TDs have much to gain from publishing their tax return


Irish Times  Last Updated: Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 01:10  John Mc Manus

British prime minister David Cameron has been bounced into disclosing his tax returns by the Panama Papers revelations. His finance minister George Osborne has followed suit, as did mayor of London Boris Johnson. The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, has done likewise.

The expectation is that other well-heeled members of the British cabinet and campaigners in the Brexit referendum will come under pressure to do the same. Publishing your tax returns could well become a titillating fixture of British politics. The alarming trend towards tax transparency among UK politicians will – if nothing else – give the opposition on this side of the Irish Sea a stick with which to beat the government.

It is inevitable – if it has not already happened – that someone will call for Enda Kenny to make his tax affairs public should he succeed in putting together a government, if not before. And if his, then why not Micheál Martin’s?

But given our long and not so glorious tradition of accepting very low standards in public life, you have to wonder what difference it would make if our public representatives had to show us their tax returns?


Michael Lowry, whose complex tax affairs have become public knowledge by default, is a case in point. The Tipperary deputy is currently facing trial over allegations, which he denies, that he filed incorrect tax returns in 2003 and 2007.

During his long career he has featured in two tribunals of inquiry, an authorised officer’s inquiry into his refrigeration company, Garuda, a substantial Revenue inquiry that ended in 2007 only to be reprised two years ago, an ongoing inquiry by the Criminal Assets Bureau and numerous court hearings. All have involved public funds being spent on trying to find out what Lowry has been up to while holding public office.

From a tax perspective, the highlights include his availing of the 1993 tax amnesty without disclosing his offshore accounts. He also made a €1.4 million settlement with the Revenue.

Despite this – and to no great surprise – Lowry was elected on the first count in the recent election. He stood as an Independent – as he has done in the past five elections – but was quick to pledge his support for Fine Gael and Kenny.

His support for Kenny now seems to be taken as a given by Fine Gael in all of the possible scenarios that might see Kenny elected taoiseach this week or next. His name is first on commentators’ lists of Independents that would vote for Kenny and see him elected if Fianna Fáil abstain from the vote.

This is despite Kenny emphatically ruling out seeking the support of Lowry when it came to forming a government in the run-up to the election. He told Morning Ireland on Friday, February 5th, that “I will not have any dealings with Michael Lowry or any other Independent.”

Kenny’s ruling out of Lowry’s support came after he had been wrongfooted by Martin, who in a clever move ruled out relying on Lowry a few weeks earlier in the campaign.

Martin, of course, now finds himself relying on Lowry by proxy because his preferred outcome – a minority Fine Gael government – requires Lowry’s support.

So we have arrived at a situation where a politician whose tax record is something less than pristine – to put it mildly – will be an instrument in the formation of the next government.

Not only that, he is likely to be able to deliver for his “people”, as he likes to call them, over the duration of the government.

The read-across from this is that any Irish politician looking over his shoulder at developments in the UK should not worry.

Local dynamic

However, it is not that simple. Lowry is probably a one-off. A phenomenon built around a charisma that most of the urban elite cannot fathom, combined with a local dynamic that is equally baffling to outsiders.

Pragmatic self-interest must be one of the reasons – perhaps the main reason – why the people of Tipperary voted for him despite his chequered financial past. That is the essence of democracy. As things stand they have been vindicated in their choice.

The intriguing question is whether we would elect more politicians like Lowry if we were privy to the same sort of information about their financial affairs. Maybe we don’t want to go there.

We might not like what find.




Fine Gael to promise further USC reductions if re-elected

Fiach Kelly

Irish Times Monday, November 23, 2015, 01:00

Fine Gael is to promise voters it will further reduce the main rate of the universal social charge in its first budget if returned to office after the general election.

The promise is expected to be a key element of the party’s general election manifesto and will be outlined by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in a pre-election message to Fine Gael members this week.

The move follows Mr Kenny’s commitment to abolish the USC in its entirety during the lifetime of the next government, and shows that Fine Gael will immediately position itself in favour of tax cuts over increases in public spending.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has estimated that the so-called fiscal space, the amount of money available for tax cuts and spending increases, available for the 2017 budget will be significantly less than the €1.5 billion package for next year announced in October.

Initial estimates are that as little as €500 million could be available for 2017, although Ministers and Coalition sources have said this is a conservative figure.

Rate of USC

The main rate of USC drops from 7 per cent to 5.5 per cent from January, following changes announced in Budget 2016, and Fine Gael’s commitment will be to reduce it further in the next budget, although the exact level of reduction has not been finalised.

The rate applies on earnings between €18,600 and €70,000.

The Revenue Commissioners estimate a 1 per cent decrease in the 5.5 per cent USC rate will cost the State €253 million in the first year and €348 million in a full year.

Fine Gael sources have indicated its manifesto will also contain measures to broaden the tax base, raising the prospect of increasing other taxes to pay for the USC reductions.

Echoing the Conservative Party campaign in this year’s British general election, Fine Gael will emphasise its “long- term economic plan”, with a cut to the main rate of USC as an immediate offering to voters.

The recovery

While the USC cut in next year’s budget is being cast by one source as a “short-term step to keep the recovery going”, there will also be “longer-term plans to rebuild services and end the boom-and-bust cycles that wrecked the Irish economy twice in the last generation”.

The manifesto will outline steps to be taken over the next decade to sustain “steady growth and sensible management of the public finances on jobs, public services and incomes, not just over the life of the next government”.

Mr Kenny will also this week announce the establishment of a team to finalise the plan, as Fine Gael sets out a distinct election position.

Mr Noonan will lead these efforts, along with Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, and Simon Harris, Minister of State at the Department of Finance, who will focus on issues affecting younger people, such as housing, personal tax and emigration.

Initial Department of Finance estimates outlined by Mr Noonan to the Dáil had suggested that as little as €500 million will be available for tax cuts and spending increases in the next budget.

The figures show how pressures on spending from an ageing population and pay rises agreed under the Lansdowne Road deal will reduce the room for manoeuvre of the next government.

High earners ‘benefit most from tax changes in the Budget’—TASC

More than half the income gains of the last five years have gone to the top tenth of earners, a think tank has stated. 

Irish Examiner Monday, November 09, 2015 – 01:12 am

More than half the income gains of the last five years have gone to the top tenth of earners, a think tank has stated.

Think-tank for Action on Social Change (TASC) added that falling public spending will undermine the ability of public services to deal with social crises.

TASC policy analyst Cormac Staunton said: “While income tax and Universal Social Charge mitigate this, the regressive nature of the tax changes announced in Budget 2016 give the greatest benefit to higher earners, and undermine the ability of the tax system to deal with rising market inequality.”

The report said three-quarters of the pre-tax income gains in the last five years have gone to those earning €70,000 and above.

Key findings of the analysis include:

* A single earner on €70,000 will gain €902 per year which is 2% of their take home pay.

* A single person on a middle income of €25,000 will gain €227 for the year, about 1% of their take-home pay.

* A person on €35,000 will gain €377 – just over 30 per month or 1.3% of their take home pay.

In the run up to the Budget, TASC recommended focusing on increased public spending rather than on tax cuts.

Report co-author and TASC policy analyst Dr Rory Hearne said: “While there are some welcome announcements, particularly in the area of childcare, the increase in spending is insufficient to address the various social crises and austerity-related underinvestment.

“The spending allocations for future years show that there are no plans for significant increases and that spending will in fact fall as a proportion of GDP.

“According to the Government’s own figures, by 2019 we are likely to end up with the lowest government expenditure in the EU at just over 30% of GDP, against a Euro area average that will be closer to 50%.”


As Top 5% on 180,000 each get 920 Euro Each

Economic and Social Research Institute Says Budget Will Do Nothing To Help The Poorest

The ESRI a says the budget will do nothing to help the poorest section of society, which made no real income gain as a result of its measures.

This group is generally not earning enough to benefit from tax or USC cuts, and there was no general increase in welfare rates, although there was a hike in the Christmas bonus.-Irish Times

BUDGET:As Water Charges and Home Tax continue, FG/Lab Give 100 million To the Top 5%

The USC package gives the top 5% of earners, 110,000 individuals earning over €180,000, an additional €922, costing the Exchequer almost €100 million or nearly twice what they were given last year. In contrast a low-paid worker on €18,000 gets a paltry €124 per year and someone on €25,000 gets a paltry €247 a year. An old age pensioner will get €3 a week or €156 a year, about one sixth of what a person on €180,000 is getting.

The ICTU, in its pre-budget submission had provided the government with a mechanism to confine tax relief to those on low and middle incomes-A USC tax credit for those individuals under 70,400 or 140,800 for a couple

And households, even the most needy, will be required to pay water charges and LPT on their homes.

And Noonan promised if re-elected to deliver the Kenny  bonanza out lined below to the super-rich,a reduction of over 2% in the marginal rate

Kenny’s Promise-Nobody Will Pay More Than Marginal Tax Rate of 50%- would give 140 million to top 10,000 Incomes 

Kennys Promise       < 50%    eg  49.5%  =   Income tax  38.5% + USC 7%+PRSI 4%

Full Calculation Below

Current Top Marginal Rate       40% Income tax +8%USC +4% PRSI on employee Income only=Total  52%

Assume lower tax band to be increased by 1000E as last year

USC For person on 595,000      Balance above 52,468=542,532 @1% reduction =5,425

Typical Private Sector Employee Pension Contribution    6%

Top 10,000 Average Income   595,000 (PQ Reply Ml Noonan)

Tax Band increased by 1000E       Net Gain    40-20=  20% of 1000=500E

Example :Gross income 595,000  Salary 495,000  Investment Income 100,000

Annual Gain of Single Person          13,982 Eur

Total Gain of Top 10,000                      139,820,000 Eur

 Tax Calculation   Single Person


    2015   2016
Annual salary (after pension contributions) 465,300 465,300
Social welfare pension 0 0
Investment income 100,000 100,000
Income from trade/profession 0 0
BIK – company car 0 0
BIK – preferential loans 0 0
BIK – other 0 0
Gross income 565,300 565,300
Tax payable 33,800 @ 20% 6,760 34,800 @ 20% 6,960
531,500 @ 40% 212,600 530,500 @ 38.5% 204,243
Total tax liability 219,360 211,203
Less: Personal tax credits (3,300) (3,300)
Less: Medical insurance relief (0) (0)
Net tax due 216,060 207,503
PRSI 23,800 23,800
Universal social charge 46,044 40,619
Local property tax 0 0
Water charges 0 0
Total deductions 285,904 271,922
Annual disposable income 279,396 293,378
Monthly disposable income 23,283 2,448
Weekly disposable income 5,373 5,803
2015/2014 Budget comparison
Annual Gain EUR 13,982
Monthly Gain EUR  1165

 Tighter measures net €60m more tax from high earners

More than 900 people with six-figure incomes were obliged to contribute more

Irish Times Aug 31  Carl O’Brien

Hundreds of high earners who tried to use tax breaks and shelters to maximise their income ended up paying over €60 million tax under measures introduced in recent years.

The high-income individual’s restriction was introduced following controversy that wealthy individuals were paying little or no tax.


RTE NEWS Monday Feb 9, 2015

Leaked documents from the Swiss branch of the HSBC bank show that 350 clients associated with Ireland held more than €3bn in accounts with the subsidiary.

Details from HSBC’s private bank in Switzerland show bankers advised clients on how to keep money hidden from national authorities.

It also offered deals to help tax dodgers to stay ahead of the law. The bank says it has now changed.

350 people associated with Ireland held 892 accounts with HSBC in Geneva worth a total of €3.1bn.

20 Irish account holders have since made settlements with the Revenue Commissioners worth over €4.5m.

Irish names in HSBC bank’s secret files

International clients include those involved in arms trade and blood diamonds

The bank’s management admitted that standards were not as they should have been in HSBC Geneva, but claiming that new management is working to improve the culture in the Swiss bank.

Colm Keena

Irish Times

Mon, Feb 9, 2015, 08:14

First published:Sun, Feb 8, 2015, 21:00

A huge cache of secret files from the Swiss branch of one of the world’s largest banks includes Irish people who made tax settlements with the Revenue Commissioners for more than €4.5 million. Other clients include arms dealers who sold munitions to African child soldiers, traffickers in blood diamonds, and associates of third world dictators.

The files, which cover accounts with HSBC Private Bank in Geneva holding more than $100 billion, have led to investigations around the globe resulting in massive tax settlements. They were given to the Revenue Commissioners by the French authorities in June 2010 and have now been seen by The Irish Times.

Since 2010, the information has led to 20 tax settlements here for a total of more than €4.5 million, and to three successful prosecutions for tax offences, with a fourth case pending.

However in contrast to the authorities in FranceBelgium andArgentina, the Revenue Commissioners decided that there was not enough evidence in the files to justify a case being taken against HSBC Private Bank, Geneva, on charges of aiding and abetting tax evasion.

One in eight of our super-rich are tax exiles, reveals Revenue

The official number of “tax exiles” is 10,781

While we await publication of the allegations of failure to investigate cases of tax evasion by high profile individuals by a senior civil servant, it is well to recall the information on tax evasion by the Irish rich which is already in the public domain.

Immediately below I carry an article from the Irish Independent in 2012 and further down there is a link to the Category A list of Ansbacher off-shore account holders from the Blog INDYMEDIA in 2009


Of the 450 “high wealth” individuals, 54 are resident abroad for tax purposes.

This is the first time the tax authorities have released figures relating to how many Irish tax exiles are in the super-rich league.

Revenue said that last year its “high wealth” section dealt with 450 individuals who have net assets worth more than €50m and non-residents with “substantial economic interests” in Ireland.

It said the “number of non-resident individuals that are considered by Revenue to be high-wealth individuals is currently 54”.

Membership of the “54” club is confidential. But some of Ireland’s biggest business figures are known to have moved their bases to generous foreign tax shelters. This means they only have to pay tax on Irish earnings and not on their worldwide income.

Denis O’Brien, the telecoms entrepreneur and significant stakeholder in Independent News & Media (INM), is tax resident in Malta. Dermot Desmond, the founder of NCB stockbrokers and another shareholder in INM, is tax resident in Gibraltar.

Michael Smurfit, the paper packaging tycoon, has moved to Monaco while the racehorse magnates JP McManus and John Magnier are both tax resident in Switzerland. The supergroup U2 moved part of their business from Ireland to Holland after the Government capped the tax exemption scheme for artists.

In contrast, Michael O’Leary, the Ryanair chief executive whose wealth is estimated at €438m by rich lists, famously said he is happy to pay his taxes here.

While the official number of “tax exiles” is 10,781, some are people who moved abroad, rent their homes and pay tax here on the rental income. Others are foreigners working for multinationals here, or who have investments here.

Collectively they generated €49m in tax last year although it’s not clear how much the super-rich club of 54 contributed.

The issue of tax exiles has riled the taxpaying public, according to recent research by the Labour Party which showed that tax exiles were one of the main issues exercising voters. The Government plans to examine the issue of tax exiles in the Budget, with Labour pressing to tighten up the residency rules.

To qualify as “non-resident”, they must spend less than 183 days a year in Ireland, or 280 days over two years.

Remember the Ansbacher Account Holders!!!

Category A List       http://www.indymedia.ie/article/7689?search_text=Ansbacher

Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. February 27, 2015 at 3:16 pm

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