OVER €1m has been removed this year from the bank accounts of Limerick businesses who have defaulted on tax.
That is according to new data relating to the end of May and released by Minister Michael Noonan.
Revenue has the power to place attachment orders on funds in bank accounts owned by companies with significant tax debts.
There have been referrals made relating to some €4.8m owed by 164 Limerick companies so far this year, of which just over €1m has already been collected by Revenue. Such attachment orders resulted in almost €750,000 in unpaid taxes being recouped from Limerick businesses in 2013 and €1.4m in 2012.
Fianna Fail’s Dara Calleary TD has complained that other firms who are owed money cannot get a look-in when the Revenue resorts to this “nuclear option” in chasing down those who owe tax.
But Minister Noonan said attachment orders were a last resort.
“Revenue has confirmed to me that it never deploys its enforcement powers, including attachment, without giving the taxpayer every opportunity to engage and agree mutually acceptable solutions, including phased payment arrangements. The enforcement process only commences when the caseworker has exhausted all other options to encourage voluntary compliance,” said Minister Noonan.