Revenue chases unpaid tax bills

In the High Court the Revenue Commissioners have become one of the biggest bankruptcy petitioners. The Revenue Commissioners are currently involved in 37 cases against people who refuse to pay their outstanding tax bills.

During 2008 the Revenue Commissioners were the petitioning creditor in just 3 bankruptcy cases, doubling to 6 during 2010 and has petitioned against 6 people since January alone this year. Publisher of Stubbs Gazette has said there has been a 17% increase in Revenue’s debt actions during the first 6 weeks of 2011 when compared with the same period last year.

According to figures released to Irish Independent 8 people were declared bankrupt during 2008, increasing to 29 during 2010 and so far this year 7 people have been made bankrupt. These figures compare to the79,000 people in Britain who were made bankrupt last year.

The traditionally low bankruptcy figures in Ireland reflect how unattractive bankruptcy is here. Bankrupts have to wait 12 years before they are discharged, compared to as little as 12 months under UK law. Under European Union Law people can file for bankruptcy anywhere in Europe if they relocate and prove that this location is now their “centre of main interest”. This has been termed ‘Bankruptcy Tourism’

For further information please contact Dylan Byrne, Partner, OSK

Reproduced courtesy of  24 February 2011 edition

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