Tag Archives: Revenue

Joy in heaven

I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.

That’s from the Gospel according to St Wikipedia.

Revenue’s figures, though, suggest that most of us are compliant, with around 99 per cent of taxpayers willingly handing over what the State believes is due.

Assuming this is true, the best way that Revenue can ensure the habit continues is to continue enforcing the rules effectively. Not because this scares people into paying, but because it reassures the vast majority who do that those who do not stand a good chance of being caught.

That’s from the Cantillon column in the Irish Times of 5 January 2019.

And to think that, just over four years ago, Cantillon was arguing for the continuance of a tax scheme under which 99 per cent of taxpayers were evaders. We rejoice at his or her conversion to the paths of righteousness.

Give that columnist a 99, Agent 99.


Tax evasion for boat-owners

Yes: it’s that time of year again, when the owners of diesel-powered private pleasure craft, or at least those of them who have been filling their boats with Marked Gas Oil, can decide whether to join the small elite who pay the Mineral Oil Tax or to stay with the vast majority who ignore the tax and thus become tax evaders. [I cannot see how non-payment could be classified as mere tax avoidance.]

Revenue has been so overcome by the numbers wishing to pay that it hasn’t actually got around to printing the form for 2018 (covering diesel bought in 2017), but I am told that last year’s form can be used. The tax is described here and the requisite form, PPN1, can be downloaded by clicking on “Related forms” on that page.


The crimefighting Shannon steamer

Limerick, May 26. This morning the Lady of the Shannon steam yacht towed up, in grand style, the Fox cutter, captured by the Vandeleur Revenue cruizer, Capt Hopkins, as stated in our last. She lies at the Custom-house quay, is a very fine vessel, clinker built, pierced for eight guns, which were thrown overboard, in chase, and is remarkably well found. Her cargo is supposed to consist of 1000 gallons of highly rectified Geneva, in 10 gallon casks — 20 hogsheads of tobacco, in bales and half-bales — and a large quantity of teas — amount not yet ascertained.

Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser 5 June 1818 [quoting Irish Papers]. From the British Newspaper Archive run by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited, in partnership with the British Library.

Green diesel: reasoned opinion [updated]

Some news on one of our favourite topics.

The European Commission has formally requested Ireland to amend its legislation to ensure that private pleasure boats can no longer buy lower taxed fuel intended for fishing boats. Under EU rules on fiscal marking for fuels, fuel that can benefit from a reduced tax rate has to be marked by coloured dye. Fishing vessels for example are allowed to benefit from fuel subject to a lower tax rate but private boats must use fuel subject to a standard rate. Currently, Ireland breaches EU law by allowing the use of marked fuel for the purposes of propelling private pleasure craft. As a consequence, private leisure boats can not only use fuel intended for fishing vessels, subject to a lower taxation, but also risk heavy penalties if they travel to another Member State and the ship is checked by the local authorities. The Commission’s request takes the form of a reasoned opinion. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer Ireland to the EU’s Court of Justice.

European Commission press release dated 16 April 2014, about three quarters of the way down the page.

Update: I see that the Irish Examiner noticed the EC statement. And NESC believes (sensibly) that green diesel should be scrapped altogether. Which won’t happen, because if you didn’t have unnecessary or ridiculous regulations Irish politicians wouldn’t be able to pretend to be doing something useful by playing with them.


Mineral Oil Tax returns for 2013

I have been pointing out for many years that the Mineral Oil Tax is paid by only a tiny minority of Irish boat-owners, although it should be paid by all those who use rebated (green) diesel for propulsion of private pleasure craft. You can read my previous postings here, here, here and here, with information on how to pay, in 2014, the tax due for 2013 here.

Twelve months ago I gave the figures for the years 2009–2012.

In 2010, 38 boat-owners paid the tax for 2009.

In 2011, 41 boat-owners paid the tax for 2010.

In 2012, 22 boat-owners paid the tax for 2011. The total amount received was €53,398.58 on 141,503.29 litres of diesel, an average of 6432.1 litres per return; I reckoned that much of that figure was accounted for by the hire fleets.

In 2013, 23 boat-owners paid the tax for 2012. The total amount received was €113,841.45 on 301,674 litres of diesel. I was unable to explain the increase.

I now have the latest figures. In 2014, 20 boat-owners paid the tax for 2013. The amount received was €105,561.74 on 279,842.4  litres of diesel. This is the smallest number of returns since the idiotic tax was introduced.

I have suggested to the Revenue Commissioners that they should compare the reported total number of litres of diesel bought with the total sales reported by those Licensed Marked Fuel Traders who sell at marinas. The licensing system has been in operation since October 2012 so Revenue should be able to determine the total sales for 2013 and compare them with the reported purchases. The match is unlikely to be exact but the orders of magnitude would be interesting. If Revenue releases the figures to me I will report them here.


List, list, O, list!

Yes: the list of holders of marked fuel traders’ licences [xls] has been updated several times since I last reported but I see no change that affects Shannon boaters.

Inland lifeboats to be exempt from VAT

Irish Water Safety has issued a press release [PDF] saying that the government is to introduce (or launch or make or pass or something) the Value-added tax (refund of tax) (rescue boats and related equipment) order 2013 which will allow inland community rescue boats to reclaim VAT on their purchases. Under the Value-Added Tax (Refund of Tax) (No 18) Order 1985, coastal community rescue boats have been able to reclaim VAT [PDF] but inland boats have not.

Portumna Water Rescue Service

Portumna Water Rescue Service

Irish Water Safety has a defined role in assessing the eligibility of community rescue boats for VAT exemptions; indeed its checklist and guidelines for community rescue services [PDF] are rather surprisingly headed Inspection for VAT Refund Certificate. The background is explained in another document Inshore Rescue Guidelines [PDF], which will presumably now be amended to include provision for inland boats. The “Declared Facility” boats [those approved and able to claim the VAT exemption] are listed here; there is also a list of other known rescue boats, some of which, being on inland waters, will now presumably apply to IWS for approval. Thus what is already a large rescue service will become even larger and more important.

I have photos of some of these boats on this page. I have none of the Corrib & Mask Rescue service, which I regret as today’s announcement was made on their turf and with their assistance. IWS says:

They will be the first Community Rescue Boat Ireland Lifeboat to be in a position to avail of this financial incentive.

Incidentally, I do not know whether the existing inland lifeboats operated by the Coast Guard and RNLI are affected by this or whether they could already reclaim VAT. If anyone can tell me, I’ll be glad to add the information here.

If …

… Revenue can operate a diesel rebate scheme for road hauliers and bus operators, why can’t it do the same for farmers?

And if it can do that, what further reason is there for the continued existence of marked (green) diesel?

It’s back!

The unmissable weekly read: the list of holders of marked fuel traders’ licences [xls] has returned! Life just wasn’t the same without it.

The list of Shannonside fuel traders is the same, though, at least as far as I can see.

Life gets tedious …

… don’t it, when there’s no 100-page list of holders of Marked Fuel Traders Licences to plough through. Revenue didn’t update the list last week; I attributed that to the Monday bank holiday. But there was no new list today either.

Given that I probably constitute 100% of the readers of the document, I feel I should Make Representations, In The Strongest Possible Terms.