Attachment Order use increases

The Revenue Commissioners use of Attachment Orders  has increased, €100 million in the last three-and-a-half years has been collected as a result of the system.

An attachment order allows the Revenue Commissioners sweeping powers to seize money owed from bank accounts and earnings on any debt of over €50,000. The orders allow the Revenue go to directly to a a company’s bank or customers to demand the tax be paid.

A spokesperson for the Revenue commented.

“Revenue will normally apply this enforcement method when other enforcement options have failed to result in a change in the customer’s compliance behaviour or those enforcement options are very unlikely to lead to collection of the debt,” said the spokesperson.

“No more than any other enforcement power, attachment is not used lightly, or frequently, and the number of attachments used to date this year, 2,519, is relatively small in the context of some 600,000 business or self-assessed taxpayers.”

The number of attachment orders issued each year have increased since 2009, 3,200 attachment orders were made, recovering €22.2m. By 2011, this figure had climbed to 4,463 but the funds recovered was only €30.7m.

The Revenue has stated that it has always been prepared to enter into instalment arrangements with businesses that are fundamentally sound.

A spokesperson commented: “While Revenue will endeavour to work with a business or taxpayer towards resolving the issues giving rise to default, Revenue is not prepared to facilitate a business that continues to trade while running up an increasing level of tax debt. In such instances, enforcement action will follow promptly.”