Revenue Targets Overseas Property Owners
Revenue sources have detailed information on Irish tax payers that have sold investment property abroad.
Revenue officials are monitoring international property trasnactions in the hunt to find those Irish tax payers are filaing to declare the sale in Ireland where a profit has been made.
Irish Revenue are particular interested in looking at property sales in France, Spain and Portugal with other nations also falling under the radar.
Revenue believes there has been a surge in property sales by Irish investors, many of whom have seen their Irish assets erode in value as a result of the economic slump. Officials believe many investors might be tempted not to disclose the terms of the sales for tax purposes.
In addition to any capital gains tax on sales, Revenue is examining whether owners had declared the property for rental income while it was in their ownership. It will also investigate if any undeclared money was used to buy overseas property.
As part of its examination, the tax authority is studying foreign property registrations filed by Irish residents, as well as new property ownership registrations in areas favoured by Irish investors.
Revenue has been investigating the area of foreign property for some time now, and has previously sent letters to thousands of individuals who own foreign property.
However, up to now, efforts have focused on the purchase of property, rather than the sale.
As part of its work, the Revenue Commissioners obtained the names of thousands of Irish citizens holding overseas bank accounts several years ago. It is also working with tax officials in a number of overseas jurisdictions.
During the economic boom, Irish people were among the biggest buyers of foreign property in the world. Industry estimates put the number of Irish-owned foreign properties at between 150,000 and 250,000.