Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has called for the Offshore Assets Group of Revenue to fully investigate the information which is coming to light from the “HSBC leaks” files.

A dedicated unit of the Revenue Commissioners, the Offshore Assets Group, was set up in 2001 and to date has collected close to €1bn in taxes and penalties.

Deputy McGrath commented: “So far 20 Irish account holders have made settlements with the Revenue Commissioners worth over €4.5m relating to the Swiss branch of HSBC.  While this is a significant amount of money in itself it is relatively small in the context of the amount of money that has been found to be held offshore.  There may be scope for a considerable additional windfall for the Exchequer from a full investigation of the source of all funds held by Irish residents in these accounts and whether their tax liabilities have been fully met.  The unit must be resourced adequately to meet this need.

“Ordinary taxpayers have been shocked by revelations of elaborate tax evasion schemes conducted through a labyrinth of off shore arrangements.  They can reasonably expect that every effort is made to clamp down on this sort of activity and recoup the revenue that the State was denied.”