In light of the collapse of Target Express, Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson, Michael McGrath, has said that Revenue must show a degree of forbearance and flexibility when businesses get into genuine difficulties with their taxation obligations.
Deputy McGrath stated: “The loss of 390 jobs on the island of Ireland following the collapse of Target Express is a very serious blow to the economy and we need to know that it was unavoidable. While all the facts of this case are not available, the role of the Revenue in the closure of the business has been severely criticised by the owner of the business. Based on the figures put into the public domain by the owner, many people will justifiably question the overall economic rationale behind Revenue’s decision to shut down the business.
“Given the state of our domestic economy at the present time, it is essential that Revenue adopts a reasonable approach when businesses get into genuine difficulty with their taxation obligations. A reasonable approach would involve working through difficulties with businesses and affording them time and space to trade their way to a better position in a planned manner. While Revenue has a job to do and businesses have an obligation to keep their tax affairs in order, the economic reality of 2012 in Ireland means that Revenue has to show flexibility in how it deals with businesses that face taxation arrears.
“When homeowners get into difficulty with their mortgage, the banks are obliged to engage with the borrower to see if an accommodation can be reached, whereby the loan is still repaid over time. The Government needs to ensure that Revenue embraces the same principle when businesses get into difficulty and take account of the wider needs of the economy in their approach.
“In the case of Target Express, my thoughts at this time are with the workers who I understand have not been paid since last Saturday week and who now face an uncertain future. Every effort must be made to ensure that the workers are paid what is due to them without further delay.”