Revenue Commissioners

The Revenue Commissioners (Irish: Na Coimisinéirí Ioncaim), commonly called Revenue, is the Irish Government agency responsible for customs, excise, taxation and related matters. Though Revenue can trace itself back to predecessors (with the Act of Union 1800 amalgamating its forerunners with HM Customs and Excise in the United Kingdom), the current organisation was created for the independent Irish Free State on 21 February 1923 by the Revenue Commissioners Order, 1923[1] which established the Revenue Commissioners to carry out the functions that the Commissioners of Inland Revenue and the Commissioners of Customs and Excise had carried out in the Free State prior to independence. The Revenue Commissioners are responsible to the Minister for Finance.

Revenue Commissioners
Na Coimisinéirí Ioncaim
Office of the Revenue Commissioners logo
Office of the Revenue Commissioners logo
Agency overview
Formed21 February 1923 (1923-02-21)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionIreland
Constituting instrument
  • Revenue Commissioners Order, 1923
Specialist jurisdictions
Operational structure
HeadquartersUpper Yard, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, D02 F342
Agency executive
  • Niall Cody, Chairman


Revenue consists of a chairman and two commissioners, all of whom have the status of secretary general as used in Departments of State. The first commissioners, appointed by the then President of the Executive Council W. T. Cosgrave, were Charles J. Flynn, William Denis Carey and William T. O'Brien as chairman.[2] The current Commissioners are: Chairman Niall Cody,[3] and Commissioners Michael Gladney[4][5] and Gerry Harrahill.[6] According to its 2017 Annual Report, Revenue had 6,007 full-time equivalent staff in December 2017.[7]

Revenue is based in Dublin Castle and uses a symbol of its gates as its logo, while its staff work in almost all of the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland. The mission statement of Revenue is "to serve the community by fairly and efficiently collecting taxes and duties and implementing Customs controls".

From April 1979 until June 2000 Revenue had control of the issue of the Personal Public Service Number (then referred to as Revenue and Social Insurance Number) to individuals. In 1991 it delegated a block of numbers to the Department of Social Protection and on 19 June 2000, the issuing was transferred to the department entirely.

Since 1 July 2013 the Local Property Tax (LPT), an annual self-assessed tax charged on the market value of all residential properties in Ireland, has been collected by the Revenue Commissioners.

Notable casesEdit

A number of cases involving the Revenue Commissioners have received widespread media attention and/or involved material funds:

Apple IncEdit

In August 2016, Revenue became central to the proposed application of what would have been the largest recorded tax fine in history.[8] Following an investigation of Apple's transfer pricing arrangements with Ireland,[9] the EU Commission initially found that Revenue had given rulings to Apple that amounted to 13 billion in State Aid. These findings were however rejected by Apple, Revenue and the Irish Government,[10][11] and the findings (and fine) were later overturned by the EU's General Court.[12]

Section 110 SPVsEdit

US distressed debt funds were found to be using Section 110 SPVs to avoid material amounts of Irish taxes[13] on their Irish domestic investments (a purpose for which these SPVs were not created).[14] Revenue was the effective regulator (and gatekeeper) of Section 110 SPVs. Finance Minister Michael Noonan moved to address the abuse in the Finance Act, 2016[15] and increase Revenue's oversight.[16]

Customs cuttersEdit

The Revenue Commissioners presently operates two customs cutters for maritime patrols such as prevention of drug smuggling and illegal importation of other illicit goods into Ireland. The two cutters, R.C.C. Suirbheir and R.C.C Faire conduct patrols in Irish territorial waters and are assisted by the Irish Naval Service and the Garda Síochána in their work.

Class Image Name Commissioned Displacement [17] Type
Suirbhéir-class   RCC Suirbhéir[18] 2004 50 tonnes Customs Cutter
RCC Faire[19] 2009 50 tonnes Customs Cutter

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "S.I. No. 2/1923 - Revenue Commissioners Order, 1923". Archived from the original on 13 January 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  2. ^ Revenue Commissioners history (1923–1932)[dead link]
  3. ^ "RTÉ News – Feehily named as new Revenue chairman – New taxman is a woman". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 6 March 2008. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Appointment of Revenue Commissioner". 8 February 2018. Archived from the original on 4 April 2018. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Press Release: Appointment of Revenue Commissioner". Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  6. ^ "The Sunday Business Post". 18 November 2014. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  7. ^ Annual Report 2017 (PDF). April 2018. p. 8. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 May 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  8. ^ Foroohar, Rana (30 August 2016). "Apple vs. the E.U. Is the Biggest Tax Battle in History". Time. Archived from the original on 14 November 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  9. ^ "EU Commission Decision on State Aid by Ireland to Apple" (PDF). Apple (Ireland). 30 August 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 April 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Revenue statement on EU commission decision on State aid investigation". Revenue Commissioners. 3 July 2017. Archived from the original on 31 March 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  11. ^ Halpin, Padraic; Humphries, Conor (2 September 2016). "Ireland to join Apple in fight against EU tax ruling". Reuters. Archived from the original on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  12. ^ "Apple has €13bn Irish tax bill overturned". BBC News. 15 July 2020. Archived from the original on 15 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Tax avoidance could run to billions". Irish Independent. 24 July 2016. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  14. ^ "'Vultures' minimise their tax bills – as State now appears to have delivered the sale of the century". Irish Independent. 21 August 2016. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Loophole allowing Vulture Funds to pay almost no Irish profit tax shut". Irish Independent. 16 September 2016. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Michael Noonan to target vulture funds with €50m tax bill". The Irish Times. 11 October 2016. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Revenue Customs Service". European Border and Coast Guard. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Revenue's new Customs Cutter". Revenue Commissioners. 28 June 2004. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  19. ^ "Revenue's new Customs Cutter RCC 'FAIRE' named in Dublin". Revenue Commissioners. 16 October 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2017.

External linksEdit