Revenue is pursuing millions of euro in unpaid tax from workers in some of the biggest companies based in Ireland.
The Revenue is focusing on employees who cashed in company shares but failed to pay tax owed on profits made from share options.
Revenue is calling this a “compliance programme” for people who exercised a share option within their company in recent years.
People who sell shares at a profit are due to pay capital gains tax, which is imposed at a rate of 33pc. Some employees/directors may have mistakenly thought they did not have to pay tax on their share options.This is because certain Revenue-approved profit-sharing schemes allow an employer to give an employee shares in the company up to a maximum value of €12,700 per year tax free. The responsibility for paying tax on these profits falls to the workers/individual tax payers and not the employer/company.
Revenue expects the move to yield a figure in the low millions of euro.
The programme, begun this summer, covers a wide range of businesses and sectors, with a focus on the pharmaceutical and hi-tech industries.
From now on profits from such shares will be a regular feature of Revenue’s work.
A new online reporting system will be launched early next year where companies will be required to report to Revenue details of staff who have exchanged shares for cash.