Aspect Queries by Revenue Should be Taken Seriously

You should take any aspect query from Revenue very seriously indeed and you should be very careful about responding without getting professional advice. 



But it doesn’t have to be.

An aspect query can quickly move from being something that is easily handled to something that is very serious indeed. If you receive an aspect query, get professional advice straight away.

An aspect query is often used by Revenue as its first action when more information is needed. Of itself, an aspect query need not be cause for undue concern. Revenue uses aspect queries as a more focussed and less expensive option than a full Revenue audit. Revenue can initiate a greater number of interventions using less resources. However, if an aspect query isn’t correctly handled and an anomaly or tax omission is flagged, it can quickly escalate into another form of intervention, such as an Arrears Issue or even a full Revenue Audit. The best policy is to respond to the aspect query comprehensively but without raising any further queries or flagging anything that could lead to another, more serious intervention.

An Aspect Query is not a Revenue Audit

It is important to Save draw a distinction between an aspect query from Revenue and a Revenue Audit. An aspect query is a specifically targeted intervention designed to investigate a particular risk factor. This intervention will not prevent a client from making an unprompted qualifying disclosure, if necessary.  An unprompted qualifying disclosure is a voluntary statement  setting out an irregularity in your tax affairs. Making such a disclosure can greatly reduce your liability for penalties and can prevent your name being published on the list of tax defaulters. If a notification of audit has been received, it is too late for an unprompted disclosure.

A decisive and appropriate response from a tax professional can stop these things in their tracks. Whereas, the manner and content of your own response could be a material factor in Revenue’s decision to instigate further interventions. You could unwittingly open the door to additional interventions and lose valuable opportunities that will not be available to you should your case progress.

Aspect Query Revenue

Why have I received this aspect query?

There are many reasons why you may have been chosen for a revenue intervention. Often it is because an anomaly or something out of the ordinary has been picked up by Revenue’s automated REAP mechanism (Risk Evaluation And Profiling), or because your industry sector is being targeted by Revenue for special attention. There are even a small number of randomly selected intervention targets each year and although this number is very small, you could be unlucky enough to be selected in this way.  The important thing is to remain calm, get professional advice and react appropriately. Very often, if Revenue receives the appropriate response, this will mean that no further action is taken.

Aspect Queries

Treat an aspect query as an opening salvo. If the appropriate response is received, it is likely there won’t be another approach. However, if there is uncertainty or an indecisive response, you may invite further, more detailed interventions.