The total tax debts due to the state at the end of the third quarter of 2018 stood at €2.28bn, some €250m less than the second quarter of that year.
According to data submitted to parliament by the Tax Department, the number of debtors in Q3 2018 fell slightly to 166,100 from 167,600 in the second quarter.
Of the €2.28bn owed, €1.23bn relates to direct taxation – not including interest and fees – concerning 135,600 persons.
Although the Tax Department now has a bigger toolbox at its disposal – for example the ability to freeze bank accounts – collection of dues has only marginally improved.
The majority of dues are categorised as being temporarily or permanently impeded in terms of their repayment prospects. This amount fell to €1.41bn in the third quarter of 2018 from €1.55bn in the second quarter.
Around €70m are not expected to be collected at all for a variety of reasons, such as the debtor is deceased, or is located overseas, or where the imposition of measures has failed.
In addition, due taxes worth €477m are tied up in legal proceedings (third quarter of 2018).