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The Eighth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

21/02/1809

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The Eighth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

Date of Article: 21/02/1809
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Duties.] ON F E E S , G R A T U I T I E S , 259 & c. iiv fuch cafe direCtcd to be made, from fome other head of Duty, or evert from feveral, and fometimes from the produce of any future Voucher. The Collector, in compliance with fuch direction, returns the Voucher to the Examiner of Excife, with the amount of this allowed credit deduced cut of the produce, and a reference to the order of the Board, in purluance of which fuch deduction has been made. Although we approve of the principle of ftriking out of the Colledors balances, all charges that are upon due inveftigation found to be unproductive or irrecoverable, we cannot but difapprove of a mode fo involved in obfeuritv, and fo calcu- lated to produce fuch intricacy and confufion as that under confideration, which, while it often tends to conceal the real ftate of the collection of this branch of the Public Revenue, affords the greateft facility to the commiflion of ferious and extenfive frauds. It appears that of the pro- duce fo deducted, the Examiner of Excife does not make any entry in his Ledger, nor is it included in his Quarterly Certificate to the Accountant General, to whom no notice of the order of the Board teems to be tranf- mitted, either by the Examiner or any other Officer. In making up therefore the Account, annually furnifhed to Government and Parliament by the Accountant General, he is not at all times enabled to ftate the real produce of thofe heads of duty, from which the deductions have been made, nor will the account of the grofs produce be correCt, if any portion of the credit has been allowed on account of an abatement of charge in- curred in a preceding year. Beiides the falsification of the Public Ac- counts, this praCtice of deducting the allowed credits from the produce of future Vouchers, feems to expote the Revenue to infinite hazard ; for - although the Collector may rcceive from the Trader the full amount of the Duties charged againft him, it appears that in his Accounts returned - to the Accountant General, he does not debit himfelf with his receipts on account of the produce fo deduCted, nor is he charged therewith bv that Officer. All fums therefore lo received, would remain in his hands and may be converted to his ufe, unlets a proportionate deduction be made from the Arrear Account. But in this refpeCt the CollcCtor teems to be without any check or controul whatever, as the Examiner, who is ac- quainted with the orders of the Board directing the deduction to be made, has no official information of the ftate of the Arrears, and the Accountant General, who has cognizance of that Account, has no notice of the de- duction. Should, however, the Examiner of Excife be in collufion with the ColleClor, of which no lufpicion attaches to the prefent Examiner, fums might be deducted greatly beyond the amount allowed by the Board, and as the Voucher when returned remains with the Examiner, frauds mio- ht be committed to a great extent with little hazard of detection. When the credit to be allowed on account of any abatement, amounts to a confiderable fum, it has been the praCtice of the Board to direct the de- duction to be made out of the produce of Excife ftated by the ColleCtor in fome future Account. Two remarkable inftances of the latter de- fcription have occurred in the laft year, one of afumof £. 13,370. 12s. 3\ d. - dineCted to be deduCted by the ColleCtor of Dublin Excife, out of the future produce of the duties of Tobacco, on account of alike furn due fince the vear 1800 for Excife Duties on Wines; the other of a fum of £. 8,658. 19 9id. direCted to be deduCted by the fame ColleCtor, out of Aa' the Appendix, N° 12. Ibid. Appendix, N01 14 & 15.
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