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New Tax Appeal System

With effect from 21 March 2016, the Finance (Tax Appeals) Act, 2015 has changed the tax appeals process by replacing the old Appeals Commissioners process with a new tax appeals process. Since 21 March 2016 a taxpayer who disagrees with a Revenue assessment will no longer go to the Revenue Commissioners in the first instance but instead lodges an appeal directly to the Tax Appeal Commissioners (TAC).

A brief summary of other key changes introduced include the following:

  1. A 30 day appeals deadline applies across all tax heads.
  2. The TAC decides whether to accept or refuse appeals.
  3. The right to appeal proceedings in front of the Circuit Court is no longer available to the Taxpayer. The only form of appeal for the Taxpayers is to the High Court on a point of law. In this instance, the TAC will now prepare the case for the High Court hearing.
  4. The TAC are now required to publish anonymised versions of their determinations within 90 days of notifying the parties of the decision. Determinations can be found on the new Tax Appeals website .
  5. There is no time limit for the Appeals Commissioners on making the determination only that it is made as soon as practicable.
  6. The default position is that hearings are held in public unless a request for a private hearing is made.
  7. Evidence may now be taken in oral or written testimony.
  8. The TAC may determine on a matter under appeal without an oral hearing.
  9. There is no longer a requirement for the taxpayer to express dissatisfaction if aggrieved with the determination in order to protect their right of appeal to the High Court on a point of law.
  10. The Rules and Procedures of the TAC are available at here.

For cases that were in dispute with Revenue before 21 March 2016 but which had not been referred to the Appeal Commissioners, Revenue have written to the taxpayer to provide the appellant with the opportunity to enter settlement negotiations or to have their appeal referred to the TAC. The taxpayer is provided with 30 days to respond to these “Settlement” letters failing which the matter will be referred to the TAC. Where any such cases remain unsettled by 1 September 2016, they will be transmitted to the TAC.

We in CTS believe that the new Tax Appeals System brings a lot of positives and the procedural changes should improve the efficiency of the appeals system. The increased transparency due to the publication of determinations is also to be welcomed. However as the right of appeal to the Circuit Court is no longer available, it is very important that the drafting of the Notice of Appeal and the appeal hearing are prepared and conducted as favourably as possible for the taxpayer.

Should you have any queries in relation to the TAC or require our assistance in the appeals process, we would be delighted to assist.

 

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