Section 17 Finance Act 2003 inserted a new Section 865 into the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 and subsection (4)(b) of that Section introduced a 4 year time limit as regards claims for repayment of tax made on or after 1 January 2005. At the same time that the 4 year time limit for claiming repayment of tax was introduced, the right of the Revenue Commissioners to raise assessments was also reduced to a four-year period except in the case of fraud or negligence.
This scheme of 4 year time limits was designed to achieve the necessary balance between establishing a fair and uniform system for taxpayers, including parity of treatment between PAYE and self-employed taxpayers, while, at the same time, providing the necessary protection for the Exchequer from exposure to claimsgoing back many years. I do not have any plans to alter either such 4 year time limit.
Where a person has difficulties in paying his or her tax liabilities, including tax liabilities arising from the assessing of previously unreported income, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, it may be possible for that person to pay outstanding tax liabilities over an agreed period of time.