Thursday, 1 February 2018

Questions (89)

Michael McGrath


89. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the average timeframe it takes for a tax appeal in the Tax Appeals Commission from the submission of the appeal to its conclusion; the average timeframe it takes between a hearing being heard and the determination been made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5274/18]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Following its establishment the Tax Appeals Commission (TAC) received thousands of appeals from both the Revenue Commissioners and the Office of the Appeal Commissioners. Further to this the TAC became the first port of call for all new appeals, of which they received 899 in 2016. I am advised that due to the volume of appeals received and nature of the appeals, the information sought by the Deputy cannot be readily provided.

I understand that the TAC is increasingly conducting less formal hearings with a view to assisting all parties reach a settlement or agreement more expeditiously. These are also being used in order to facilitate the timely progression of appeals and where possible to agree the main points prior to the formal hearing.

With regard to the second part of the deputy's question, I am advised by the TAC, that since the appointment of the current Appeal Commissioners in late 2015, adjudication has commenced or been completed, either with or without a hearing,  in respect of 158 appeals. Determinations have issued in respect of 82 of those appeals. On average it took 213 days between the hearing and the determination. I am further advised that of the 76 remaining cases for which a determination is outstanding, they have been waiting on average 319 days so far to date. The Deputy may be interested to note that one of the outstanding determinations relates to an appeal case that will directly impact on approximately 350 individual appeals.

As the Deputy will appreciate these figures are averages and do not reflect the complexity of the appeals or the reasons for any possible delay. I am advised that hearings can be adjourned for a number of reasons to include the submission of further evidence, for further hearing at a later date, to await the outcome of Court proceedings etc., and of course for consideration by the Commissioner of the appeal prior to the determining of same.