Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Questions (159)

Joan Burton

Question:

159. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the number of appeals heard by the Tax Appeals Commission in 2016 and 2017 that were adjudications issued inside 28, 60, 90 and 120 days respectively; the number of adjudications that are outstanding for more than 28, 60, 90 and 120 days respectively; the number of open appeals, in tabular form; the number of cases the TAC will hear in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9363/18]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am informed by the Tax Appeals Commission (TAC) that the following table outlines the number of appeals heard by the TAC in 2016 and 2017 in the bands requested by the Deputy.

Tax Appeals Commission

Appeals Heard that were determined/adjudicated

2016

2017

Adjudicated inside 28 days

26

16

Adjudicated 29 – 60 days later

4

5

Adjudicated 61 – 90 days later

-

1

Adjudicated 91 – 120 days later

2

1

Adjudicated more than 120 days later

21

3

Appeals Heard but determination/adjudication outstanding

2016

2017

Outstanding less than 28 days

-

-

Outstanding between 29 – 60 days later

-

2

Outstanding between 61 – 90 days later

-

-

Outstanding between 91 – 120 days later

-

-

Outstanding more than 120 days later

22

61

Total

75

89

As outlined in the table, adjudication has commenced or been completed, either with or without a hearing, in respect of 164 appeals in 2016 and 2017 by the TAC. Determinations have issued in respect of 79 of those appeals. On average it took 213 days between the hearing and the determination. It is of note that one of the outstanding determinations relates to an appeal that will directly impact on approximately 350 others.

The TAC has informed me that these figures do not reflect the complexity of the appeals or the reasons for any possible delay. The TAC advises 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. I am further advised that in certain circumstances, hearings or determination can take place in respect of part of an appeal; however the appeal will remain open until all issues are concluded. For these reasons, it is not possible for the TAC to estimate how many appeals it intends to hear in 2018. The TAC is seeking to increase its resources and facilities to allow it increase its output and in that regard my Department is currently reviewing a recent request for additional resources from the TAC.

I am informed that the TAC is increasingly conducting less formal hearings with a view to assisting all parties reach a settlement or agreement more expeditiously. These informal hearings 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. In the last year, the TAC has arranged over 200 of these informal hearings which would have directly dealt with 826 individual appeals, notwithstanding that the outcomes of these may have impacted upon other appeals also. Although some remain to take place, the TAC has been able to proceed with 135 informal hearings in relation to 618 individual appeals. A number of these proposed informal hearings have had to be postponed or cancelled at the request of either the Office of the Revenue Commissioners or the appellants. I am informed that it is the TAC’s intention to continue with informal hearings, where appropriate, during 2018.

Following its establishment in 2016, I am informed that approximately 3,322 appeals transferred to the TAC, at various stages during 2016, from both the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and the Office of the Appeal Commissioners. The TAC has further advised me that, as of 30 January, it currently has approximately 3,648 appeals. This figure comprises of the following active appeals:

-

Active Appeals

Appeals received 2016:

499

Appeals received 2017

1,475

Appeals received 2018

251

Legacy Appeals

968

Pre Establishment

305

Cases Stated

150