Thursday, 4 July 2019

Questions (109, 110)

Michael McGrath

Question:

109. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of times the Revenue Commissioners appealed Tax Appeals Commission decisions to the courts in each year since the establishment of the Tax Appeals Commission; the value of tax at the centre of those appeals; the outcome of those appeals; the number of appeals still awaiting a court decision; the value of those appeals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29023/19]

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Michael McGrath

Question:

110. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of times taxpayers appealed Tax Appeals Commission decisions to the courts in each year since the establishment of the Tax Appeals Commission; the value of tax at the centre of those appeals; the outcome of those appeals; the number of appeals still awaiting a court decision; the value of those appeals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29024/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 and 110 together.

The Tax Appeals Commission was established on 21 March 2016. A party to an appeal which is dissatisfied with a Tax Appeals Commission determination on the grounds that the determination is erroneous on a point of law, may require the Appeal Commissioner to state and sign a “case stated” for the opinion of the High Court. A request for a case stated does not necessarily mean that an appeal will be filed at the High Court – the ultimate decision as to whether or not to lodge the appeal to the High Court rests with the party who requested the case stated.

I am advised by the Tax Appeals Commission that the following table shows the number of determinations which resulted in a request to state and sign a case stated by the Appeals Commissioner, since establishment:

Year

Request for cases stated

2016

0

2017

3

2018

11

2019

8

Total

22

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the following table contains information in relation to the years 2016 to date for the number of instances in which the Revenue Commissioners have appealed a determination of the Appeal Commissioners to the courts and the outcome of these appeals.

Year

No. appeals

Settled and/or withdrawn

Awaiting a hearing

Struck out

Awaiting a decision

Revenue unsuccessful

2016

1

1

2017

2

2

2018

2

1

1

2019

2

2

Total

7

Nil

2

1

2

2

The following table contains information in relation to the years 2016 to date for the number of cases in which a taxpayer has appealed a determination of the Appeal Commissioners to the courts and the outcome of these appeals.

Year

No. appeals

Settled and/or withdrawn

Awaiting a hearing

Struck out

Awaiting a decision

2016

0

2017

1

1

2018

6

3

2

1

2019

0

Total

7

3

3

Nil

1

I am further advised by both the Revenue Commissioners and the Tax Appeals Commission that neither are in a position to provide information on the value of the tax at the centre of these appeals in the time allowed for the reply to these questions.

The Revenue Commissioners however will carry out an exercise to obtain the information concerned and they will communicate directly with the Deputy in that regard. However, in that context, it is important to note that all taxpayers are entitled to confidentiality in the handling of their tax affairs, including in the case of matters that end up subject to the appeals process. Consequently, in providing any statistical information in relation to a relatively small number of cases that have been appealed to the courts, the Revenue Commissioners must be mindful that they do not inadvertently breach, or run the risk of breaching in the future, their statutory obligation under section 851A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 to preserve a taxpayer’s right to confidentiality.

The Tax Appeals Commission do not keep a record of the value of tax in relation to these appeals. An application to the High Court following a case stated is a matter for the parties to an appeal and this information is not available to the Tax Appeals Commission.