Thursday, 5 December 2019

Questions (85, 86)

Michael McGrath

Question:

85. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of tax appeals before the Tax Appeals Commission; the value of tax the disputes amount to; the appeals by ranges (details supplied), respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51042/19]

View answer

Michael McGrath

Question:

86. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the age and value of tax appeals before the Tax Appeals Commission by ranges (details supplied) respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51043/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 85 and 86 together.

The Tax Appeals Commission (TAC) has informed me that the number of appeals on hand before the Commission as at 30 November 2019 is 3,330, with a quantum of tax under dispute amounting to €3.6 billion. It is important to note that, of this amount, €2.5 billion is comprised in 10 appeals, five of which were received by the TAC in the last week of December 2018.

Some appeals before the TAC cannot be progressed when the Commission has to await the outcome of court proceedings. For example, a stay may have been placed on the progression of the appeals by the TAC by Order of the High Court, Court of Appeal or Supreme Court. Of the 10 highest-value appeals before the TAC, two appeals with a combined value of €1.67 billion are currently stayed by Court Order and cannot be progressed by the TAC until the stays are lifted.

The Deputy will be aware that significant work has been undertaken to implement the recommendations of an independent review of the TAC that I commissioned in 2018. Two additional Temporary Appeal Commissioners took up appointments in September, with a third to be appointed in the coming weeks. Legislation to create the role and responsibilities of Chair of the TAC has completed scrutiny in both Houses and, when enacted, will allow recruitment to commence for this position. I expect that these additional resources at Commissioner level, supported by additional administrative staff and case-managers, will allow significant progress to be made in addressing the existing backlogs.

The following tables presents the number and value of appeals on hands as at 30 November 2019, by year received and by value range.

Summary of Appeals on Hand as at 30 November, 2019 (Category / Year Received*)

Number of Appeals

Value Range**

Legacy

Pre Establishment

2016

2017

2018

2019

Total

Below €10,000

42

39

51

515

217

394

1,258

Between €10,001 and €50,000

178

13

47

148

259

113

758

Between €50,001 and €1,000,000

290

74

87

187

335

174

1,147

Between €1,000,001 and €5,000,000

30

9

28

30

17

114

Greater than €5,000,000

9

4

5

15

17

3

53

Total

549

130

199

893

858

701

3,330

Summary of Appeals on Hand as at 30 November, 2019 (Category / Year Received*)

Quantum (€,000)

Value Range**

Legacy

Pre Establishment

2016

2017

2018

2019

Total

Below €10,000

130

37

108

1,779

608

800

3,462

Between €10,001 and €50,000

5,909

442

1,296

3,398

7,427

2,865

21,337

Between €50,001 and €1,000,000

73,719

15,214

24,400

47,490

69,221

45,813

275,857

Between €1,000,001 and €5,000,000

55,195

19,804

48,954

55,528

31,099

210,580

Greater than €5,000,000

110,828

129,359

88,056

340,735

2,338,628

90,968

3,098,574

Total

245,781

145,052

133,664

442,356

2,471,412

171,545

3,609,810

* The TAC was established on 21 March, 2016. The system of characterisation of appeals reflects the appeals:

a. on hand prior to the establishment of the TAC (‘pre-establishment appeals’),

b. appeals received post establishment of the TAC (‘current appeals’), and

c. aged appeals transferred from the Revenue Commissioners (‘legacy appeals’) and the appeal groups are described accordingly.

** The Tax Appeals Commission has advised that it is difficult to provide an actual quantum figure because the original quantum of tax under appeal may be modified post filing of the notice of appeal (i.e. where an aspect of the appeal is settled or withdrawn), the parties may disagree in relation to the precise quantum of tax in dispute, or the monetary value of an appeal is not always calculable (e.g. in appeals where the rate of tax is in dispute or where the quantum in dispute represents a refusal of loss relief or of deductions or in appeals in relation to the refusal of Tax Clearance Certificates).