Tax expert warns up to €1.5 billion is caught up in Irish appeals system Tax expert warns up to €1.5 billion is caught up in Irish appeals system

Tax expert warns up to €1.5 billion is caught up in Irish appeals system
06 Feb 2018

A top Irish tax expert has spoken of his concerns over seeing potential tax revenues of €1.5 billion (US$1.87 billion) caught up in the tax appeals system.

If the Revenue Commissioners and an individual taxpayer disagree on whether a sum is owed, the case usually ends up before the Tax Appeal Commissioners who are currently overworked, attested Deloitte's Tom Maguire.

"Right now, there are three appeal commissioners, as a temporary commissioner was recently recruited. There were over 4,000 outstanding appeals last year,” he said. “That gives rise to almost 1,500 cases to each commissioner and that is a long 'to do' list."

Maguire added that if an average hearing lasts two days and another two days is allowed for the commissioner to arrive at a decision, “that is 6,000 work days for each commissioner. So it would take the commissioners years to clear that workload". As a result, he called for more suitably qualified appeal commissioners to be appointed.

Meanwhile, Maguire pointed out that various international reform programmes were under way as the world tries to get to grips with how to tax multinationals - and Ireland is frequently branded as a tax haven.

"The key point is that when it comes to our reputation, we have dealt with it instantly - if there was an issue," he said. "The double Irish is gone. Stateless companies - dealt with. A couple of years ago, securitisation came up as an issue and that was dealt with over a period of months. That was incredibly complex legislation to deal with and it was dealt with in a very short period of time."

According to the Irish Independent, Maguire also said he opposed plans in Brussels for what is known as the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB), a common set of rules for calculating how companies' profits are taxed in the European Union. It is widely considered that the CCCTB would have a negative impact on Ireland if implemented.

"We (Ireland) always engage constructively in that debate, but as currently written, it's not in our interest," he said. But things are different with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (Beps).

"Beps is dealing with anti-avoidance,” Maguire explained. “You have almost 100 countries coming together to deal with a particular problem in a particular way, rather than each one of those 100 countries going off and doing their own thing.”

This situation has brought a lot of certainty in relation to tax. “There will be interpretive issues between countries but at least we're all going down the particular road," he said.

 

A top Irish tax expert has spoken of his concerns over seeing potential tax revenues of €1.5 billion (US$1.87 billion) caught up in the tax appeals system.

If the Revenue Commissioners and an individual taxpayer disagree on whether a sum is owed, the case usually ends up before the Tax Appeal Commissioners who are currently overworked, attested Deloitte's Tom Maguire.

"Right now, there are three appeal commissioners, as a temporary commissioner was recently recruited. There were over 4,000 outstanding appeals last year,” he said. “That gives rise to almost 1,500 cases to each commissioner and that is a long 'to do' list."

Maguire added that if an average hearing lasts two days and another two days is allowed for the commissioner to arrive at a decision, “that is 6,000 work days for each commissioner. So it would take the commissioners years to clear that workload". As a result, he called for more suitably qualified appeal commissioners to be appointed.

Meanwhile, Maguire pointed out that various international reform programmes were under way as the world tries to get to grips with how to tax multinationals - and Ireland is frequently branded as a tax haven.

"The key point is that when it comes to our reputation, we have dealt with it instantly - if there was an issue," he said. "The double Irish is gone. Stateless companies - dealt with. A couple of years ago, securitisation came up as an issue and that was dealt with over a period of months. That was incredibly complex legislation to deal with and it was dealt with in a very short period of time."

According to the Irish Independent, Maguire also said he opposed plans in Brussels for what is known as the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB), a common set of rules for calculating how companies' profits are taxed in the European Union. It is widely considered that the CCCTB would have a negative impact on Ireland if implemented.

"We (Ireland) always engage constructively in that debate, but as currently written, it's not in our interest," he said. But things are different with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (Beps).

"Beps is dealing with anti-avoidance,” Maguire explained. “You have almost 100 countries coming together to deal with a particular problem in a particular way, rather than each one of those 100 countries going off and doing their own thing.”

This situation has brought a lot of certainty in relation to tax. “There will be interpretive issues between countries but at least we're all going down the particular road," he said.

 

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