Finance (Tax Appeals) Act 2015

34.

Appeals to Tax Appeals Commission under Act of 1997

34. The Act of 1997 is amended by inserting the following Part after Part 40—

“Part 40A

Appeals to Appeals Commissioners

Chapter 1

Interpretation and General

Interpretation

949A. In this Part—

‘Acts’ means—

(a) the Tax Acts,

(b) the Capital Gains Tax Acts,

(c) Parts 18A to 18D,

(d) the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999, and the enactments amending or extending that Act,

(e) the Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003, and the enactments amending or extending that Act,

(f) the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010, and the enactments amending or extending that Act,

(g) the statutes relating to the duties of excise and to the management of those duties,

(h) the Customs Act 2015 and the enactments amending or extending that Act,

(i) the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 and the enactments amending or extending that Act,

and any instrument made thereunder and any instrument that is made under any other enactment and which relates to tax;

‘appealable matter’ means any matter in respect of which an appeal is authorised by the Acts;

‘Appeal Commissioner’ has the same meaning as it has in the Finance (Tax Appeals) Act 2015;

‘assessment’ means an assessment to tax made under the Acts or an estimate of tax made under section 989(2) or 990(1);

‘determination’ means a decision made by the Appeal Commissioners, following the completion of their adjudication of a matter under appeal, in disposing of the appeal;

‘late appeal’ means an appeal that is made after the end of the period specified by the Acts for the making of the appeal;

‘party’ means either the appellant in the appeal or the Revenue Commissioners;

‘proceedings’ includes—

(a) all of the proceedings involved in the conduct of an appeal from the making of the appeal, and

(b) if the following step occurs, the sending of a completed and signed case stated to the party requesting the case stated;

‘Revenue officer’ means an officer of the Revenue Commissioners;

‘statement of case’ shall be construed in accordance with section 949Q(1);

‘tax’ means any income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, value added tax, excise duty, customs duty, stamp duty, gift tax, inheritance tax, local property tax or any other levy or charge that is placed under the care and management of the Revenue Commissioners.

Delegation of acts and functions of the Revenue Commissioners

949B. Any act or function that is authorised by this Part to be done or to be performed by the Revenue Commissioners may be done or performed by any one or more of their officers acting under their authority.

Electronic means

949C. (1) Where such is provided for in accordance with subsection (3) —

(a) any act or function that is authorised by this Part to be done or to be performed by the Revenue Commissioners or by the Appeal Commissioners may be done or performed through electronic means, and

(b) any act that this Part requires a person to perform (or that the Revenue Commissioners or the Appeal Commissioners may, under this Part, require, a person to perform) may be performed through electronic means.

(2) Any document, including a certificate, notice, notification, form or return, authorised or required to be sent or given under this Part may be sent by post or, where such is provided for in accordance with subsection (3), by electronic means.

(3) The Revenue Commissioners and the Appeal Commissioners may each, in their discretion, put arrangements in place for, or approve, the use of electronic means for any purpose of this section.

(4) Those arrangements or that approval may stipulate, as a condition for electronic means being used for a foregoing purpose, that the person concerned comply with any requirements of the Revenue Commissioners or, as appropriate, the Appeal Commissioners of the kind referred to in sections 12(2)(b) and 13(2)(a) of the Electronic Commerce Act 2000.

Persons acting under authority

949D. (1) An appellant who wishes another person (in this section referred to as the ‘agent concerned’) to act under the appellant’s authority in relation to an appeal shall notify the Appeal Commissioners in writing accordingly and, for this purpose, shall provide the name and address of the agent concerned and any other information that the Appeal Commissioners may require.

(2) The authority referred to in subsection (1) of the agent concerned may be revoked by the appellant; where that authority is revoked by the appellant or it otherwise ceases to have effect, the appellant shall, in writing, notify the Appeal Commissioners of that fact forthwith.

(3) Unless and until the foregoing revocation or cesser of effect is notified in writing to the Appeal Commissioners, the Appeal Commissioners may treat any act that is required, or permitted to be performed, by the appellant under this Part as so performed by the appellant, if the act has been performed by the agent concerned.

Directions

949E. (1) The Appeal Commissioners may, on their own initiative or on the application of a party, give a direction at any time to a party in relation to the conduct or disposal of an appeal, including a direction amending an earlier direction or suspending or setting aside its operation.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the matters in relation to which the Appeal Commissioners may give a direction include—

(a) requiring a party to provide, to the Appeal Commissioners or to another party, documents, statements, accounts, returns, computations, explanations, particulars, records, certificates, declarations, schedules and such other items or information as they consider relevant to the adjudication of the matter under appeal,

(b) consolidating or hearing together 2 or more appeals raising common or related issues,

(c) staying proceedings,

(d) holding a preliminary hearing,

(e) adjourning a hearing, and

(f) extending the time within which a direction must be complied with.

(3) In a case in which the giving by them of a direction is applied for by a party, such an application shall be made—

(a) by sending, in writing, the application to the Appeal Commissioners, or

(b) orally, during the course of a hearing or preliminary hearing,

and shall include the reason for seeking the direction.

(4) A direction by the Appeal Commissioners may be given by them orally but, where this happens, the terms of the direction shall be reduced to writing as soon as practicable thereafter unless the Appeal Commissioners consider this to be unnecessary.

(5) Where the Appeal Commissioners give a direction then, unless they consider that there is a good reason not to do so, they shall send a written notice of the direction to each party and to any other person affected by that direction.

(6) A party who asserts that a direction ought not to have been given by the Appeal Commissioners or that a direction given by them should be amended shall apply to the Commissioners for a direction setting aside or suspending its operation or, as appropriate, amending it.

(7) That application shall be made not later than 14 days after the date on which the party was notified of the first-mentioned direction in subsection (6).

(8) Where the direction given is one requiring compliance with its terms, it shall specify a date by which these terms are to be complied with.

(9) Where a direction requires the provision of such items or information as are referred to in subsection (2)(a), it may specify the format in which those items are to be provided.

(10) A party to whom a direction is given shall comply with it.

(11) Where a party applies in writing for a direction, the party shall, at the time of such application, send a copy of the application to the other party.

Joining of additional parties to appeal

949F. (1) Where an appeal is made in relation to—

(a) a decision of a Revenue officer on an apportionment,

(b) a determination of an amount referred to in section 100A, or

(c) a decision of an inspector under section 121(7),

and the decision or determination affects the liability to tax of a person, other than a person in respect of whom the decision or determination was made, each person so affected may apply to the Appeal Commissioners for, and the Appeal Commissioners on the making of such an application may give, a direction making the person a party to the appeal.

(2) Save insofar as that provision is inconsistent with subsection (1), each provision of section 949E shall apply to a direction under this section.

Withdrawal and dismissal of appeals

949G. (1) An appellant may withdraw his or her appeal by giving notice in writing in that behalf to the Appeal Commissioners before they make a determination.

(2) Where an appeal is withdrawn in accordance with subsection (1), the Appeal Commissioners shall notify the other party in writing accordingly.

(3) Where—

(a) the matters the subject of an appeal have been settled by agreement between the parties before the Appeal Commissioners make a determination,

(b) an appeal is refused by the Appeal Commissioners under section 949N(1)(b) or (c), or

(c) an appeal is treated as withdrawn under section 949AA(2),

then, in each case, the appeal shall, subject to subsection (4), be treated as if it has been dismissed by the Appeal Commissioners.

(4) To the extent that the basis for an agreement, as referred to in subsection (3), involves acceptance by the parties that the decision appealed from shall not stand in whole or in part, then nothing in that subsection shall be construed as affecting any agreement of the parties in that regard.

(5) Where an appeal is dismissed under section 949AV, or treated as dismissed—

(a) the Appeal Commissioners shall not be required to make a determination, and

(b) the matter that was appealed shall be treated as if no notice of appeal has been given.

Flexible proceedings

949H. (1) The Appeal Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of this Part, endeavour to the best of their ability to manage and conduct proceedings in a way that will meet the reasonable expectations of members of the public (and in particular tax payers) with regard to—

(a) undue formality being avoided, and

(b) a flexible approach being adopted by the Commissioners in respect of procedural matters.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Appeal Commissioners shall—

(a) provide an opportunity to the parties to settle the matter under appeal by agreement with each other, and

(b) avoid delay insofar as this is compatible with the proper consideration of a matter under appeal.

Chapter 2

Making and acceptance of appeals

Notice of appeal

949I. (1) Any person who wishes to appeal an appealable matter shall do so by giving notice in writing in that behalf to the Appeal Commissioners.

(2) A notice of appeal shall specify—

(a) the name and address of the appellant and, if relevant, of the person acting under the appellant’s authority in relation to the appeal,

(b) in the case of an appellant who is an individual, his or her personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005) or, in the case of any other person, whichever of the numbers in respect of the person specified in paragraphs (b) and (c) of the definition of ‘tax reference number’ in section 885(1) is appropriate,

(c) the appealable matter in respect of which the appeal is being made,

(d) the grounds for the appeal in sufficient detail for the Appeal Commissioners to be able to understand those grounds, and

(e) any other matters that, for the time being, are stipulated by the Appeal Commissioners for the purposes of this subsection.

(3) Where the provisions of the Acts relevant to the appeal concerned require conditions specified in those provisions to be satisfied before an appeal may be made, a notice of appeal shall state whether those conditions have been satisfied.

(4) Where an appeal is a late appeal, the notice of appeal shall state the reason the appellant was prevented from making the appeal within the period specified by the Acts for doing so.

(5) A copy of the notification that was received from the Revenue Commissioners (that is to say, the notification in respect of the matters the subject of the appeal) shall be appended to a notice of appeal.

(6) A party shall not be entitled to rely, during the proceedings, on any ground of appeal that is not specified in the notice of appeal unless the Appeal Commissioners are satisfied that the ground could not reasonably have been stated in the notice.

Valid appeal and references in this Part to acceptance of an appeal

949J.(1) For the purposes of this Part, an appeal shall be a valid appeal if—

(a) it is made in relation to an appealable matter, and

(b) any conditions that are required (by the provisions of the Acts relevant to the appeal concerned) to be satisfied, before an appeal may be made, are satisfied before it is made.

(2) References in this Part to an appeal being accepted by the Appeal Commissioners shall be construed as references to their determining that, for the time being (on the facts and information then available to them)—

(a) the appeal is a valid appeal, and

(b) there are no grounds for their invoking section 949N(1)(c) as a basis for not proceeding as subsequently mentioned in this subsection,

and, accordingly, that they should proceed to deal with the appeal.

(3) However, any such determination of the Appeal Commissioners may be reversed by them as and when facts and information become available to them that, in their opinion, warrant that course of action.

(4) Subsection (3) shall not affect the operation of section 949N(3) (provision with regard to finality of Appeal Commissioners’ refusal to accept an appeal).

Notification of appeal to Revenue Commissioners

949K. The Appeal Commissioners shall send a copy of each notice of appeal, and any item that was appended to the notice, to the Revenue Commissioners as soon as practicable after they have received them.

Objection by Revenue Commissioners

949L. (1) Where the Revenue Commissioners consider that—

(a) an appeal is not a valid appeal, or

(b) the appellant has not complied with the requirements of section 949O,

they may send to the Appeal Commissioners a written notice of objection to the making of the appeal and that notice shall state the reason for their objection.

(2) Where the Revenue Commissioners do not send the notice referred to in subsection (1) to the Appeal Commissioners within 30 days after the date on which the Appeal Commissioners send the notice of appeal to them, the Appeal Commissioners shall not be required to have regard to the objection in deciding whether to accept an appeal.

(3) Where the Revenue Commissioners send a notice of objection in accordance with subsection (1), the Appeal Commissioners shall notify such objection to the appellant.

Acceptance of an appeal

949M. Subject to sections 949N and 949O, the Appeal Commissioners shall accept an appeal after the end of the period referred to in section 949L(2) where they have no reason to believe that the appeal is not a valid appeal.

Refusal to accept an appeal

949N. (1) Where the Appeal Commissioners—

(a) are satisfied that an appeal is not a valid appeal,

(b) become aware, having previously formed the view that an appeal was a valid appeal, that it is not a valid appeal, or

(c) are satisfied that an appeal is without substance or foundation,

they shall refuse to accept the appeal.

(2) Where the Appeal Commissioners refuse to accept an appeal, they shall notify the parties in writing accordingly stating the reason for the refusal.

(3) Where, in respect of a refusal on their part to accept an appeal, the Appeal Commissioners declare that their decision in that regard is final, then that decision shall be final and conclusive.

(4) For the avoidance of doubt—

(a) references in the preceding subsections to the Appeal Commissioners’ refusing to accept an appeal include references to a member or members of staff of the Commission, pursuant to an authority granted under section 5(2) of the Finance (Tax Appeals) Act 2015, refusing to accept an appeal, and

(b) the Appeal Commissioners may make a declaration under subsection (3) in respect of a foregoing refusal by a member or members of staff to accept an appeal as they may make such a declaration in respect of such a refusal on their part.

Late appeals

949O. (1) The Appeal Commissioners may accept a late appeal where—

(a) they are satisfied that—

(i) the appellant was prevented by absence, sickness or other reasonable cause from making the appeal within the period specified by the Acts for the making of that appeal, and

(ii) the appeal is made thereafter without unreasonable delay,

and

(b) the appeal is made within a period of 12 months after the end of the period specified by the Acts for the making of that appeal.

(2) Notwithstanding the period specified in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) for the making of an appeal, the Appeal Commissioners may accept an appeal made after the end of that period where paragraph (a) of that subsection applies and—

(a) any return that was required to be delivered to the Revenue Commissioners under the Acts has been so delivered, and

(b) the requirement in subsection (3)(a) or (b) (or both as the case may be) has been complied with.

(3) Each of the following is a requirement mentioned in subsection (2)(b) —

(a) where, in the opinion of the Appeal Commissioners, the return referred to in subsection (2)(a) is insufficient to enable the appeal to be determined, such other information as, in the opinion of the Appeal Commissioners, would enable the appeal to be determined by them without undue delay has been provided, and

(b) where an appeal is made against an assessment, any tax charged by the assessment has been paid together with any interest on that tax chargeable under—

(i) section 1080,

(ii) section 159D of the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999,

(iii) Fsection 103 of the Finance Act 2001,

(iv) section 51 of the Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003,

(v) section 114 of the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010, or

(vi) section 149 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012,

as the case may be, at the time the appeal is made.

(4) For the purpose of deciding whether to accept a late appeal, the Appeal Commissioners may make such enquiries as they consider necessary or appropriate and may do so by holding a hearing.

(5) Nothing in this section derogates from the functions of the Appeal Commissioners under section 949N.

Effect of enforcement action for collection of tax

949P. (1) Where action for the recovery of any tax has been taken by means of the institution of proceedings in any court or the issue of a certificate under section 960K, as the case may be, the Appeal Commissioners shall not accept a late appeal in relation to the tax until such action has been completed.

(2) Where a late appeal is accepted following the completion of the action referred to in subsection (1), the appellant shall not be entitled to repayment of any sum paid or borne by the appellant in respect of the costs of any court proceedings or, as the case may be, of any fees or expenses charged by the county registrar or sheriff executing a certificate under section 960K.

Chapter 3

Pre-hearing proceedings

Statement of case

949Q. (1) Where an appeal is accepted in accordance with section 949M, the Appeal Commissioners may give a direction to a party to provide to them such information (in this Part referred to as a ‘statement of case’) in relation to the matter under appeal as they specify in the direction.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the information that may be specified in a foregoing direction includes:

(a) the statutory provisions being relied upon in relation to the matter under appeal;

(b) an outline of the relevant facts;

(c) the relevant case law;

(d) a list of, and copies of, any written material that a party intends to rely on or produce in the proceedings;

(e) brief particulars in relation to any witnesses who might be called upon to provide evidence in the proceedings;

(f) a party’s estimation of the likely duration of a hearing;

(g) whether there is assent, on the part of the party, to the Appeal Commissioners determining the appeal without a hearing;

(h) whether a party wishes a hearing or a specified part of a hearing to be held in camera;

(i) whether a party considers that a matter under appeal is one that could be settled by way of an agreement with the other party in accordance with section 949V; and

(j) such other information as the Appeal Commissioners consider necessary to enable them to schedule a hearing.

Exchange of statement of case

949R. A party who sends a statement of case to the Appeal Commissioners shall,at the time of so sending it, send a copy of the case to the other party together with a copy of any Appeal Commissioners’ direction given under section 949Q(1) and shall notify the Appeal Commissioners that the party has done so.

Outline of arguments

949S. (1) The Appeal Commissioners may give a direction to a party to provide, to the Appeal Commissioners and to the other party, an outline of the arguments that the party will make at a hearing, including the details of any statutory provisions and case law to which the party intends to refer in making such arguments (if this has not already been done in compliance with a direction given under section 949Q), and to do so not less than 14 days before the date appointed for the hearing.

(2) Unless the Appeal Commissioners consider that that there are substantial grounds for such a direction being given solely to one of the parties, a direction under subsection (1) shall be given by them to both of the parties.

Case management conference

949T. (1) At any stage in proceedings, the Appeal Commissioners may give a direction that a party attend a meeting in the nature of, and referred to subsequently in this Part as, a case management conference —

(a) to review the conduct of the proceedings and the actions that have been taken or that remain to be taken,

(b) to clarify any matters raised by the parties or by the Appeal Commissioners, and

(c) so as to enable the Appeal Commissioners to give all such directions as appear to them to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of securing the completion of the proceedings in an expeditious and fair manner.

(2) With the consent of the parties, the Appeal Commissioners may determine a matter under appeal at, or following, a case management conference without the need to hold a hearing.

(3) If the Appeal Commissioners permit this to be done, a party may take part in the proceedings of a case management conference by means of a suitable telecommunication link, and accordingly, in such a case, the party shall not be required to appear in person.

Adjudication without a hearing

949U. (1) Subject to subsection (3), the Appeal Commissioners shall not be required to adjudicate on a matter under appeal by way of a hearing and may, where they consider it appropriate, adjudicate on the matter solely by way of—

(a) the consideration of a notice of appeal, a statement of case or any other written material provided by a party,

(b) the holding of discussions with a party, or

(c) any other means they consider appropriate.

(2) Where the Appeal Commissioners consider that it is appropriate to adjudicate without a hearing, they shall notify the parties in writing of their intention to do so.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1) but subject to section 949AN(3), the Appeal Commissioners shall adjudicate by way of a hearing where a party requests a hearing by notifying the Appeal Commissioners in writing within 21 days after the date of the notification referred to in subsection (2).

Settlement of appeal by agreement

949V. (1) In this section ‘agreement’ means an agreement by way of settlement of the matter under appeal.

(2) Where, before a hearing is held, the parties come to an agreement with each other, whether in writing or otherwise, an appeal shall be treated as having been withdrawn.

(3) An agreement that is not in writing shall be deemed not to be an agreement for the purpose of subsections (2) and (4), unless—

(a) the fact that an agreement was come to, and the terms agreed on, are confirmed by notice in writing given by either of the parties to the other party, and

(b) a period of 21 days after the date of the giving of the notice referred to in paragraph (a) has elapsed without the party to whom it was given (the ‘other party’) giving notice in writing to the party by whom the notice so referred to was given that the other party wishes to repudiate or withdraw from the agreement.

(4) Where the parties come to an agreement with each other, the Revenue Commissioners shall—

(a) give effect to the agreement, and

(b) notify the Appeal Commissioners accordingly.

Staying proceedings

949W. (1) The Appeal Commissioners may, at any stage, stay proceedings in an appeal (in this section referred to as a ‘stayed appeal’) where—

(a) they wish to provide an opportunity for the parties to settle the matter under appeal by agreement with each other,

(b) they wish to give a party additional time in which to prepare for a hearing,

(c) they wish to allow a determination to be made in another appeal that raises issues of fact or law that are common or related to those in the stayed appeal (in sections 949AN and 949AO referred to as ‘common or related issues’), or

(d) in the interests of justice, they consider it appropriate to do so.

(2) The Appeal Commissioners shall stay proceedings by giving a direction in accordance with section 949E(1), which direction shall specify a date by which the proceedings are to be resumed.

Chapter 4

Hearings

Time and place for hearing

949X. (1) The Appeal Commissioners shall from time to time appoint times and places for the hearing of appeals and shall give written notice of such times and places to the parties.

(2) The Appeal Commissioners may adjourn a hearing for such a period as they think fit.

Public hearings

949Y. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), every hearing of an appeal by the Appeal Commissioners shall be held in public.

(2) The Appeal Commissioners may give a direction that a hearing, or part of a hearing, of an appeal is to be held in camera if they consider that the giving of such a direction is necessary—

(a) in the interests of public order or national security,

(b) to avoid serious harm to the public interest,

(c) to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive information,

(d) to protect an individual’s right to respect for his or her private and family life, or

(e) in the interests of justice.

(3) If an appellant—

(a) applies, in accordance with subsection (4), to the Appeal Commissioners for a direction that the hearing of an appeal, or a specified part of the hearing of an appeal, be held in camera, or

(b) has stated, in the appellant’s statement of case, that the appellant wishes the hearing of an appeal, or a specified part of the hearing of an appeal, to be held in camera,

the Appeal Commissioners shall give a direction that the hearing or the specified part of it, as the case may be, shall be held in camera.

(4) An application under subsection (3) shall be sent to the Appeal Commissioners not later than 14 days after the date on which a notice of the time and place for the hearing of the appeal has been sent in accordance with section 949X to the appellant.

Exclusion from hearings

949Z. (1) The Appeal Commissioners may exclude from a hearing, or part of a hearing, any person—

(a) whose conduct the Appeal Commissioners consider is disrupting or is likely to disrupt the hearing,

(b) whose presence the Appeal Commissioners consider is likely to prevent another person from giving evidence freely,

(c) whose attendance at the hearing would defeat the purpose of that hearing, or

(d) who is under the age of 18 years.

(2) The Appeal Commissioners may exclude a witness from a hearing until the witness is required to give evidence.

(3) The Appeal Commissioners may give a direction under section 949E as to the particular means to be used to exclude a person from a hearing, or part of a hearing.

Parties’ attendance at hearings

949AA. (1) An appellant shall attend any hearing unless the Appeal Commissioners excuse the appellant from attendance.

(2) Where an appellant, or a person acting under the appellant’s authority, fails to attend a hearing at the time and place appointed for the hearing, the appeal shall, subject to subsection (3), be treated as if it had been withdrawn.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), an appeal shall not be treated as if it had been withdrawn where, on an application in writing having been made to them after the time appointed for a hearing, the Appeal Commissioners, are satisfied that—

(a) owing to absence, illness or other reasonable cause, the appellant was prevented from attending the hearing, and

(b) the application was made thereafter without unreasonable delay.

(4) A Revenue officer may attend any hearing and shall be entitled—

(a) to be present during the whole of any hearing and at the determination of the appeal, and

(b) to give evidence or reasons in support of an assessment or the other appealable matter concerned.

(5) Where it appears to a Revenue officer that an appellant ought to be charged in an amount exceeding the amount contained in an assessment that is under appeal, nothing in subsection (4) shall preclude the officer from giving evidence or reasons in support of such a higher amount.

(6) Where the Appeal Commissioners give a direction under section 949F making a person referred to in that section a party to an appeal, that person shall not be entitled, without the consent of the other parties to the appeal—

(a) in the case of a hearing, none of which relates to the matter affecting the liability to tax of that person (‘the liability concerned’), to attend any part of that hearing, or

(b) in the case of a hearing, part of which relates to the liability concerned and part of which does not so relate, to attend the latter part.

Parties’ representatives

949AB. (1) The Appeal Commissioners shall hear any barrister or solicitor, or any person who is a member of a professional body (within the meaning of section 851A(l)), who appears on behalf of a party.

(2) Notwithstanding that a person appearing on behalf of an appellant does not fall within subsection (1), the Appeal Commissioners may hear such a person if they are satisfied that it is appropriate to do so.

Evidence

949AC. The Appeal Commissioners may—

(a) allow evidence to be given orally or in writing,

(b) admit evidence whether or not the evidence would be admissible in proceedings in a court in the State, or

(c) exclude evidence that would otherwise be admissible where—

(i) the evidence was not provided within the time allowed by a direction,

(ii) the evidence was provided in a manner that did not comply with a direction, or

(iii) they consider that it would be unfair to admit the evidence.

Oath

949AD. (1) The Appeal Commissioners may require any person who gives evidence to swear an oath in relation to the evidence.

(2) Where the Appeal Commissioners administer an oath, they shall inform the person swearing the oath that the giving of false evidence may be punishable under section 1066.

Summoning and examination of witnesses

949AE. (1) The Appeal Commissioners may summon any person to appear before them to be examined where they consider such a person to be in a position to give evidence relating to a matter under appeal.

(2) A summons under subsection (1) shall—

(a) unless the person being summoned consents to a shorter period, be sent to that person not less than 21 days before the date of a hearing,

(b) inform the person being summoned of his or her entitlement to apply to the Appeal Commissioners to vary or set aside the summons if he or she did not have an opportunity to object to it before it was issued, and

(c) state the consequences, under section 949AU, of failure to comply with the summons.

(3) The Appeal Commissioners may limit the number of witnesses whose evidence a party may put forward.

Oral determinations

949AF. The Appeal Commissioners may, at the conclusion of a hearing, make the determination referred to in section 949AJ orally but such a determination shall be reduced to writing thereafter and that section shall apply accordingly.

Chapter 5

Determinations

Appeal Commissioners to have regard to same matters as Revenue Commissioners

949AG. Unless the Acts provide otherwise, in adjudicating on and determining an appeal, the Appeal Commissioners shall have regard to all matters to which the Revenue Commissioners may or were required by the Acts to have regard—

(a) in making their decision or determination,

(b) in making or amending an assessment,

(c) in forming an opinion, or

(d) in taking any other action,

in relation to the matter under appeal.

Mode of proceeding if appeal adjudicated on by way of a hearing

949AH. Where the Appeal Commissioners adjudicate on a matter under appeal by way of a hearing, they shall determine the matter by examination of the appellant or by hearing other evidence of the kind referred to in section 949AC.

Incomplete information

949AI. Where a party or another person fails to comply, to the Appeal Commissioners’ satisfaction, with a direction given by them under subsection (1) of section 949E in relation to the matter referred to in subsection (2)(a) of that section, the Appeal Commissioners may, where they consider it appropriate, determine an appeal according to the best of their judgement instead of acting in accordance with section 949AV.

Determinations and their notification

949AJ. (1) As soon as practicable after the completion of their adjudication of an appeal, the Appeal Commissioners shall determine the appeal.

(2) Subsection (3) applies unless, by virtue of section 7 of the Finance (Tax Appeals) Act 2015, the number of Appeal Commissioners who have adjudicated on and determined an appeal is one.

(3) The number of Appeal Commissioners who shall adjudicate on and determine an appeal shall be three or a number, being an odd number, greater than three.

(4) The determination of an appeal by the Appeal Commissioners, where the number of them who have adjudicated on it is three or more, shall be that of the majority of them.

(5) The Appeal Commissioners, not later than 21 days after determining the appeal, shall notify the parties in writing of—

(a) their determination, and

(b) the time within which, and the manner in which, any right of appeal against the determination may be exercised.

(6) For the purpose of the notification referred to in subsection (5), a determination shall comprise—

(a) the determination,

(b) a statement of the Appeal Commissioners’ material findings of fact,

(c) a statement of the reasons for the determination,

(d) the name of the appellant, and

(e) the date on which the determination was made.

Determinations in relation to assessments

949AK. (1) In relation to an appeal against an assessment, the Appeal Commissioners shall, if they consider that—

(a) an appellant has, by reason of the assessment, been overcharged, determine that the assessment be reduced accordingly,

(b) an appellant has, by reason of the assessment, been undercharged, determine that the assessment be increased accordingly, or

(c) neither paragraph (a) nor (b) applies, determine that the assessment stand.

(2) If, on an appeal against an assessment that—

(a) assesses an amount that is chargeable to tax, and

(b) charges tax on the amount assessed,

the Appeal Commissioners consider that the appellant is overcharged or, as the case may be, undercharged by the assessment, they may, unless the circumstances of the case otherwise require, give as their determination in the matter a determination solely to the effect that the amount chargeable to tax be reduced or increased.

(3) In relation to an appeal against an assessment on the grounds referred to in section 959AF(2), if the Appeal Commissioners determine that a Revenue officer was precluded from making the assessment or the amendment, as the case may be, the Acts (within the meaning of section 959A) shall apply as if the assessment or the amendment had not been made and, accordingly, that assessment or amended assessment shall be void.

(4) In relation to an appeal against an assessment on the grounds referred to in section 959AF(2), if the Appeal Commissioners determine that a Revenue officer was not precluded from making the assessment or the amendment, as the case may be, that assessment or amended assessment shall stand, but this is without prejudice to the Appeal Commissioners making a determination in relation to that assessment or amended assessment on foot of an appeal on grounds other than those referred to in section 959AF(2).

Determinations other than in relation to assessments

949AL. (1) In relation to an appeal against an appealable matter, other than—

(a) an assessment, or

(b) a matter referred to in section 949AK(3),

the Appeal Commissioners shall, if they consider that the decision, determination or other matter, as the case may be, ought to be varied, determine that the decision, determination or other matter be varied, even if such variation is not to the advantage of the appellant; otherwise they shall determine that the decision, determination or other matter stand.

(2) The Appeal Commissioners shall, if they consider that a Revenue officer was precluded from making the enquiry or taking the action, as the case may be, referred to in section 959AJ, determine that the officer was so precluded; otherwise they shall determine that the officer was not so precluded.

Revenue Commissioners to give effect to determinations

949AM. (1) The Revenue Commissioners shall give effect to any determination made by the Appeal Commissioners unless the determination has been appealed to the High Court in accordance with sections 949AP and 949AQ.

(2) In relation to an assessment, in giving effect to a determination, the Revenue Commissioners shall calculate the tax chargeable in respect of the amount assessed to tax.

(3) If, in relation to an assessment, the determination of the Appeal Commissioners is that the assessment is to stand or is to be amended, as the case may be, the assessment or the amended assessment shall be final and conclusive, unless the determination is appealed to the High Court in accordance with sections 949AP and 949AQ.

(4) If, in relation to an appeal under section 959AJ, the Appeal Commissioners determine that a Revenue officer was precluded from making the enquiry or taking the action, as the case may be, referred to in that section—

(a) the officer shall cease the enquiry or action, and

(b) the appellant shall not be required to take any action pursuant to the officer’s enquiry or action.

Appeals raising common or related issues

949AN. (1) Subject to subsection (2), in adjudicating on and determining an appeal (in this section referred to as a ‘new appeal’), the Appeal Commissioners may—

(a) have regard to a previous determination made by them in respect of an appeal that raised common or related issues, and

(b) if they consider it appropriate, in the light of such a determination, determine the new appeal without holding a hearing.

(2) Where the Appeal Commissioners wish to act in accordance with subsection (1), they shall—

(a) send a copy of the previous determination referred to in that subsection to the parties in a way that, in so far as it is possible, does not reveal the identity of any person whose affairs were dealt with on a confidential basis during the proceedings concerned (being proceedings that were not held in public),

(b) request that each of the parties submit arguments to them within 21 days after the date of the request in relation to why it would not be appropriate to have regard to the previous determination in determining the new appeal, and

(c) request that each of the parties state whether the party wishes the Appeal Commissioners to hold a hearing and, where a party so wishes, to require that the party explain why such a hearing is considered to be necessary or desirable.

(3) Notwithstanding section 949U, the Appeal Commissioners may make a determination in an appeal under subsection (1) where—

(a) no response is received from a party within the period referred to in subsection (2)(b), or

(b) a response is received but the Appeal Commissioners are not persuaded that it would be appropriate to disregard the previous determination referred to in subsection (1) and hold a hearing to determine the new appeal.

Publication of determinations

949AO. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Appeal Commissioners shall publish a report of each of their determinations on the internet not later than 90 days after notifying the parties in accordance with section 949AJ.

(2) The report referred to in subsection (1) shall contain—

(a) a copy of the determination (as that expression is to be read in accordance with section 949AJ(6)),

(b) the date on which it was notified to the parties,

(c) a statement about whether a case stated under Chapter 6 was requested for the High Court, and

(d) any other information the Appeal Commissioners consider relevant or appropriate.

(3) Where determinations have been made in respect of more than one appeal that raised common or related issues, it shall be sufficient for the purpose of subsection (1) for the Appeal Commissioners to publish a report containing a single determination together with—

(a) unless paragraph (b)(i) or (ii) applies, the names of all of the appellants, or

(b) if—

(i) all of the hearings, in respect of every appeal concerned, were held in camera, a statement of the number of appellants to which the determination applies, or

(ii) all of the hearings, in respect of any of the appeals concerned, were held in camera—

(I) a statement of the number of appellants to which the determination applies, and

(II) save for the names of the one or more appellants whose appeals were so held in camera, the names of the appellants.

(4) A report shall be published in a way that, in so far as it is possible, does not reveal the identity of any person whose affairs were dealt with on a confidential basis during the proceedings concerned (being proceedings that were not held in public).

Chapter 6

Appealing determinations of the Appeal Commissioners

Appealing against determinations

949AP. (1) The Appeal Commissioners’ determination in respect of an appealable matter shall be final and conclusive but this is without prejudice to the provisions of this Chapter concerning appeals to the High Court.

(2) A party who is dissatisfied with a determination as being erroneous on a point of law may by notice in writing require the Appeal Commissioners to state and sign a case (in this Chapter referred to as a ‘case stated’) for the opinion of the High Court.

(3) The notice referred to in subsection (2) shall—

(a) state in what particular respect the determination is alleged to be erroneous on a point of law,

(b) be sent to the Appeal Commissioners within 21 days after the date of the notification of their determination under section 949AJ(1), and

(c) be sent to the other party when it is being sent to the Appeal Commissioners.

(4) This section shall not apply in relation to an appealable matter where a provision of the Acts (other than this section) provides that the determination of the Appeal Commissioners in relation to that matter shall be final and conclusive.

Case stated for High Court

949AQ. (1) (a) A case stated shall contain—

(i) the Appeal Commissioners’ material findings of fact,

(ii) an outline of the arguments made by the parties,

(iii) the case law relied on by the parties,

(iv) the Appeal Commissioners’ determination and the reason for the determination, and

(v) the point of law as set out in the notice referred to in section 949AP(2) on which the opinion of the High Court is sought.

(b) A party who has set out in a notice, by the means provided for by section 949AP(2), a point of law may not set out an additional or an alternative point of law after the period referred to in section 949AP(3)(b) has elapsed.

(2) The Appeal Commissioners shall be responsible for the drafting of a case stated and shall not delegate this task to a party (but this is without prejudice to the next following subsection enabling representations in relation to a draft of the case stated).

(3) Before completing and signing a case stated, the Appeal Commissioners shall—

(a) send to the parties a draft of the case stated that they propose signing, and

(b) include, with that draft, a notice indicating that each of the parties may, within 21 days after the date on which the draft has been sent to them, make to the Appeal Commissioners representations in writing in relation to the draft,

and each of the parties may make such representations within that period accordingly.

(4) The Appeal Commissioners shall have regard to any representations so made and may, if they consider it appropriate to do so, modify the draft of the case stated before completing and signing it.

(5) If a party makes representations pursuant to subsection (3), the party shall, at the same time as the party sends the representations to the Appeal Commissioners, send a copy of them to the other party.

(6) As soon as practicable, but not later than three months after receiving the notice referred to in section 949AP(3)(b), the Appeal Commissioners shall complete and sign a case stated and send it to the parties.

(7) A party requesting the case stated shall send it to the High Court within 14 days after the date on which it was sent to the party by the Appeal Commissioners in accordance with subsection (6).

(8) The High Court shall not decline to hear and determine any question of law arising in a case stated by reason of the fact that a thing referred to in subsection (6) or (7) has not been done within the period specified by subsection (6) or (7), as the case may be, if it determines that, in all the circumstances of the matter, it would not be in the interests of justice to so decline to hear and determine that question.

Determinations of High Court

949AR. (1) The High Court shall hear and determine any question of law arising in a case stated and—

(a) shall reverse, affirm or amend the determination of the Appeal Commissioners,

(b) shall remit the matter to the Appeal Commissioners with its opinion on the matter, or

(c) may make such other order in relation to the matter as it thinks just,

and may make such order as to costs as it thinks fit.

(2) The High Court may send the case stated back to the Appeal Commissioners for amendment, in which case—

(a) the Appeal Commissioners shall amend the case stated accordingly, and

(b) the High Court shall, thereafter, proceed in one of the ways specified in subsection (1).

Appeal to Court of Appeal

949AS. An appeal shall lie from a decision, under section 949AR, of the High Court to the Court of Appeal.

Revenue Commissioners to give effect to decisions of High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court

949AT. (1) Section 949AM shall apply to a determination made by the Appeal Commissioners that has been reversed, affirmed or amended by the High Court or the Court of Appeal as it applies to a determination that has not been so reversed, affirmed or amended but, in the case of a decision of the High Court that is appealed to the Court of Appeal under section 949AS, the application (by virtue of this subsection) of section 949AM does not operate for any part of the period during which the appeal to the Court of Appeal remains undisposed of.

(2) Where, in respect of a decision of the High Court or the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, in the circumstances specified by the Constitution, decides to exercise its appellate jurisdiction subsection (1) shall have effect as if—

(a) after ‘Court of Appeal’, where it first occurs in that subsection, there were inserted ‘or the Supreme Court’,

(b) for ‘decision of the High Court that is appealed to the Court of Appeal under section 949AS’ in that subsection there were substituted ‘decision of the High Court or the Court of Appeal in respect of which the Supreme Court, in the circumstances specified by the Constitution, decides to exercise its appellate jurisdiction’, and

(c) for ‘Court of Appeal’, where it last occurs in that subsection, there were substituted ‘Supreme Court’.

Chapter 7

Penalties and Sanctions

Summoning and examination of witnesses

949AU. (1) A person who, after being summoned to appear before the Appeal Commissioners at the time and place appointed for a hearing in accordance with section 949AE—

(a) fails or refuses to so appear,

(b) so appears but refuses to swear an oath,

(c) so appears but refuses to answer any lawful questions relating to a matter under appeal,

shall, subject to subsection (2), be liable to a penalty of €3,000.

(2) Subsection (1)(b) and (c) shall not apply to any employee, agent or other person confidentially employed in the affairs of an appellant.

(3) A document purporting to be signed by the Appeal Commissioners stating that—

(a) a person named in the document was, by summons under section 949AE, required to attend before them on a day and at a time and place specified in the document, and

(b) a sitting of the Appeal Commissioners was held on that day and at that time and place,

shall, in proceedings for a penalty under subsection (1), be evidence of the matters so stated unless the contrary is shown.

(4) Where—

(a) in the absence of an agreement between a person and the Appeal Commissioners that the person is liable to a penalty under this section, or

(b) following the failure by a person to pay a penalty under this section that the person has agreed a liability to,

the Appeal Commissioners are of the opinion that the person is liable to the penalty, the Appeal Commissioners shall give notice in writing to the person of that opinion and that notice shall specify—

(i) the provision under which the penalty arises,

(ii) the circumstances in which the person is liable to the penalty, and

(iii) the amount of the penalty to which the person is liable,

and include such other details as the Appeal Commissioners consider appropriate.

(5) Where a person to whom a notice has been given under subsection (4) does not, within 30 days after the date of the notice—

(a) agree in writing with the opinion contained in that notice, and

(b) make a payment to the Appeal Commissioners of the amount of the penalty specified in that notice,

the Appeal Commissioners may apply to the District Court for that Court to determine whether the failure or refusal referred to in subsection (1) by the person gives rise to a liability to the penalty referred to in that subsection.

(6) The Appeal Commissioners shall give a copy of any application under subsection (5) to the District Court to a person who is the subject of the application.

Dismissal of an appeal

949AV. (1) The Appeal Commissioners may dismiss an appeal where a party has failed to comply, to the Appeal Commissioners’ satisfaction, with a direction given by them under subsection (1) of section 949E in relation to the matter referred to in subsection (2)(a) of that section.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the Appeal Commissioners shall not dismiss an appeal under this section without first giving a party—

(a) written notice of their intention to do so,

(b) a statement of the reasons and considerations on which their intention is based, and

(c) an opportunity for the party to—

(i) provide an explanation as to why the party does not agree with the Appeal Commissioners’ proposed course of action, or

(ii) comply with the direction referred to in subsection (1) to the Appeal Commissioners’ satisfaction.

(3) The Appeal Commissioners shall consider any explanation provided by a party under subsection (2)(c)(i) but—

(a) having considered an explanation by whatever means they consider appropriate, and

(b) having decided, notwithstanding the explanation, to dismiss an appeal,

their decision shall be final and conclusive.”.