Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath TD has said that an urgent review is needed to address serious deficiencies at the Tax Appeals Commission. Figures revealed in response to his parliamentary questions show that over 3,600 appeals remain to be resolved at the Commission amounting to over €1.6 billion in outstanding tax.
Deputy McGrath commented, “The figures revealed are truly staggering and serve to highlight what appear to be serious underlying operational and resource problems facing the Commission. These issues must be tackled if we are to have a fully functioning and efficient tax appeals regime in Ireland.
“By far the most disturbing element of all this is the fact that the situation is getting worse and worse. Each month more appeals are coming into the Commission than are being resolved. In 2017, 252 appeals were resolved while 1,743 came in – that’s a net increase of around 1,500.
“In 2018 the trend shows no sign no easing with 251 appeals being lodged in January and remarkably only one appeal resolved. If 2017 is replicated in 2018 we will soon see over 5,000 appeals awaiting resolution. This cannot continue, and if the appeals regime is to have any credibility whatsoever, urgent steps are required to address the issues present.
“The lack of resources is clearly a pressing issue. Currently there are only two permanent Commissioners, one temporary Commissioner and only around 12 staff members. That means that there are over 1,000 appeals for each Commissioner.
“Without intervention from the Minister, the system will simply grind to a halt and will ultimately add to the cost of doing business in Ireland. An increasing amount of tax potentially owed to the State will remain uncollected for a prolonged period of time. An urgent review is needed to assess the entire appeals system and the resource issues need to be addressed if the Commission is to be any way effective”, concluded McGrath.