What is the new Tax Appeals Commission?
The Finance (Tax Appeals) Act 2015 came into operation on 21 March 2016. This Act gives effect to a revised tax appeals process and established a new independent statutory Tax Appeals Commission (TAC), which replaces the former Office of the Appeal Commissioners.
The TAC adjudicates, hears and determines appeals against Revenue decisions concerning taxes and duties under the Finance (Tax Appeals) Act 2015, the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 as amended and other related legislation. There are currently two Appeal Commissioners, appointed by the Minister for Finance for a period of seven years.
The main change to the tax appeals process is the requirement that all appeals (other than customs duties and Registration Tax "first-stage" appeals) are now made directly to the TAC and not to Revenue in the first instance.
The Appeal Commissioners have sole responsibility for accepting or refusing appeals, although Revenue can raise objections to appeals. If both parties agree, the Appeal Commissioners can make determinations based on written submissions (rather than a full hearing). However, you can insist on a hearing if you wish.
By default, all hearings are held in public. However, you can request that a hearing (or part of a hearing) be held in private. To improve the transparency of the appeals process, the Appeal Commissioners are required to publish anonymised versions of all of their determinations. Another significant change is that appeals can no longer be re-heard before a Circuit Court Judge. You can appeal to the High Court on a point of law, but not in relation to the facts.