Written answers

Thursday, 4 July 2024

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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87. To ask the Minister for Finance if he will address the situation whereby if a person has over paid tax or failed to claim a credit, they can only claim back up to a maximum of four years, but there is no time limit for how far back the Revenue Commissioners can seek reimbursement if tax is owed to it; if he will ensure parity of treatment in relation to this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28638/24]

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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Section 865 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (TCA) provides a general right to repayment of tax where a person has paid tax which is not due. Section 865(4) TCA provides that the right to repayment is subject to making a claim within a statutory limit of four years after the end of the chargeable period to which the claim relates. That limit is binding on Revenue as well as on taxpayers. Determinations of the Tax Appeals Commission in differing appellant circumstances confirm there is no discretion in the application of the four-year rule for claiming repayments.

In 2003, when section 865 TCA was introduced, Revenue’s general right to make or amend assessments was also reduced to four years. Previously, the general time limit on the making or amending of assessments by Revenue had been between six and ten years. The provision of a general four-year time limit for Revenue making or amending assessments and for taxpayers to claim a repayment of tax creates parity between Revenue and taxpayers.

With that said, in certain limited circumstances, Revenue’s right to make or amend an assessment is not time limited. These circumstances include where fraud or neglect is suspected or in the context of the application of general anti-avoidance rules.

When the four-year time limits were introduced in 2003, the then Minister for Finance stated he was satisfied that they achieved the necessary balance between establishing a fair and uniform system for taxpayers while providing necessary protection for the Exchequer. I am satisfied that continues to be the position.

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