The Finance (Tax Appeals and Prospectus Regulation) Bill 2019 (the "Bill") was published on 24 June 2019. It proposes to amend the Finance (Tax Appeals) Act 2015 and Section 949AQ of the Tax Consolidation Act 1997 ("TCA"). As well as providing for the appointment of a chairperson of the Tax Appeals Commission ("TAC") it also is proposing to amend the legislation that deals with appeals from the determination of an Appeal Commissioner to the High Court by way of case stated.
The TAC hears disputes concerning tax matters and an appeal from a determination of an Appeals Commissioner is by way of a case stated on a point of law to the High Court. A case stated is a procedure by which a court or tribunal essentially asks another court for an opinion on a point of law.
Section 949AQ TCA stipulates what should be contained in a case stated document and that the Appeals Commissioner is responsible for drafting the case stated document. Sub-section 7 of the existing Section 949AQ TCA merely states that a party requesting the case stated must send it to the High Court within 14 days after the date on which it was sent to the party by the Appeals Commissioner. Although responsibility for drafting the case stated document rests with the Appeals Commissioner, responsibility for lodging it with the High Court rests with the appellant.
The Bill proposes the replacement of sub-section 7 with a comprehensive set of provisions which include, that the party requesting the case stated must compile a copy of the exhibits specified in the case stated and include the copy of the exhibits with the case stated when sending it to the High Court. It also provides that where the party requesting the case stated does not have "within his or her possession or control or within his or her procurement" a copy of an exhibit specified in the case stated document the party requesting the case stated may request the Appeal Commissioners to instruct the other party to provide a copy of the exhibit to the party requesting the case stated. If so instructed by the Appeal Commissioner to provide any exhibits sought they must provide a copy of the exhibit within the time specified in the notice.
It was felt that these amendments were necessary to ensure that the case stated document accurately reflected all the matters considered by the Appeals Commissioner in arriving at his/her determination so that the High Court judge would be appraised of all relevant matters in reaching his/her decision on the point of law at issue on appeal.