On 26 January 2017, Revenue released an eBrief (No.08/17) (the "January 2017 eBrief") stating that all opinions/confirmations issued by Revenue are subject to a maximum validity period of 5 years, or such shorter period as may have been specified by Revenue when providing the opinion/confirmation.
This follows an eBrief issued on 26 September 2016 (No.79/16), which confirmed the reduction, from 7 to 5 years, of the period for which opinions or confirmations from Revenue's Large Cases Division (LCD) will apply. A further eBrief (No.89/16) was issued on 21 October 2016 concerning Revenue opinions/confirmations issued to non-LCD taxpayers.
The January 2017 eBrief also outlines that all opinions/confirmations that were issued more than 5 years ago, and which tax payers wish to continue to rely on, are subject to review. On this basis, after 1 January 2017, taxpayers and practitioners may not continue to rely on any opinion/confirmation which issued before 1 January 2012 (and had not lapsed or ceased to have effect before 1 January 2017) unless they have, by 30 June 2017:
- supplied evidence of the opinion/confirmation, being a copy of a written communication which originated from Revenue; and
- lodged a full application for the renewal or extension of the opinion/confirmation with the Revenue District dealing with the taxpayer’s affairs.
Guidelines in respect of opinions/confirmations given by LCD are contained in part 37.0.40 of the Tax and Duty Manual.