THE new president of the Irish Tax Institute has lashed out at Revenue, saying businesses have been facing big delays in getting clarifications on important tax questions.
Marie Bradley said some businesses are waiting three to six months for answers on technical questions.
This, she said, leaves “many businesses in the dark about their decisions and the tax compliance consequences”.
“It stalls investment, creates uncertainty and ultimately stifles growth in the economy.”
Ms Bradley said businesses had also encountered cases where different departments within Revenue provided differing advice on aspects of tax law. Revenue said in response that it “endeavours to reply to complex technical queries within 20 working days”.
It said there a number of reasons why it can take longer to respond, including the complex nature of some queries or if further clarification is needed from the person who made the query.
“Also, instances where professionals are seeking technical confirmation on material they should be reasonably confident on can also put pressure on the system and slow down responses,” Revenue said.
It added that it “expects that tax professionals will have researched and analysed the issue themselves and only where the answer remains unclear, seek further guidance”. It said that a quality assurance programme is in place to ensure consistency and accuracy in opinions issued.
The Irish Tax Institute is a representative and educational body for chartered tax advisers.
Ms Bradley was speaking at the organisation’s annual general meeting yesterday.