ACCOUNTANCY AGE STORY: Taxpayer in rare victory as Revenue admits to failure

In a rare victory, the firm successfully argued its client’s tax affairs had become unnecessarily complicated under self assessment because the Revenue was unable to process transactions properly which incurred additional time costs for the client.

While refusing to name the client or the value of the refund, tax partner Jay Purang revealed the fees involved were ‘substantial in relation to the size of the client’. He said it was almost unprecedented for the Revenue to refund such a large proportion of a taxpayer’s fees.

Refunding of fees incurred by clients for work undertaken by their advisors is a rare occurrence. Since self assessment was introduced, responsibility has passed to individuals and companies to pay the correct tax. But the issue of fairness as a two-way process has become more significant.

After months of research, tax senior Krishna Soopramanien convinced the Revenue the problems were caused by the demands of the self-assessment regime.After writing to the compliance unit, the case was handed to the Revenue complaints team for further investigation.

‘The Revenue displayed a lack of communication and consistency. The main problems which we had were that there were changes of personnel internally and they were passing the buck. We had to reinvent the wheel at various stages,’ Purang said.

‘There was also confusion about what tax had been paid and whether interest should have been paid.’

A Revenue spokeswoman said: ‘It is very rare that we do refund any fees but if people have a genuine complaint about our procedures we will investigate and, if necessary, make a compensation payment on any fees they have incurred.’

A tax system close to collapse?

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