Revenue Note for Guidance
This section empowers an authorised officer to apply to the High Court to seek an order requiring a domestic financial institution to supply information held by a foreign entity over which it has control. The provisions of the section are largely similar to those of section 908 which allows similar access to information in the hands of a domestic financial institution.
(1) The definitions of “the Acts”, “associated institution”, “authorised officer”, “books, records or other documents”, “financial institution”, “judge”, “liability”, “tax” and “a taxpayer” are set out.
“the Acts” has the meaning given to it in section 1078(1);
“associated institution” is defined in relation to a financial institution and means a person that is controlled by the financial institution and is also not resident in the State. Under section 432, in general, a person has control of a company if the person exercises, or is able to exercise or is entitled to acquire, control, whether direct or indirect, over the company’s affairs, including where the person possesses the greater part of the share capital of the company.
“a taxpayer” is defined to include a person whose identity is not known to the authorised officer, and a group or class of persons whose individual identities are not so known.
(2) An authorised officer may make an application to a judge of the High Court for an order requiring a named financial institution to do either or both of the following—
The books, records or other documents concerned must contain, or be reasonably considered to contain information relevant to a taxpayer’s liability. Likewise the information sought must be relevant to such liability.
(3) Before an authorised officer can make an application under subsection (2), the consent of a Revenue Commissioner must be obtained, and the authorised officer must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the taxpayer concerned (or in the case of a group or class of persons, all or any one of those persons) have evaded tax to a significant extent and that the information or books, records or other documents sought are relevant to the correct assessment of the taxpayer’s liability.
(4) Where an application is made under subsection (2), if the judge is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for the application being made he/she may, subject to such conditions that are considered proper and are specified in the order, make an order requiring the financial institution to make specified records available for inspection and/or furnish specified information.
(5) Books, records or other documents or information sought under this section can be in relation to an individual who has died or a company which has been dissolved.
(6) A financial institution, which has been required by a High Court order to make books, records or other documents available for inspection by an authorised officer, is required to give reasonable assistance to the authorised officer for the purposes of that inspection.
(7) The authorised officer is permitted to make extracts from, or copies of, the books, records or other documents made available for inspection.
(8) The hearing of an application under this section for an order or the hearing of any appeal connected to that order is to be held in camera.
Relevant Date: Finance Act 2020