908B Application to High Court seeking order requiring information: associated institutions.
(1) In this section—
“the Acts” has the meaning assigned to it by section 1078(1);
“associated institution”, in relation to a financial institution, means a person that—
(a) is controlled by the financial institution (within the meaning of section 432), and
(b) is not resident in the State;
“authorised officer” means an officer of the Revenue Commissioners authorised by them in writing to exercise the powers conferred by this section;
“books, records or other documents” includes—
(a) any records used in the business of an associated institution, or used in the transfer department of an associated institution acting as registrar of securities, whether—
(i) comprised in bound volume, loose-leaf binders or other loose-leaf filing system, loose-leaf ledger sheets, pages, folios or cards, or
(ii) kept on microfilm, magnetic tape or in any non-legible form (by the use of electronics or otherwise) which is capable of being reproduced in a legible form,
(b) every electronic or other automatic means, if any, by which any such thing in non-legible form is so capable of being reproduced,
(c) documents in manuscript, documents which are typed, printed, stencilled or created by any other mechanical or partly mechanical process in use from time to time and documents which are produced by any photographic or photostatic process, and
(d) correspondence and records of other communications between an associated institution and its customers;
“financial institution” means—
(a) a person who holds or has held a licence under section 9 of the Central Bank Act 1971,
(b) a person referred to in section 7(4) of the Central Bank Act 1971, or
(c) a credit institution (within the meaning of the European Communities (Licensing and Supervision of Credit Institutions) Regulations 1992 (S.I. No. 395 of 1992)) which has been authorised by the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland to carry on business of a credit institution in accordance with the provisions of the supervisory enactments (within the meaning of those Regulations);
“judge” means a judge of the High Court;
“liability” in relation to a person means any liability in relation to tax which the person is or may be, or may have been, subject, or the amount of such liability;
“tax” means any tax, duty, levy or charge under the care and management of the Revenue Commissioners;
“a taxpayer” means any person including 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, subject to this section, make an application to a judge for an order requiring a financial institution to do either or both of the following, namely—
(a) to make available for inspection by the authorised officer, such books, records or other documents as are in the power, possession or procurement of an associated institution, in relation to the financial institution, as contain, or may (in the authorised officer’s opinion formed on reasonable grounds) contain information relevant to a liability in relation to a taxpayer, or
(b) to furnish to the authorised officer such information, explanations and particulars held by, or available from, the financial institution or an associated institution, in relation to the financial institution, as the authorised officer may reasonably require, being information, explanations or particulars that are relevant to any such liability,
and which are specified in the application.
(3) An authorised officer shall not make an application under subsection (2) without the consent in writing of a Revenue Commissioner, and without being satisfied—
(a) that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the taxpayer, or where the taxpayer is a group or class of persons, all or any one of those persons, may have failed or may fail to comply with any provision of the Acts,
(b) that any such failure is likely to have led or to lead to serious prejudice to the proper assessment or collection of tax (having regard to the amount of a liability in relation to the taxpayer, or where the taxpayer is a group or class of persons, the amount of a liability, in relation to all or any one of them, that arises or might arise from such failure), and
(c) that the information—
(i) which is likely to be contained in the books, records or other documents to which the application relates, or
(ii) which is likely to arise from the information, explanations and particulars to which the application relates,
is relevant to the proper assessment or collection of tax.
(4) Where the judge, to whom an application is made under subsection (2), is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for the application being made, then the judge may, subject to such conditions as he or she may consider proper and specify in the order, make an order requiring the financial institution—
(a) to make available for inspection by the authorised officer, such books, records or other documents, and
(b) to furnish to the authorised officer such information, explanations and particulars,
as may be specified in the order.
(5) The persons who may be treated as a taxpayer for the purposes of this section include a company which has been dissolved and an individual who has died.
(6) Where in compliance with an order made under subsection (4) a financial institution makes available for inspection by an authorised officer, books, records or other documents, then the financial institution shall afford the authorised officer reasonable assistance, including information, explanations and particulars, in relation to the use of all the electronic or other automatic means, if any, by which the books, records or other documents, in so far as they are in a non-legible form, are capable of being reproduced in a legible form, and any data equipment or any associated apparatus or material.
(7) Where in compliance with an order made under subsection (4) a financial institution makes books, records or other documents available for inspection by the authorised officer, then the authorised officer may make extracts from or copies of all or any part of the books, records or other documents.
(8) Every hearing of an application for an order under this section and of any appeal in connection with that application shall be held in camera.