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Company must provide information on taxpayers to foreign tax authorities

By: Hannah Godfrey BL

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High Court orders respondent company to provide information on certain taxpayers as sought by the Revenue Commissioners on behalf of certain foreign tax authorities, finding that: (a) the jurisdictional prerequisites for the making of such orders had been met; (b) the authorised officer had met the relatively low threshold of reasonable grounds for suspicion in forming an opinion; (c) there were reasonable grounds for bringing the applications; and (d) it was appropriate to exercise the court’s discretion in favour of making the order where there was a public interest in compliance with tax law.

Applications brought by the Revenue Commissioners acting on behalf of foreign tax authorities, seeking orders against an Irish-based company to provide specific information regarding financial affairs of certain categories of taxpayers in foreign countries - hearing in camera and proceedings anonymised - orders sought in relation to four different jurisdictions - multiple legislative sources for the rules applying to the different jurisdictions - whether respondent should have liberty to refer to the existence but not the terms of the order for the purpose of responding to queries raised by individuals or entities whose information is obtained by foreign tax authorities and in response to queries by regulators or law enforcement authorities - whether jurisdictional prerequisites had been met - whether the Revenue's authorised officer was acting on reasonable grounds for suspicion - whether there were reasonable grounds for the application to have been made - whether it was appropriate to exercise the court’s discretion in favour of making the orders sought.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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