How politicians helped to block plans for all tax hearings to be held in public, despite advice from Revenue

Last year, it seemed as if one area of significant public interest – the hearing of tax appeals against the Revenue Commissioners – was about to become a good deal more public.

The Revenue Commissioners were all in favour and made strong arguments that the practice of holding in-camera hearings was out of date, and out of line with international best practice.

Civil servants in the Department of Finance echoed that view, making a strong case that public hearings would “become the exception rather than the norm”.

However, by the time new legislation was signed by Minister Michael Noonan late in 2015, a very important ‘but’ had been added.

Instead of automatic public hearings, those involved in tax appeals could instead decide whether or not they want their appeal to be private … and it is difficult to see too many opting for transparency.

You can read the full story in the latest edition of Village Magazine (in shops now) or at the following link.

Below are the documents that were released by the Revenue Commissioners under FOI.

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