Law Society seeks consultation process prior to tax law changes

Representative body for solicitors says not enough time given to practitioners ahead of changes


The Law Society of Ireland has called on the Government to adopt a formal consultation period ahead of important tax law changes, particularly the Finance Bill.

In its pre-budget submission, the representative body for solicitors urged the Government to ensure that adequate time is given to both practitioners and Revenue to consult properly on changes to key tax provisions.

The budget announcements, and the publication of the Finance Bill, are a key indicator of the health of the economy and are closely analysed here at home and internationally, according to Ruth Higgins, solicitor and chair of the society’s taxation committee.

“The Law Society has repeatedly highlighted the need for input from the representative bodies in the introduction of tax legislation, and particularly the Finance Bill,” she said.

Unnecessary lengthy

The Law Society is recommending that a formal technical consultation be introduced before the Finance Bill is published. In its submission, the group also complained about the current tax appeals system, which it said was congested and unnecessary lengthy, particularly in a system with accumulating interest.

It suggested a reduced VAT rate for legal services or at least for legal services utilised by individuals should be considered in order to promote access to justice and to remove the inequality of treatment between individuals and economic traders who can recover VAT.

The society also called a less complex entrepreneur tax relief to enable the State better compete with rival jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom.