Check your Clock – there’s a refund time limit!

by | General, Inside News

A recent case before the Revenue Appeals Commissioners related to a refund of tax being refused because it was outside the 4 year limit.

This is a common theme for Revenue Appeals, and very often the taxpayer may have valid and compelling reasons as to why the refund was claimed after the limit.

However, the legislation is clear, a late claim cannot succeed on statutory grounds – the following case illustrates this:

  • On 7 June 2022, the taxpayer filed her Form 11 income tax return for 2017. The return showed an overpayment of income tax in the amount of €3,202.03.
  • On 20 July 2022, Revenue refused the taxpayer’s claim for a repayment of tax as it was not made within four years.
  • On 23 December 2022, the taxpayer appealed the refusal, to the Commission.

Section 865, subsection 4 of the TCA 1997 states that a valid claim for the repayment of tax under the Acts, for any chargeable period shall not be allowed unless it is made within 4 years after the end of the chargeable period to which the claim relates.

In her appeal, dated 23rd December 2022, the taxpayer states that she has spent numerous hours trying to understand the Irish tax system.

Due to the pandemic, she was unable to speak to a representative from Revenue in person and found it difficult to discuss her issues over the phone.

She also had health issues and her mother was very ill.

The taxpayer found an accountant in March 2022 and discovered she was due a refund from 2017.


The Commissioner was satisfied that Revenue were correct to refuse the claim for a refund of tax, as section 865 does not allow the Revenue, or the Commission

on appeal, to take into account any mitigating circumstances for the failure to comply with the mandated timeframe.

The Commissioner appreciated that this was frustrating and disappointing for the taxpayer, who was entitled to exercise her right to an appeal to the Commission of Revenue’s refusal of her claim.

In particular, he appreciated the difficult and stressful time she has experienced with the ill health and subsequent death of her mother, and he wished her well in that regard.

Be Careful

It is worth noting for Tax Practitioners that, if they are dealing with a client who requires filing of late returns, to check at the outset if any might be close to the 4 year limit, in case a refund may be due.

We hope you found this blog informative, please feel free to contact us if you have any queries regarding this topic, or indeed, if you require any tax advice.
We are tax advisors for accountants

We are a specialist Tax Advisory Practice providing a comprehensive support service to Accountants, Solicitors and Financial Advisers in Ireland. If you have any questions at all, or are seeking Tax Advisory support, please get in touch.