The professional body which represents over 11,000 accountants in Ireland has said that the glacial process is a having a considerable impact on the potential for start-ups and SME’s to build their businesses in Ireland and is in stark contrast to Northern Ireland where 70% of applications are completed within 10 working days.
Following an approach to the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, ACCA has been informed that Minister Donohue is reviewing their concerns and will update the professional organisation on the issue.
It is understood the VAT process has slowed and a large number of cases refused to combat concerns around fraud.
Aidan Clifford, Technical Director, ACCA said that the organisation has advised the government that not only is this issue impacting the number of start-ups in Ireland, but it will also have a detrimental impact on our international status as a good place to do business.
ACCA’s chairman Stephen O’Flaherty, said, 'Our members are working with start-ups and SME’s across Ireland and they are being held back in the formation and development of their businesses due the protracted VAT process. Indeed, we are finding that businesses are increasingly looking elsewhere, such as Northern Ireland where the VAT process is more business friendly or are shelving plans until the process changes.
'While VAT fraud is a very serious issue that needs to be addressed there are safeguards in other countries that don’t impact on business development and cost jobs with a timely tax administration process in place. That is what we need in Ireland.
'We have outlined our suggestions to the Government which includes closer supervision of new business by Revenue and a guaranteed two-week turnaround for existing companies with good tax compliance history.
'To maximise economic potential, particularly in support of the urban rural divide, Ireland needs to ensure it is commercially friendly for businesses of all sizes, be they large or small, indigenous or FDI. SMEs are much more exposed to business and tax administration processes and ACCA wants to highlight the current challenges being experienced and we welcome the Minister’s review of same and look forward to progress on this issue in due course.'
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