Minister Donohoe to review ACCA’s VAT concerns

ACCA has said that the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is reviewing concerns it has raised regarding the significant delay in VAT registration in Ireland with the process, which takes over three months, costing jobs.

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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About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. 

ACCA supports its 200,000 members and 486,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 101 offices and centres and more than 7,200 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

ACCA is currently introducing major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally. 

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. 

"ACCA wants to highlight the current challenges being experienced and we welcome the Minister’s review"

Stephen O'Flaherty - chairman, ACCA Ireland