The objects and reasons of this Bill are to amend the Eco-Contribution Act to consolidate existing provisions and ensure streamlining of the responsibilities of the Competent Authority. Such Bill also proposes the introduction of the concept of joint and several liability of persons acting as representative for any legal person,trust, fund or other entity for any tax due by the person or entity being represented and the deletion of a legal provision which has been considered to go against the ne bis in idem principle.
Two specific legal provisions found in the Act; one which regulate the collection of eco-contribution and, another one relate to administrative penalties are proposed to be aligned to reflect the present actual practice by the competent authority which is that to send one notice for both eco-contribution and penalties dues. In this manner the Eco-Contribution Act will be more in line with the Value Added Tax Act.
The proposed Bill also introduces the publication of the aforementioned notice in the Government Gazette and one or more daily newspapers as a last resort of notification of the notice in cases where such notice could not be notified to the person concerned due to the impossibility of tracing such person or reasons attributable to the same. The proposed Bill includes provisions which regulate in a clear manner whether payments affected to the competent authority should be deemed to have been made for any eco-contribution or administrative penalty due.
The consequential amendments to the Eco-Contribution Regulations propose a reasonable capping of administrative penalties at the amount of two hundred and fifty euro for each return which is furnished late and the same amount cannot be exceeded in a penalty imposed for a late registration in line with the legal principle of proportionality.
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