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Published on Fri 01 of Apr, 2016
Revenue eBrief No. 34/16: Tax and Duty Appeals Manual

The new tax and duty appeals process came into operation on 21 March 2016. Revenue has published a new Tax and Duty Appeals Manual (PDF, 1.05MB). This manual will be populated incrementally as the new appeals process becomes established.
Published on Thu 31 of Mar, 2016
Revenue eBrief No. 34/16: Change of Responsibility for e-Tax Clearance from 1st April 2016

The Collector-General’s office will assume responsibility for tax clearance with effect from 1 April 2016.

The vast majority of taxpayers now apply for tax clearance via the new on-line facility (e-Tax Clearance), without any need to contact Revenue. The system can be accessed via ROS for business customers or via MyAccount for PAYE and non-ROS customers.

However, where a taxpayer experiences any difficulties in using the new e-Tax Clearance system or has any queries in regard to tax clearance generally, contact should be made with the Collector-General’s office at telephone number 1890 20 30 70 or by writing to the Office of the Collector-General, Sarsfield House, Francis Street, Limerick. Contact with the Collector-General’s office can also be made via MyEnquiries if the taxpayer is registered for the service.

Where a taxpayer requiring tax clearance is not e-enabled for any reason, contact should be made with the local tax office or with the Collector-General’s office to request a Form TC1, which should be completed and returned to the Office of the Collector-General, Sarsfield House, Francis Street, Limerick.
Published on Wed 23 of Mar, 2016
Revenue eBrief No. 33/16: Increased compliance interventions in the construction sector – application of the Reverse Charge for VAT and other matters

As outlined in eBrief No. 77/15 (25 August 2015), Revenue has increased its focus on compliance risks in the Construction Sector. One particular compliance risk highlighted in that eBrief was the proper operation of the VAT Reverse Charge.

In the course of the programme of interventions carried out to date, it has become clear that the VAT Reverse Charge is not being applied properly in a number of cases. In addition, other matters have come to our attention during interventions whichare referenced below:

VAT Reverse Charge for construction operations (excluding haulage)

Some of the issues being encountered include:

  • Failure on the part of the Principal contractor to self account for the VAT.
  • Incorrect completion of the VAT invoice/document by the Sub-contractor.
  • Application of the two thirds rule where the VAT Reverse Charge applies.
  • Completing the VAT 3 incorrectly (ignoring the reverse charge altogether).
  • Failure to apply the VAT Reverse Charge where there is a construction supply between connected parties.

As part of our ongoing programme of interventions in the construction sector, Revenue will be paying particular attention to how the VAT Reverse Charge is being operated. Penalties will be applied where appropriate.

The rules for Principal contractors and Sub-contractors involved in the construction industry and how they account for VAT are set out on the Revenue website.

Country Money

Payment of country money without deduction of PAYE/PRSI/USC is subject to strict criteria (PDF, 77KB). Checks on the payment of country money are a feature of Revenue interventions in the sector. Employers and their agents should ensure that all payments of country money satisfy the relevant criteria.

Operation of Relevant Contracts Tax (RCT)

With the introduction of the eRCT system in 2012, Revenue now has access to real time data on activity in the sector. This data is used in our risk analysis systems to identify cases where RCT is not being operated correctly and this informs our selection of cases for intervention. Particular issues arise where contracts are not notified to Revenue and/or where payments are either not notified or are notified after the actual payment is made. Again, Principal contractors and their agents should ensure that where payments are made under a relevant contract, RCT is operated correctly on those payments.

Sub-contractors and Principals/Sub-contractors operating in the construction sector are reminded that failure to operate the VAT, PAYE or RCT requirements correctly will impact on their compliance history and may result in penalties being applied and/or their RCT deduction rate being increased.

Self-Review by Taxpayers

As is our normal practice, we strongly encourage self-review by those operating in the construction sector and recommend that Principals/Sub-contractors regularise their affairs before any Revenue compliance intervention begins.

Published on Fri 11 of Mar, 2016
Revenue eBrief No. 32/16: Guidelines for Using the Court Process to Pursue Tax Liabilities

Solicitor referral is the process by which Revenue commences enforcement action through the Courts. The first legal option available to Revenue will be to obtain a Court judgment that an amount is due to Revenue by a taxpayer. Revenue can then pursue further legal action such as:

  • Judgment Mortgage
  • Forced Sale
  • Instalment and Committal Orders
  • Bankruptcy for Individuals
  • Liquidation of Companies.

Revenue has contracts with six firms of external Solicitors for the provision of the legal services associated with debt collection and the enforcement process. With the exception of liquidation work which is carried out by the Revenue Solicitor’s Office (RSO), the legal services associated with Revenue debt collection are performed by the six firms.

This eBrief sets out amendments that have been made to the Tax and Duty Manual - Guidelines to Using the Court Process to Pursue Tax Liabilities (PDF,404KB) - as follows:

Part 1 - Paragraph 16 - Satisfaction of Judgments and Discharging Judgment Mortgages - This is a new paragraph to the Guide. Registration of Satisfaction can occur if the payment of the Judgment sum is full or partial or if there is no payment but an agreement is reached with the Defendant to vacate the Judgment for whatever reason. A Discharge of a Judgment Mortgage or Release of a Judgment Mortgage is when a Plaintiff agrees to discharge or release a Judgment Mortgage that was previously registered on the Defendant's property.

Part 1 - Paragraph 21 - Registration of a Judgment Mortgage - This is a new paragraph to the Guide and sets out the procedures in relation to the registration of a Judgment Mortgage.

Part 1 - Paragraph 25 - Bankruptcy - This section has been updated to reflect current procedures.

Part 1 - Paragraph 26 - Debtor Petitions for Bankruptcy - This is a new paragraph to the Guide. Debtor Petitions for Bankruptcy allow a person experiencing financial difficulties to present a petition to the Court to declare him/herself bankrupt. The Court will consider adjudicating an individual bankrupt only if it is satisfied that a Debt Settlement Arrangement or a Personal Insolvency Arrangement is not a more appropriate option.

Part 1 - Paragraph 27 - Mareva Injunction - This is a new paragraph to the Guide. A Mareva Injunction is used to prevent dissipation of assets.

Part 1 - Paragraph 28 - Garnishee Order - This is a new paragraph to the Guide. A Garnishee Order is where an application is made to the Court to secure a direction that any third party monies owed to the taxpayer are paid directly to Revenue.

Part 1 - Paragraph 29 - Receiver by way of Equitable Execution - This is a new paragraph to the Guide. The appointment of a Receiver by way of Equitable Execution - where an application is made to the Court for an independent person to receive monies that may be payable to a taxpayer at a future date.

Appendix 1 - District Court Certificate - This is new to the Guide. There is no longer a requirement to have sworn evidence submitted by way of Affidavit for defended District Court Cases as per the new District Court Rules.

Appendix 2 - High Court Affidavit - Appearance filed - This is new to the Guide

Appendix 11 - Solicitor Schedule - Referrals to Solicitors are based on GCDs. These have been updated to reflect recent changes.

Appendix 12 - Solicitor Contacts - All contacts have been updated to reflect recent changes.
Published on Fri 11 of Mar, 2016
Revenue eBrief No. 30/16: Commencement of new tax and duty appeals process

On 21 March 2016, the Finance (Tax Appeals) Act 2015 will come into operation and the new Tax Appeals Commission (TAC) will be established.

From that date, all appeals (with the exception of customs duty appeals and "first-stage" VRT appeals) will have to be made directly to the TAC and not through Revenue in the first instance. In the meantime, the current procedures will continue to apply.

An appeal will have to be made by submitting a "Notice of Appeal" to the TAC. A Notice of Appeal form will be available on the TAC's website (taxappeals.ie) when it goes live. The TAC will have an email address info at taxappeals.ie and will have the same postal address as the current Office of the Appeal Commissioners - Fitzwilton House, Wilton Place, Dublin 2 D02 FX04.
Published on Fri 04 of Mar, 2016
Revenue eBrief No. 28/16: Credit in respect of tax deducted from emoluments of certain directors and employees - Section 997A TCA 1997(tax credits held

The purpose of Section 997A is to deny certain directors and employees a credit for tax deducted from their remuneration until such tax has been remitted to the Collector-General. The section applies to a person, being a director or employee of a company, who either alone or with one or more connected persons is able to control more than 15% of the ordinary share capital in that company or where any person connected with such director or employee, either alone or with any other person who is so connected, is able to exercise such control.

Tax and Duty Manual Part 42-04-59 (PDF,123KB) has been amended to provide guidance on the meaning of 'connected person' as defined by Section 10 TCA 1997.

The manual further clarifies that for the purposes of section 997A 'tax' includes any tax deductible under the PAYE system. It therefore includes income tax, USC, PRSI and LPT.
Published on Fri 26 of Feb, 2016
Revenue eBrief No. 23/16: Bus, Rail, and Ferry Passes

The Tax and Duty Manual Part 05.03.11 (PDF, 94KB). sets out the conditions relating to salary sacrifice arrangements in accordance with section 118B of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. This manual has been updated to clarify that an employee may enter into a "salary sacrifice" arrangement in respect of bus, rail and ferry passes more than once in a year where the conditions of the scheme are otherwise met.

EXTRACT:

Salary Sacrifice in the Specific Context of Bus, Rail and Ferry Passes

For the benefit-in-kind exemption to apply, the travel pass must be provided under a Revenue Approved Salary Sacrifice arrangement in accordance with Sect 118B TCA 1997. It is not sufficient for an employer to purchase the relevant travel pass and recoup the expense from the employee. In the specific context of the provision of bus, rail and ferry passes Revenue are prepared to accept that Benefit in Kind provisions will not apply to travel passes provided under an approved salary sacrifice arrangement where the following conditions are satisfied;

  1. There must be a bona fide and enforceable alteration to the terms and conditions of employment (exercising a choice of benefit instead of salary) with the consent of the employer.
  2. The alteration must not be retrospective and must be evidenced in writing
  3. There must be no entitlement to exchange the benefit for cash

Note: an employee may enter into a "salary sacrifice" arrangement more than
once in a year with the agreement of the employer
Published on Mon 15 of Feb, 2016
Revenue eBrief No. 21/16: Transition to the reformed tax and duty appeals process

Following a public consultation on the reform of the tax and duty appeals process carried out by the Department of Finance, the Finance (Tax Appeals) Act 2015 was enacted on 25 December 2015. The Act contains wide-ranging provisions designed to improve the transparency and efficiency of the appeals process and to strengthen the independence of the new established Tax Appeals Commission (TAC). One of the more important measures to strengthen the independence of the TAC will be the requirement for appeals to be submitted directly to the TAC instead of through Revenue.

While the Act has been enacted, it requires the making of a Commencement Order before it can come into operation. The making of such an Order is at the discretion of the Minister for Finance. Until the Act is commenced, all of the current appeal procedures will continue to apply. In particular, taxpayers and agents are reminded that notices of appeal should continue to be submitted to Revenue in the first instance.

Revenue understands that some taxpayers/agents have submitted notices of appeal directly to the TAC. Pending the commencement of the Act, the TAC will refer any appeals received by it to Revenue to be processed in the usual way. In such cases, compliance with the statutory time limit that is allowed for making the appeal will be assessed by reference to the timing of the submission of the notice of appeal to the TAC and not when the TAC refers the appeal to Revenue.

For further information see Tax and Duty Manual Part 40-00-00: Transition to the reformed tax and duty appeals process (PDF, 83KB).
Published on Mon 15 of Feb, 2016
Revenue eBrief No. 20/16: Revenue launches dedicated Tax Avoidance webpage

Tax avoidance is the use of tax reliefs and allowances in a way in which they were not intended to be used or attempting to pass off a transaction undertaken primarily to seek a tax advantage as a legitimate business transaction.

The vast majority of Irish taxpayers pay the right amount of tax. However, a small minority attempt to reduce the amount of tax they have to pay by engaging in tax avoidance.

It is Revenue policy to challenge tax avoidance schemes and unintended use of the legislation which threatens tax yields and the fairness of the tax system. A new Tax Avoidance page on the Revenue website contains guidance on what Revenue considers to be tax avoidance, together with information on the various legislative tools available to Revenue to detect and tackle it. You can navigate to the Tax Avoidance page on the Revenue website by clicking on: Business & Self-Assessment – Tax Avoidance.

We encourage taxpayers to review their tax and duty affairs regularly and to quantify and report any irregularities to Revenue. The same approach should be taken in relation to tax avoidance.
Published on Wed 10 of Feb, 2016
Revenue eBrief No. 19/16: Procedures to follow when Issuing S110 VAT Estimates/Amended Estimates

This Guideline concerns the raising of VAT Estimates in the absence of filed VAT Returns. The following amendments have been made to the Tax and Duty Manual: Procedures to follow when issuing Annual VAT Estimate/Amended Estimates (PDF, 153KB).

Page 3 - Paragraph 1.4 - This is a new paragraph to the Guide.

For taxpayers who are bi-monthly remitters, the VAT 3 and payment is due on 19th of the month following the taxable period (e.g. 1st November 2015 to 31st December 2015 – return and payment due on 19th January 2016).

Smaller companies/customers may be eligible for reduced frequency of filing VAT returns and payments. For those companies/customers availing of these arrangements, the following rules apply:

  • Businesses making total annual VAT payments of less than €3,000 are eligible to file VAT returns and make payments on a 6 monthly basis;
  • Businesses making total annual VAT payments of between €3,000 and €14,400 are eligible to file VAT returns and make payments on a 4 monthly basis. For more information, see eBrief 96/2014

Appendix 3 - Amended Notice of Estimation of Value Added Tax Payable - A payslip is now included on this form.
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