Useful Tips For Your Christmas Parties

As we approach the festive party season, we want to take a moment to emphasise the importance of maintaining a safe and respectful environment during work-related social events. While these gatherings are meant to celebrate the hard work and achievements of the past year, it’s crucial for employers to uphold Health and Safety standards for all employees in attendance.

To mitigate the risk of issues such as bullying, harassment, and misconduct arising from these events, we recommend the following preventative measures:
• Inclusive Invitations:
Extend invitations to all employees, even those on extended leave. Inclusivity fosters a positive workplace culture.
• Reiterate Dignity at Work Policy:
Re-circulate the company’s Dignity at Work Policy ahead of any events, explicitly mentioning its applicability to work-related social events.
• Disciplinary Awareness:
Clearly outline the potential disciplinary actions, including dismissal, for breaches of the Dignity at Work policy during social events.
• Communication of Policies:

  • Ensure employees are familiar with the company’s Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures, emphasising the importance of responsible behaviour.
  • Re-circulate the social media Policy ahead of any events to prevent privacy infringements or damage to the company’s reputation resulting from online posts.
  • Communicate the company’s Absence Policy for events scheduled on work nights, promoting responsible attendance.
  • Brief management on policies and procedures, empowering them to address inappropriate behaviour should it occur.

• Conversation Guidelines:
Advise against discussions on sensitive topics to avoid potential conflicts.
• Accessible Venues:
Ensure event locations are accessible to all employees, including those with disabilities.
• Dietary Considerations:
Select venues that cater to various dietary requirements to accommodate all employees.
• Safe Transit Options:
Encourage safe transit home by providing details of local public transport or suggesting prebooking taxis.
• Zero Tolerance for Driving Under the Influence:
Take a strong stance against driving under the influence, prioritising the safety of all employees.
Additionally, in the spirit of inclusivity, consider rebranding the Christmas Party as an “End of Year Celebration” to make all employees feel welcome or make it clear that the celebration of Christmas is not a requirement of celebrating this event.

New requirements to provide a PPSN

In this ever-evolving landscape of corporate compliance, it is essential to keep up to date with all the latest regulations. There have been a great many changes to how business is done, and payments are made in the last couple of months, and it is essential to not fall behind the times on regulations. One such change that came into effect on June 11th, 2023, is the requirement for company directors to provide their PPSN when filing specific forms to the Companies Registration Office (CRO). Here at EcovisDCA, we are committed to keeping you informed and helping you to navigate these changes seamlessly.

What You Need to Know:

The new requirement for a PPSN to be provided in several key situations:

  • Company Incorporation – When registering a new company.
  • Filing of Annual Return
  • Directorship Changes – When a new director appointment is made, or any changes are made to the current director’s details.

In a case where a director does not have a PPSN but has a Register of Beneficial Owners (RBO) number, the RBO number can be used in place of a PPSN. In the event that a director has neither, an Identified Person Number (IPN) can be applied for.

The IPN is a unique number issued by the CRO to directors or beneficial owners who don’t possess either a PPSN or RBO number. Consult the CRO website for further information.

Preparation is Key:

To ensure a smooth and compliant filing process, it’s vital to verify all information related to your company’s directors well in advance of the filing date. If it’s necessary to apply for an IPN, it should be done as early as possible also. Whilst the CRO strives to process IPN applications promptly, processing times can vary depending on application volumes. The sooner you apply, the better.

Name Discrepancies:

Another important point to note is that a director may use a different name on the CRO register than the one held by the Department of Social Protection (DSP). To avoid delays in the registration process, ensure that all director data on the CRO form is accurate.

At EcovisDCA, we understand the importance of staying compliant with the latest regulatory changes. We’re here to guide you through these transitions, ensuring your company operates smoothly and within the law. Stay informed, stay compliant and let us be your guide through this journey.

What’s the Outlook for Pensions in Ireland Going Forward?

The pension landscape has undergone significant transformation over the past year. Before January 2023, any employer contributions to an employee’s Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) were treated as a Benefit in Kind (BIK), unless the employee hadn’t exhausted their personal contribution limits. In that case, non-BIK employer contributions were allowed.

However, as of January 1, 2023, a remarkable change has occurred, there are no longer limits on employer contributions to an employee’s PRSA. This is groundbreaking news and represents one of the most substantial shifts in the pension landscape in two decades. It’s worth emphasizing that the standard fund threshold of €2.15 million remains applicable.

Earlier in the year, there were concerns about the continuity of this PRSA opportunity. However, Chapter 24.3 of the Revenue Manual has been updated to confirm that PRSA contributions are allowed without any BIK implications. This empowers employees and directors to maximize their personal contributions while also receiving employer contributions without facing penalties in the form of BIK.

Discussions about implementing auto-enrolment are ongoing, with the launch scheduled for Q3 2024. Live implementation may not occur until 2025. Employers are strongly advised to consult a financial advisor promptly to clarify their options and establish funding objectives for their employees’ pensions.

The proposed auto-enrolment plan would encompass anyone earning over €20,000 annually and aged between 23 and 60, involving them in a private pension scheme. Initially, as many as 800,000 workers are expected to be affected once the scheme becomes operational.

However, there are concerns that this may not be the ideal solution for everyone involved, and some employers might find an employer-sponsored PRSA or group Defined Contribution (DC) scheme to be a better fit.

Here are some noteworthy points to consider:

  • There is no tax relief at either 20% or 40% on employee contributions, as there would be with a personal pension.
  • Once enrolled, individuals cannot opt out, with a maximum suspension period of two years.
  • Employees in their probation period with a new employer who have not yet joined the company pension scheme will be automatically enrolled.
  • Investment choices are not available, and the government determines how the funds are invested.
  • Access to savings is only possible at the state pension age.
  • Transfers in or out of the government pension scheme are not permitted.
  • Additional contributions cannot be made.

It’s important to note that these points may undergo changes, this inflexible structure may not be the most suitable option for all. Therefore, it is crucial for all employers to consult a financial advisor in the coming months to determine the best course of action for their company.

We hope that this information has been useful for you and as always, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA where we remain open and ready to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Budget 2024

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – no, Santa isn’t on the way down the chimney just yet, it’s Budget announcement time. Budget 2024 was announced on October 10th with slightly less fanfare and dramatic predictions preceding this year’s announcement.

As always, we have compiled the main points which may be of interest to you, your business, and your clients from this year’s Budget announcement.


Business Owners and Entrepreneurs:

  • €250 million package announced for SMEs to moderate the impact of high energy costs.
  • Research and Development tax Credit to be increased to 30%.
  • Employment Investment Scheme claim amount doubled to €500,000.
  • Key Employee Engagement Programme extended into 2025.
  • An increase in Minimum Wage.
  • The tapering mechanism applied to benefit in kind relief for electric vehicles is being enhanced by extending the current Original Market Value deduction of €35,000 until the end of 2025, which in addition to the €10,000 above, means a deduction of up to €45,000 on the OMV.


This year’s Budget announcement included quite a significant tax package (worth €1.3billion to be precise) which will be welcome news to all workers. The key points of this included:

  • Companies that are part of groups with revenues of €750M and above liable to tax @ 15%
  • An increase in tax credits by €100 to €1,875.
  • An increase in the ceiling for USC by €2,840 to €25,760.
  • An increase to the Standard Rate Band by €2,000 to €42,000.
  • A change in the higher rate of USC will reduce by 0.5% to 4%.
  • There will however be phased increases in PRSI.


Mortgages and Housing:

A new once-off scheme will give certain homeowners who have seen a sharp increase in their interest rates 20% tax relief on the increased amount paid in 2022 compared to 2023. This is set to benefit up to 160,000 homeowners.



  • Rental tax credit to be increased from €500 to €750 – also applicable to parents paying for student children in full-time accommodation.
  • Landlords to benefit from a tax break which will rise each year they stay in the market until 2027.
  • Help to Buy Scheme extended to the end of 2025.
  • There will be a €250 million package for small and medium firms designed to help with the costs of doing business. It is intended to be less cumbersome than previous schemes designed to moderate the impact of high energy costs, and it is expected businesses will receive a once-off grant worth up to 50 per cent of their rates.

This year’s Budget also included a heavy focus on the area of Climate Change as well as the announcement of a new savings fund called the “Future Ireland Fund” which will utilise some corporate tax receipts.

We hope this breakdown has been informative for you and we look forward to sharing more in the coming days.

Enhanced Reporting Requirements

Section 9 of Finance Act 2022 introduced the requirement for notifications by employers to Revenue in relation to certain reportable benefits.
This is a new reporting requirement, defining reportable benefits as:

  1. a small benefit
  2. a remote working daily allowance, or
  3. a travel and subsistence payment

The introduction of the reporting requirement is subject to commencement order, with the target date of 1st January 2024. Regulations are made under s986 and can only be made when commencement order takes effect, likely to be available before year-end.

  • Only incurred expenses will need to be reported. The use of a company credit card or prepaid cards is currently not within the scope of ERR as it does not involve a payment to the EE by the ER.
  • Only reporting of payments made to employees or directors as set out in the legislation will be required. Payments to individuals who are neither an employee or director are currently not within the scope of the ERR.
  • Items such as fuel cards, toll tags, car insurance and motor tax if paid by the employer are currently not within the scope of ERR as no payment has been made to an employee or director.
  • Any payment made which exceeds the thresholds will be subject to the normal rules for taxable payments.

Employers will need to develop and/or update their expense systems to ensure it can capture the detail to be reported to Revenue. Where the employer’s expense system is not able to extract the required level of detail, the submission may be rejected or require a manual update of individual ERR submissions.

‘The requirement to disclose reportable benefits ‘on or before’ they are paid or provided to the employees/directors means employers will need to ensure there is timely communication between the various areas of the business providing these benefits (e.g., the expense team/finance team/line management) and the team responsible for ERR (whether that is payroll or Finance or an external payroll agent).

For vouchers and non-cash benefits which will avail of the small benefit exemption, this requires that, in advance of a voucher/hamper/gift being provided to an employee or director, the relevant team or person providing that benefit must have notified the internal team responsible for ERR.

For payments to employees/directors in respect of non-taxable Travel and/or Subsistence, employers will need to consider internal processes around the timing of such payments, i.e., a set payment date per month, to ensure the relevant team responsible for ERR has been notified of the details of such payments before they are made to employees/directors.

Employers need to review their current procedures around the relevant benefits/expenses and begin to map out processes to be followed that will enable the organisation to comply with the new requirements.

Some areas for consideration include the following:

  • How frequently employers are paying out these types of payments?
  • Should the frequency of these payments be standardised in light of the ‘on or before’ requirement?
  • Which teams and areas of the business are making these payments and are they interacting regularly with payroll?
  • Should internal controls be reviewed to ensure the relevant payments will be captured?
  • Are the existing policies/procedures in respect of remote working, travel and subsistence, and the small benefit exemption compliant with current Revenue rules? For example, who is reviewing eligibility for the small benefit exemption and are awards tracked and documented to ensure no employee receives more than the allowable amount?
  • Are current policies/procedures being followed in practice?

Taking the above into consideration, employers should set out a formal policy or process which sets out the roles, responsibilities and actions required from each of the relevant areas of the business. Staff will need to be upskilled and made aware of their new responsibilities to ensure the correct information is reported at the correct time.

The Rent Tax Credit

With the ever-increasing cost of living here in Ireland, it is important to be aware of all reliefs available. It has emerged recently that many tenants in Ireland are unaware of the existence of the Rent Tax Credit, which could be of assistance to many renters in Ireland. It has been reported that around half of the eligible renters in Ireland are availing of this Rent Tax Credit.

With rental prices in Ireland reaching new highs of late, renters are naturally seeking out any assistance available. The Rent Tax Credit is available for the tax years 2022 to 2025 and reduces the amount of Income Tax that you are due to pay for a tax year. The amount of credit you can claim will be calculated when you submit your claim and will depend on the amount of rent you pay as well as the amount of Income Tax you pay.
If you have PAYE Income, this application process can be done through myAccount, and you may also apply for the 2023 year in real time by choosing the “Manage Your Tax 2023” option. The maximum value of Rent Tax Credit that can be claimed is €1,000 per year for a jointly assessed married couple or civil partners, this is halved to €500 for all other individuals.

The requirements for this Tax Credit are:

  • The property must be your principal private residence.
  • Another property used for work or study on an approved course.
  • A property used by your child to facilitate attendance on an approved course.
  • Tenancy must be registered with the RTB (Residential Tenancies Board).
  • Landlord must not be a housing association or an “approved housing body.”
  • You must also not be in receipt of State Assistance for accommodation including the HAP Scheme, Rent Supplement, or the Rental Accommodation Scheme.
  • Your landlord must also not be your parent.

The scheme currently runs from 2022-2025, with a possibility of this being extended past this date. It has been reported that many eligible renters are not claiming this relief for various reasons, including the daunting nature of filing your own tax return, issues with landlord, not having the appropriate documentation available, or simply not knowing about the availability of this Tax Credit.

We would as always advice to prep all documentation in advance and provide as much information as possible including the RTB number of your tenancy.

We hope that this information has been useful for you and as always, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA where we remain open and ready to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Pension Auto-Enrolment Scheme Postponed to Late 2024

The much-anticipated debut of Ireland’s groundbreaking pension auto-enrolment initiative has been rescheduled to the latter part of 2024, in unwelcome news to many workers. This pension auto-enrolment program aims to revolutionize retirement planning by making it simpler for workers to secure their financial future. Under the new system, eligible employees will be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension plan, encouraging a culture of enhanced savings and financial security during retirement. This has never been more vital as now, during a cost-of-living crisis.

The scheme’s delay is attributed to the level of groundwork required for a seamless implementation. This additional time will permit fine-tuning of the infrastructure, communication strategies, and regulatory aspects essential to ensuring the initiative’s success.

Once launched, the auto-enrolment scheme will have a substantial impact on Irish workers and employers alike. It promises to provide employees with an effortless means to participate in pension saving, while also enabling employers to play an active role in their employees’ financial well-being. There will, of course, be the option to opt-out also.

By postponing the launch to late 2024, the authorities intend to ensure that the pension auto-enrolment initiative is rolled out efficiently, avoiding any potential pitfalls. This approach underscores the commitment to delivering a robust and effective program that will ultimately empower citizens to secure their retirement years. The plans for auto-enrolment would see everyone earning more than €20,000 a year and aged between 23 and 60 enrolled in a private pension scheme. Up to 750,000 workers are likely to be affected initially when the scheme gets up and running.

While the wait for the official launch extends, the delay is indicative of the comprehensive preparations underway to ensure the scheme’s long-term viability. The forthcoming pension auto-enrolment initiative holds the potential to significantly reshape the landscape of retirement planning in Ireland, fostering a future where financial security during retirement is more accessible and achievable for all.

Should you have any queries on any business or financial matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA where we are always happy to help.

Revenue Clamping Down on Tax Compliance

Revenue’s eBrief No.174/23 Update

As we have spoken about many times over the last few months, Revenue have been making a conscious effort to implement changes that will clamp down on any tax compliance issues and overall make the system more foolproof. The latest move towards eradicating tax compliance issues has been specifically aimed at the Construction Sector.

The Tax and Duty Manual has undergone a significant update, allowing Revenue Officers the authority to enter construction sites. These updated guidelines outlined in eBrief No. 174/23 signal Revenue beginning to mark a new concerted effort to ensure compliance across all sectors.

Historically, the construction sector has been susceptible to taxation issues and the underreporting of income. This is due to the complex and decentralised nature of this sector. This has led to significant issues in the sector and occasionally some unfair advantages for non-compliant construction businesses. These new guidelines will give Revenue Officers the legal mandate to enter construction sites, enabling the gathering of real-time information to cross-reference with records and conduct inspections in person.

This direct access is intended to assist Revenue in verifying the accuracy of reported information and to ensure that all operations are within the boundaries of current regulations. It is hoped that whilst this will naturally ensure greater transparency, it will also serve as a deterrent to potential tax evaders.

There will also be a responsibility on Revenue and its officers to ensure that all actions are lawful, justified, and respectful when entering premises to conduct investigations. Again, this is another massive step in clamping down on tax evasion and other taxation issues and continues the trend of increasing transparency across the board.

New Non-Resident Landlord With-holding Tax (NLWT)

The Revenue Commissioners are currently contacting Non-resident landlords about the new Non-Resident Landlord With-holding Tax (NLWT) that is being introduced with effect from 1 July 2023.
  • Collection Agents appointed to deducted withholding tax @ 20% from rents and remit to revenue via new withholding tax platform.
  • Where tenants pay rents directly to a non-resident landlord they will be required to withhold and remit 20% tax via the new withholding tax platform
  • The non-resident landlord is required to file their own income tax return.
  • The Collection Agents is no longer responsible for submitting a return on behalf of the non-resident individual.
  • Non-resident landlord will be required to confirm the following to the Collection Agent/Tenant
    • confirm their non-resident status.
    • Their tax reference number
    • LPT property ID

Dealing with Revenue’s Level 1 Interventions Correctly

For businesses operating in Ireland, it is crucial to understand how to effectively handle Level 1 interventions initiated by Revenue. It has recently been announced by Revenue that many businesses are failing to deal with these in the correct manner, which can become problematic for both Revenue and the businesses themselves.

Level 1 interventions are preliminary inquiries that Revenue conducts in order to ensure compliance with tax obligations. This is another effort by Revenue to clamp down on non-compliance and usually takes the form of requests for information, clarification or documents. These requests can be randomly selected, and do not necessarily indicate any discrepancies being found in your information.

Here, we will run through the most important tips for dealing with Level 1 interventions correctly.

  1. Prompt Response:
    Timing is crucial in terms of Level 1 Interventions. Revenue set specific deadlines to avoid potential penalties or the escalation of the issue, which both parties will want to avoid.
  2. Understanding:
    Reading the communication from Revenue in detail is vital. Ensure that you fully understand the requests being made of you, before beginning your data gathering or response.
  3. Professional Advice:
    If you are unsure of how to respond, there are a great number of professional entities who are qualified and happy to assist you in order to ensure compliance. EcovisDCA being just one of these.
  4. Double Check Information:
    We would always advise clients to double and triple check the information before sending it on to Revenue, as any discrepancies will be picked up on and may cause issues down the line.
  5. Honesty is the Best Policy:
    In the event of a delay in your data gathering, we would always advise that Revenue be informed ASAP in order to inform them of the issue and to request an extension of the deadline if needed.
  6. Evidence:
    Always keep copies of all documents issued as well as your correspondence with Revenue. In the event of any issues, it is always wise to have a paper trail to look back on.

Dealing with these interventions may seem like a time-consuming and difficult task, but by employing the tactics listed above, you can condense the experience into a manageable task which can be completed with ease.