Don’t Fear the Reaper…I mean Taxman


Whilst the temperatures have plummeted in recent days (the weather outside, is indeed frightful), things are certainly set up for tax evasion investigations in Ireland. The recent push towards a further clamp down on tax evasion has been a hot topic of conversation in recent months. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan recently published his finance bill which promises a further clamp down on tax evasion and a reduced level of tolerance for these activities by closing certain loopholes currently in use. The new finance bill allows six months for getting affairs in order in terms of offshore assets which it is advised should be tidied up well before the clampdown begins in earnest.


It is reported that the Office of Revenue Commissioners will now have access to and be able to comb through an unprecedented amount of international data in order to begin this clamp down on tax evasion both on and offshore. As of next year, Revenue will have automatic access to information regarding income and assets in overseas institutions, which previously may have acted as somewhat of a loophole for Irish tax payers. Previously, there were a number of areas which were somewhat protected from this level of intense scrutiny which allowed for tax evasion to take place such as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. This, combined with the Revenue’s new increase in technology for clamping down on tax evasion that we have previously discussed, will make it incredibly difficult for tax evaders to carry on normal activities.


Previously, in order to check Irish records against those of other countries, the Revenue would have had to place a request based on existing information or concerns. The new technology being put in place by the Revenue will allow for cross referencing between Ireland and other countries for data on individual cases which may previously have been unavailable to them. This in turn will allow them to paint a clearer and fuller picture of an individual’s tax affairs and to assess patterns for any suspicious or untoward behaviours. It is expected that Irish records will be automatically cross referenced with those of over 100 other countries by late 2018. This will bring Irish systems in line with those currently being used in the United States.


Paul Rigney of Revenue has stated that there will be time for individuals to set their affairs in order as per Minister Noonan’s finance bill but warned that there will be a zero tolerance policy after this point.


“Those with offshore assets have until May 1st to make a voluntary disclosure before Revenue uses the “full rigour of the new system. This is the last opportunity for people to come forward because after that, the penalties are severe.”


Therefore it is strongly advised that these protocols are followed in order to avoid issues.


Should you require any help, guidance or advice on these or any other financial or business matters please don’t hesitate to contact us here at DCA Accountants where we will be happy to be of help.


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Tax credits are one of the most easily overlooked aspects of compiling your tax returns. Whilst they vary from person to person there are a number of additional tax credits you may be entitled to as a business owner without realising it. With the October 31st filing deadline rapidly approaching, your tax credits are not something you want to overlook, and knowing what you are entitled to could save you money. We have compiled a list of some of the tax credits you may not have considered but are entitled to.


Revenue Approved Permanent Health Benefit Scheme: If an employer deducts contributions from pay, no action is necessary to claim this relief. However, if an employer does not directly deduct contributions, this relief can be applied for in your annual tax return.


PAYE – Employee Tax Credit: Available to any employee whose pay is subject to the PAYE tax.


Health/Medical Expenses Relief: Available at a rate of 20% for certain medical expenses by completing the MED 1 form. If you have private health insurance, you will be unable to claim relief on any medical expenses which are due to be reimbursed.


PRSI: PRSI contributions can be directly queried through your local Department of Social Protection office.


Start Your Own Business Scheme: Available until 31st December 2016, this scheme provides tax relief for previously unemployed individuals who start a new business.


Start-up Refunds for Entrepreneurs (SURE) Scheme: Those interested in starting up their own company may be entitled to an income tax refund of up to 41% of the capital invested under this scheme. You may also be entitled to a refund of income tax paid over the 6 years prior to investment year.


Age Tax Credit: Available to anyone aged 65 or older during the tax year. This credit is doubled for married couples or civil partners if either is aged 65 during the tax year.


Single Person Tax Credit: Available to unmarried individuals living alone with the exception of married people who have chosen to be assessed as single people for tax purposed.


Married/Civil Partner Tax Credit: Available to an individual who is either married or in a civil partnership. One partner agrees to be the assessable spouse and is entitled to this tax credit as long as they are assessed through joint assessment.


Widowed/Surviving Civil Partner Tax Credit: This credit is dependent on when the spouse passed away and whether dependent children as involved. This tax credit will be higher during the bereavement year and is the equivalent of the above two credits.


As the deadline of October 31st approaches it would be advisable to submit your information in advance of this date if possible to ensure no unnecessary delays. Should you have any queries about your tax return filing, or if you are concerned that you may be entitled to claim some refunds that you may have overlooked, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at DCA Accountants.


Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of business-owners quite as harshly as a looming tax deadline. Here at DCA Accountants we aim to make your day brighter and simpler, so we are delighted to bring you the news of an extension on the ROS Pay & File Tax Deadline.


Now, before you all celebrate too much, it is a very slight extension. The previous deadline was October 31st 2015, and has now been shifted to November 12th 2015. Not quite as magnificent a time lapse as you might have hoped, but it might give some much needed wiggle room. This extension will only apply if you file your FORM 11 tax return and use Revenue’s Online Services (ROS) to complete the required income tax payment.


We would advise completing this ASAP, as opposed to waiting it out until the last minute to avoid unnecessary stress or mistakes in filing.


Whilst this is a welcome extension for most, it is noteworthy that the deadline is becoming consistently earlier each year making returns increasingly difficult. As such, it is vital to stay on top of your documentation throughout the year.


It is not yet known if this extension will apply to all tax returns, and until this is confirmed we would suggest assuming that it remains October 31st and aiming for this date in order to avoid any issues. If all taxes are paid under the PAYE system and you yourself had a Capital Gain in 2014, FORM CG1 CAPITAL GAINS TAX must be completed and returned by October 31st.This new extension will not apply.


Whilst this extension may be of relief to some, it is advised to carry on as normal and as though the deadline remains at October 31st as it is safer to act under this assumption, than take chances and risk penalties. As always, should you have any concerns or queries we at DCA Accountants are available to assist you in this matter.


Many businesspeople are facing up to a hard deadline – October 31 – for filing returns and paying tax to Revenue. Adopting a few simple guidelines should help make it a little bit less daunting.


Many self-employed people frantically scratching out a living in Ireland today are dreading Halloween. That’s not because of an aversion to trick-or-treaters: rather, they simply don’t know how they will prepare their tax returns and pay the Revenue what they owe by this intimidating deadline.


If you’re struggling to file your tax return, it’s easy to fall into a trap of putting it off, rushing your return or failing to engage constructively with the revenue when you have a problem. While these are understandable responses to a potentially tricky situation, they’ll only make things worse. Instead, keep these four key rules in mind.



When a major project looks impossible to tackle, the start-date often gets pushed back to ‘when I have time’ – which is code for ‘never’. Don’t expect to get through the entire return in one sitting, but tackle it piece by piece depending on how much time you can give it in a day. Even at this stage, most people should easily be able to file on time if they can allocate an hour a day to it for the next week.


Don’t Fudge

As you rush to complete the return, you will be tempted to take short cuts and rough estimates where getting accurate figures will take a few more hours. You might even rationalise it by saying that the Revenue won’t audit someone like you. But they can. And if they do, that shortcut will take a lot more time – and money – to straighten out. Resist the temptation to cut corners, because the risk is too significant.



When you are up against it, don’t just go to ground. Engage with the Revenue to advise them of the situation, even if it is just to let them know that the return will be a couple of days late. Contact is recorded on your file, and a history of engaging to try and resolve issues will come in handy if you’re looking for future flexibility.


Plan Payment

If you have the cash on hand to cover your tax liability, then you’re in luck. However, even if you don’t, you should make preparations to pay up as soon as possible. The Revenue are aware that businesses currently face a cash-crunch, and are open to working out payment plans with people. Once again, engagement is the key issue here.


At DCA, we have a lot of experience in negotiating with the Revenue to get our clients the breathing room they need. We can also help, even at this late stage, to file your returns in a timely manner. Just contact us and we can set up an initial, no-obligation meeting to discuss your needs.