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Revenue’s game-changer for tax administration…

As we have discussed recently, the Revenue system has been undergoing massive amounts of welcome changes in recent years. As Revenue continues to invest in the future of their systems, how we do business daily is likely to shift along the way.

Revenue have become increasingly advanced and sophisticated in their systems over the past couple of years and their systems will continue to evolve. Where tax administration was once a long and protracted process, Revenue have managed to create a game-changing and more sophisticated system to catch non-compliance by investing in their IT and data analytics in a much more streamlined fashion.

“A system is only as good as the information it runs on – Revenue’s ability to collect vast and detailed information, as well as its ability to sort and collate this into useful data means their vigilance and efficiency is increasing year on year,” says Cian Rowlands, a tax manager in Ecovis DCA.

Revenue’s recent focus on the area of data analytics allows them to follow a more risk-assessment-based approach to tax issues with one leading tax commentator noting:

“Revenue have become much more advanced and sophisticated in its use of analytics and e-audits in recent years. Taxpayers can see it for themselves when they are filing returns and paying their tax online.

Revenue is now better positioned to tackle non-compliance. It is using data to determine which returns are higher risk and realigned its operating structure in 2018 to complement that. Revenue is focusing its resources on those cases which it believes will most likely deliver a yield on an audit.”

Revenue now utilises a risk-evaluation tool called the Risk Evaluation Analysis and Profiling (REAP), which is a highly sophisticated system that takes data from numerous sources and cross-checks this data against tax returns filed in order to attribute a risk ranking to the individual. Higher risk individuals are more at risk of being selected for audit.

This system continues to advance, and Revenue continues to refine the process. This increased sophistication means that Revenue can now carry out digital audits on an individual if an issue is flagged. As well as this, Revenue’s appeals system has been streamlined recently to begin to clear the backlog caused by the pandemic.

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.

Revenue’s Tax Bill

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 emergency, we have spoken many times about the various supports made available to both employers and employees to help weather the storm. Two of the main supports that was put in place by the government are the ongoing Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) and Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). The scheme has seen a number of changes since its inception last year, but this month saw many recipients left confused and concerned.

Over 630,000 taxpayers who were in receipt of either scheme will have received their preliminary end of year statements and found themselves facing a tax bill from Revenue. Any individual who was in receipt of either scheme must pay particular attention to their end of year statement as it is likely that there may be an underpayment of tax listed. While Revenue have long stated that this will be the case, this has still come as a shock for many recipients.

These bills have arrived because neither the TWSS nor the PUP schemes were taxed at the source through the PAYE system from March to August 2020. As a result, the employee is seen to have underpaid income tax and USC for 2020. Although tax was not paid during this period, recipients will still be deemed to have made their PRSI contributions, so neither scheme should affect social welfare entitlements.

The scheme which replaced the TWSS in September 2020, the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), is now taxed through the PAYE system, so no further hefty tax bills should be seen as a result of this scheme.

The brighter news for those who find themselves with a somewhat unexpected tax bill following these schemes is that the bill is not required to be immediately paid, nor required to be paid in a lump sum at all if this is not something the employee can manage. Revenue have said that they will collect the full, or remaining bill interest-free by reducing tax credits over the course of a four-year period, beginning in January 2022, so there will be no need for immediate action.

It is recommended that you complete your online tax return via MyAccount to ensure that all information is correct and that your outstanding bill is also correct, this also allows employees to claim any tax credits or reliefs they may be due in order to reduce the overall bill (for example, the remote working credit is one which is often overlooked).

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.

Getting Your Business Brexit ready

As we all know, Brexit will formally exit the European Union on 31st December 2020, and it is vital for Irish businesses to prepare for the changes ahead.

The Department of Enterprise has released a Brexit readiness checklist which we recommend consulting in full to ensure that your business is prepared, and to contact your Local Enterprise Office for information and assistance. We have compiled the main points to consider here.

 

Supply Chain:

If your business trades with Britain, you will need to take steps to reduce the impact of Brexit on your business and your supply chain.

  • Contact your suppliers and logistics carriers in Britain.
  • Look into the charges that may apply to you when your product reaches Britain, even as a stop-off.
  • Discuss with your Local Enterprise Office.
  • Look into the Brexit Loan Scheme to assist with cashflow.

 

Customs:

Following Brexit, you will likely be required to comply with new customs obligations. New declarations for both import and export will be necessary. There are a number of steps which can be taken in advance to limit the impact of this change on your business.

  • Obtain an EORI number if you have not already – This can be obtained via the Revenue website and will be essential for trade with Britain going forward.
  • Decide if you wish to hire an outside customs officer or process customs in-house.
  • It may be necessary to VAT register in the UK.
  • Ensure that you have a ‘Customs Guarantee’ in place. Authorisation for this may be required from Revenue, and this may provide some security against unforeseen costs.
  • Check with your Local Enterprise Office if they provide customs workshops.

 

Duty:

Beginning January 1st, Customs Duty will apply to the import of some goods from Britain. Here are some steps you can take now to prepare.

  • Classify your goods into the appropriate categories.
  • Identify the cost implications customs duty may have on your products.
  • Apply to Revenue for a VAT and Duty deferment, which allows you to defer payment to the 15th of the month.
  • Review contracts with your suppliers and logistics carriers.
  • Assess your accounts department for readiness to deal with these changes and adapt as needed.

 

Certification: 

There may be new certifications and licenses required for trade with the United Kingdom going forward, and it will be important to ensure that you are compliant with EU rules for trade outside of the union. The below are some steps that can be taken to mitigate these issues.

  • Check whether your current licenses and certifications will be valid after the transition period.
  • Check that your product meets all required guidelines for export outside of the EU.

 

Currency Movement:

Since the result of the Brexit vote, Sterling has been somewhat volatile and is expected to remain so for some time, it is important to consider the impact of this weakened currency on your business.

We recommend consulting with the Revenue website and your Local Enterprise Office for information on further steps that can be taken to ensure that your business is Brexit ready. Let’s get all businesses prepared for Brexit and do what we can to start 2021 off on a good foot.

As always, we are available and happy to help should you require any further information or guidance on any business or financial matters.

 

 

Home Renovation Incentive Tax Credit

A Bit of a Fixer Upper

We have spoken many times over the years about the ongoing struggle people face in attempting to gain a foothold on the elusive property ladder, but what about those who are already securely on the ladder and seeking to upgrade their home whether the home is their forever home or being rented out to tenants? The good news is there is relief available in the form of a Home Renovation Incentive Tax Credit. Tax Credit is always a welcome term, particularly when it comes to necessary renovations.

The HRI is a form of Income Tax relief for homeowners including landlords and local authority tenants who are paying tax. The relief applies to renovations and approvements including painting, tiling, plastering, electrical work, window replacements, attic conversions, fitted kitchens and more. This relief allows the homeowner to claim a tax credit of 13.5%. New builds do not qualify for this scheme and the home must be either your main home, a home you rent out to tenants, or a local authority home and you must be registered as the homeowner on Revenue’s Local Property Tax Register. If the property is jointly owned, both owners can claim the credit.

To qualify for the tax credit, the homeowner must spend at least €4,405 on either one or a number of projects on the property and can be completed by one or more qualifying contractors. A maximum claim of €30,000 of total cost applies. If the property is divided into multiple rental units, each can be treated individually for the purposes of HRI.

The amount of HRI credit that can be claimed will depend on the amount spent on the renovations and also any grants or compensations claimed. In the event that you have received a grant for the works, the qualifying amount will be reduced by three times the grant amount.

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 assist.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

Planning Your Best Exit Strategy

We have discussed in the past, the importance of having a long-term plan for your business, particularly for when you are no longer in a position to run the company yourself. The importance of an exit strategy or long-term plan can not be overstated for businesses of all sizes, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It is as always advisable to stay abreast of current issues and changes that may affect the long and short term plans you have in mind for your business and in this vein, there has been some cause for concern in recent days regarding ways that taxation could inhibit future planning.

A new report issued by PwC this week has stated that current tax rules which hit the transfer of family businesses are putting both jobs and companies at large in danger. These rules make options incredibly limited for business owners as they limit owners passing on their business to family members while they are living. Some anomalies to the system in this respect mean that the new business owner could find themselves incurring high tax costs that would potentially place additional pressures on the business and put it at risk.

PwC have given some suggestions on changes they would like implemented in the next budget to protect business owners and entrepreneurs in the event of passing their business on while still living. One such suggestion is the removal of the current cap of €3million on the value of business assets which can benefit from Retirement Relief. There is also calls for the Entrepreneurial Relief Capital Gains Tax threshold to be reduced to allow further relief to these businesses as well as increasing the lifetime limit applicable and reducing current restrictions which may exclude many. It has also been suggested that tax relief options could be made available.

Consultation with the Government for this process is ongoing and submissions will close on May 24th and there are hopes that there will be changes announced in the next Budget to combat this issue and make the family handover of businesses a smoother and more profitable process. The transition of a business is inevitably a stressful and concerning time, so any changes that can be of benefit and ensure the longevity of an existing healthy business should certainly be embraced.

Should you have any queries or concerns on any business or financial matters, please do not hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA where we are always happy to help you and your business.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

2019 Economic Crystal Ball Gazing

Hello and welcome to 2019! We here at EcovisDCA hope that all of our clients, colleagues and friends had a wonderful festive season and are well-rested and ready to face the working year ahead. With 2019 just getting ready to kick off, we have decided to begin the year with a little run down of the most prominent predictions for the financial year ahead. Chief Economist for EY, Professor Neil Gibson has given his predictions for the year even amidst all of the Brexit uncertainty surrounding the year, and it will be interesting to see what comes to pass.

  1. GDP Growth to rise by 4.2%

According to Dr. Gibson it is likely that 2019 will see GDP growth remain strong. Rising employment levels and increasing wages should all contribute to this growth which he estimates could reach 4.2% this year.

  1. Employment Growth to rise by 2.7%

In welcome news for our island’s continued economic recovery, it is predicted that employment rates will continue to rise in 2019. According to EY’s studies, Dublin is now the most popular relocation location for firms needing to move in full or part out of Britain due to Brexit

  1. Wage Growth to rise by 3.6%

Following on from the previous, it is predicted that wage growth will remain strong in 2019.

  1. Consumer Spending to rise by 2.9%

It is predicted that consumer spending will grow steadily in 2019, with Brexit making Ireland a very attractive trade location.

  1. Migration to Increase the Population by 40,000

In perhaps one of the more unexpected predictions, it is presumed that Brexit tensions and a growing labour market may create migration, as Ireland becomes a more attractive prospect for companies and workers alike. The risk here is that our ever increasing rent prices may postpone some of the influx.

  1. Inflation to Increase by 1.8%

It is predicted that in 2019 inflation may increase, as prices continue to push upwards.

  1. House Prices to Increase by 4%

An unwelcome prediction for many who already feel pressured by the house prices in Ireland. It is predicted that migration following Brexit may mean that this will be largely felt in rental prices.

  1. Construction Inflation to rise by 7.5%

As we have spoken about many times, there is an increasing demand for housing in Ireland and rising prices reflect this. It is predicted that the cost of construction will continue to rise in the year ahead.

  1. Housing Completions to top 25,000

Demand for housing is set to rise in 2019 and this is set to place a further push on the construction sector.

  1. Tax Collected from Businesses and Tax Payers will rise by 4.2%

This is likely to be a simpler process due to PAYE modernisation, and it is said that a strong labour market and strong economic growth should see an increase in collected tax going forward.

  1. Government to Spend more than Collected in Tax by 0.1% of GDP

According to Dr. Gibson, “Ireland looks set to enjoy its first positive general government balance in a decade.” As the pressure to spend increases, it is thought that the balance may tip in a more positive direction this year.

  1. Unemployment will reduce further to 4.9%

Unemployment was an issue that plagued Ireland during the economic downturn, and it is predicted that growth will cause unemployment levels to drop even further, perhaps even down to the levels seen at the peak of the financial boom.
It remains to be seen whether these predictions will come to fruition, and it will be interesting to check back in on them next year. We ourselves are very much looking forward to the year ahead and as always, should you have any concerns, queries or require further information on these or any other business and financial matters please don’t hesitate to contact us we are always available to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

PAYE Modernisation – Part 2

Getting Ready to Face 2019 Head On

Following on from last week’s focus on Revenue’s end of year notice, today we will focus on some of the other main points raised in the notice which may be of benefit to you and your business in the new year of change ahead. Here at EcovisDCA, we want to ensure that our clients and friends head in to 2019 with the right mind-set and have their most successful year.

Statements:

As we have already discussed, Revenue are abolishing a number of their regular forms including the P30 and P35. Instead of these forms, Revenue will issue a monthly statement on your payroll submissions. This statement will include a summary of total liability as well as a breakdown of liability.

It is important to note that the monthly statement will be accepted as your return if no amendments are made by the return due date which will be the 14th of the following month.

Employees:

Beginning January 1st 2019, commencing and ceasing employees will become part of the normal payroll process. We discussed RPNs in last week’s post, and these must be requested for any new employees before payment is issued to them. This action creates the employment in Revenue records and is the only action you need take on this.

USC (Universal Social Charge) and Emergency Tax:

It was announced in Budget 2019 that there will be changes to USC and Emergency Tax, the information on the Revenue online system has been updated with these details.For employees who are exempt from USC, their exemption will be noted on their RPN. If circumstances change, the employee may need to contact Revenue to have a new RPN created.

Further Information:

Revenue are constantly updating their guide to PAYE Modernisation for 2019 on their website so be sure to stay informed. Should you have any concerns, queries or require further information on these or any other business and financial matters please don’t hesitate to contact us we are always available to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

PAYE Modernisation – Part 1

Everything Changes and Stays the Same

It’s getting to that special time of year again, when everything starts to wind down (or ramp up for those in retail businesses of course), the evenings get darker and darker and the early birds begin putting up twinkling lights much to the chagrin of the late starters. It is also that time of year when thoughts begin to turn inwards and you may be reminiscing about the year 2018 and whether it has been a successful or turbulent year for your business. It is important at this time of year, to take time to focus on the year ahead and make plans for the future. As such, Revenue have released an end of year notice for employers, and we thought this would be the perfect time to take you through the main points. This week we will focus on the first half of the notice, with next week’s post detailing the second half.

2018 Employer Tax Credit Certificates:

Revenue have stated in their brief that they would cease issuing 2018 P2Cs as of November 30th, with the exception only of those employees commencing employment notifying Revenue in December, these will continue to be issued until the end of the year.

PAYE Modernisation:

This will come as no surprise to our regular readers as we have focused quite heavily on this of late, but this long discussed and well overdue change will be introduced on January 1st 2019. The old PAYE system will be changed to a real time system. In advance of this it is imperative that you ensure all employees are registered with Revenue, and that all of your employment and payroll data is correct and up to date. This will ensure a smoother transition into the new system.

It is also advised that if you currently utilise payroll software, to contact your provider to ensure that you are set up for the new system.

Similarly, if you use the services of an accountant for your payroll, it is advised to contact them and ensure that all is in order for the changes ahead.

ROS Digital Certificates:

As we have previously discussed, all Revenue operations will be moving to the online system, it is crucial that you should review your digital certificates and ensure that they have not expired to avoid any delays to your services as these certs must be renewed every 2 years. Ensure that your contact details are up to date so you do not miss any important reminders.

P2Cs:

As discussed above, Revenue will be discontinuing the practise of issuing these, instead you will utilise your payroll software or input Revenue Payroll Notifications (RPNs) onto the ROS system yourself. This system will provide you with all information required to process taxes etc. and will be available from December 5th.

Forms:

As we have discussed previously in relation to PAYE modernisation, forms such as the P45, P46, P30, P35 and P60 are to be abolished in favour of real time reporting.

Further information on how to prepare for the coming year is available on the Revenue website. Should you have any concerns, queries or require further information on these or any other business and financial matters please don’t hesitate to contact us we are always available to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

PAYE System Change

A Change is as Good as a Rest

We recently spoke briefly about the changes to our PAYE (Pay as you Earn) system here in Ireland, aptly called ‘PAYE Modernisation’ which will come into effect on January 1st 2019. Today we would like to go into a bit more depth on the topic and ensure that all of our colleagues, clients and friends are aware of what these changes will mean for them as well as to ensure that all are prepared for this fast-approaching change.

The PAYE system in Ireland is long overdue a significant update, and these changes are set to be of benefit to both employers and employees.

Employers:

For employers, these changes will be of benefit as they will seek to streamline the way in which employers report payroll information to Revenue. Files will be submitted electronically for each employee for every payment period. It is hoped that the employers workload will not be increased with this change, and it is anticipated that these reports will be fully integrated into payroll software, allowing for a smoother transition for employers.

Employers will also be able to input the details of a new employee before their employment has begun, which it is hoped will reduce the frequency of issues arising with over or under payment of tax.

Employees:

Perhaps the most prevalent change that will be in place for employees is that the P60, P30, P35 and P45 will be entirely abolished. Instead, employees will have full access to their pay and tax record online. It is anticipated that this will be updated consistently as the employee is paid, and will allow Revenue to conduct reviews to figure out if employees are utilising their tax credits to the maximum effect. This will also allow employees to adjust their tax credit and Standard Rate Cut off Point digitally, and they may be prompted to do so if Revenue identify that they are not being used to the full effect. This will create an easier system for the employee as they will no longer be required to wait until the end of the tax year to assess over or under payment.

As with all important changes, we would advise to do your research, fully read the Revenue Brief “PAYE Modernisation, Are you Ready” and ensure that your company and employees are fully registered and that all the required forms are issued at year end. This will ensure that you start the year off on the most secure footing possible ahead of these changes.

Should you have any concerns, queries or require further information on these or any other business and financial matters please don’t hesitate to contact us we are always available to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

Corporation Tax Statement of Particulars – Section 882 TCA 1997

Allow us to be Brief

Here at EcovisDCA it is always our top priority to ensure that our clients and friends are kept fully up to date on any and all issues that could be pertinent to the continued success of their thriving businesses. Today we will be focusing on a new update issued from Revenue which may have an effect on the registration status of some companies. On October 11th 2018, Revenue released a brief entitled “Corporation Tax Statement of Particulars – Section 882 TCA 1997”. The title isn’t exactly snappy or self-explanatory so we thought we would break down the details for you so that you can be fully informed.

As you are all aware, it is essential for all companies to register with the CRO (Companies Registration Office) this should be done immediately upon commencing trade operations. However, there are two other times that registration must take place which may be overlooked:

  • When a pertinent or material change in company details has occurred.
  • When issued with a notice to do so from a Revenue Inspector.

Therefore, it can be just as important to keep an accurate record of your business status with Revenue as it is to take that initial registration step. As these two conditions can sometimes be missed, issues have arisen which have required Revenue to issue notices. These notices concern companies who registered in 2017 but have yet to register their trading status with Revenue. It is essential that a reply is issued to this notice should you receive one, in order to provide an accurate update of your company’s status.

Should your company have begun trading, a tax registration will be required, as well as a notification of commencement. Details can be found on the Revenue website of what else may be required should trading have commenced.

Revenue also require a reply within 30 days detailing the company’s status in the event of any of the following:

  • The Company does not intend to trade.
  • The Company has not yet commenced trading but intends to do so.
  • The Company is non-resident by virtue of a Double Taxation Agreement.

This can all be done using the Revenue online services, which have vastly improved the usability and user-friendly status of dealing with these matters. As always, should you have any concerns or queries on any business or financial matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us we are always available to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY