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Earlier today, over 150 members attended a lunchtime briefing from Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe TD. Referring to the final negotiations expected to take place over the weekend between Prime Minister May and EU negotiators in advance of Sunday’s summit, the Minister said: “The (draft withdrawal) agreement satisfies our national priorities set out at the outset of the Brexit negotiations, namely to protect the Good Friday Agreement, maintain the common travel area and related benefits, reaffirm our place at the heart of the EU, and protect trade, jobs and the economy. “Of course, we cannot become complacent, as work is underway to ratify the final text by both the UK and the EU.  Irrespective of the future relationship between the UK and the EU, we will face a very different world once the UK does depart.  The UK will inevitably become a ‘third country’.  The status quo will change.” The Minister discussed a broad range of other issues including the improving economic outlook for Ireland, the Finance Bill which has this week passed through the Dail and now moves to the Seanad, international tax policy, and anti-tax avoidance measures, for which he asked for the input and support of the accountancy profession.  The Minister also noted the importance of the accountancy profession in providing certainty in decision making through the provision of reliable financial information and trusted advice. He said: “Accounting is the language of business. It is the communication of economic realities and the base upon which all sustainable and innovative economies are built.  The accounting, auditing and other services you provide allow Governments, investors, shareholders, employees and citizens to see the economic reality.” Today’s audience included delegates at the Institute’s inaugural CPD Blitz Day focused specifically on members in the Public Sector.  An impressive line-up of speakers included Robert Watt, Secretary General Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Aileen Hughes, CIPFA chairperson and Internal controls analyst, ESB. Topics covered included ICT, data analytics, GDPR and Brexit and its  impact on the public sector. Photos of today’s event are available to view HERE.

Nov 23, 2018

Ireland’s leading accountancy body, Chartered Accountants Ireland today (Wednesday, 12 Sept 2018) announced the launch of a new “Concise Guide of Ethics and Governance for the Charity and Not-for-Profit Sector” at its annual ‘Good Governance’ conference in Dublin. Today’s conference was attended by over 100 people working in and for the charity and not-for-profit sector including regulators, advisors, directors and leading charity representatives. The Institute’s free guide, the first of its kind compiled in Ireland, received support from the Irish Charities Regulator and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, and will be an essential primer for anyone currently a trustee or aspiring to hold such a position in the future.  Attendees at today’s conference heard from speakers including Tom Ryan (Director General, GAA), Tom Malone (Head of Compliance, Charities Regulator), Shauna Greely (Past President, Chartered Accountants Ireland), Stephanie Manahan (CEO, CRC), and a panel of experienced leaders in the charity and not-for-profit sector. Welcoming the launch of the Ethics Guide at today’s conference, Institute President Feargal McCormack said: “Charities and not-for-profit organisations have a profound social and economic impact on the fabric of our lives in Ireland. For example, in relation to charities alone, according to 2018 statistics from the Irish Charity Regulator, registered Irish charities have an income of €14.5 billion, directly employ 189,000 people and are supported by 300,000 volunteers. In relation to not-for-profit organisations we only have to look to our own local communities to identify the sporting organisations, the drama societies and the many other organisations that serve to provide an important outlet or promote a cultural activity to society. “The Irish charity and not-for-profit sector has been subject to criticism over recent years, where the failures of a few have damaged the many thousands of fine charities that adhere to high standards. Thanks to the combined efforts of trustees, volunteers, government and regulators, governance standards are improving and trust is being restored, with a renewed commitment to the highest levels of ethical behaviour. “Chartered Accountants Ireland are proud of today’s publication and consider it an important resource upon which trustees, leaders and financial custodians can reference as an everyday tool. Níall Fitzgerald, Head of Ethics and Governance, Chartered Accountants Ireland said: “In order to run effectively and ethically, charities and not-for-profit organisations need the right people to step-up and become volunteer board members. It is vital for the sector that its trustees are as diverse as the organisations they manage. This involves the recruitment of trustees of all age groups, genders and backgrounds getting involved in order to refresh the membership of committees and boards of trustees. The Irish Charities Regulator welcomed Chartered Accountants Ireland’s initiative to produce this guide aimed at encouraging and supporting current and aspiring trustees.  Tom Malone, Head of Compliance, Charities Regulator said: “Charity trustees are the gatekeepers of governance and integrity in the sector. The clearer trustees are about their duties and the better guidance and support that they receive, the greater the sector will benefit. We believe trustees who are well-intentioned and well-informed, are key to increasing public trust and confidence in the sector.” The Concise Guide of Ethics and Governance for the Charity and Not-For-Profit Sector published by Chartered Accountants Ireland is available to download here. ENDS Reference:  Bryan Rankin, Marketing Manager, Chartered Accountants Ireland T: 01 637 7268 Note to editors:  Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland’s biggest and fastest growing professional accountancy body, with 26,500 members across the globe. It is the voice of the accountancy profession in Ireland.

Sep 13, 2018
Governance, Risk and Legal

Chartered Accountants Ireland are delighted to announce the launch of this year’s governance conference which will focus on ethics and governance in the charity and not for profit sector. Amongst other items, the conference will also exclusively present insights and findings arising from the recent research conducted by Chartered Accountants Ireland in production of the forthcoming “Concise Guide of Ethics and Governance for the Charity and Not for Profit Sector”.  To recognise the dedication of those involved in this important sector and encourage leadership in ethics and governance, the event is being hosted and sponsored by Chartered Accountants Ireland, free to attend, in Dublin on 12th September (click here for more details) and Belfast on 26th September (click here for more details).

Jul 20, 2018
Financial Services

Ireland’s leading accountancy body, Chartered Accountants Ireland, today (Tuesday 26 June) announced the launch of a new education programme for its 6,665 students across the island. The new programme seeks to address current market and employer needs, anticipate future skills requirements and puts additional supports in place for its student body. The updated Chartered programme will include new final year specialist elective subjects, some for the first time anywhere in the world. Chartered Accountants Ireland is the only accountancy institute is the world to offer this unique blend of elective subjects to its final year students. The programme will be available to Chartered Accountants Ireland students from October 2018 and represents the largest single reform of the Institute’s education offering in more than a decade. Taken together, the new initiatives will make the Chartered qualification even more attractive for new graduates and experienced professionals alike.  The updated education programme includes the following significant enhancements and updates:  A new elective subject in financial services, available to final year (FAE) students, offered in partnership with the Institute Of Banking A new FAE elective in finance and accounting in the public sector, in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) A new FAE elective, ‘Advisory’ replaces an existing elective and will appeal to students looking to specialise in consultancy New pathways to membership, for example more exemptions from the Institute’s professional exams will be offered to people who have already passed corresponding exams in university or with other bodies More information on the new FAE education streams >>> To coincide with this, the Institute has also launched a new, all-island advertising campaign to promote the career opportunities available for Chartered Accountants, new flexible routes to the qualification and the updated education programme. The advertising will run for the course of the summer on radio and digital formats and will be supported by open evening events in Dublin, Cork and Belfast – see www.charteredaccountants.ie/study for details. Chartered Accountants Ireland Chief Executive Barry Dempsey commented: “Chartered Accountancy is Ireland’s premier business qualification, highly sought after by leading employers, and is a secure, attractive profession. “The new Chartered Accountants Ireland education programme responds to the changing nature of the accountancy and wider business sectors, and sets the profession on a sound footing for the future. “In planning the new programme, we have listened to and collaborated with a wide range of stakeholders including our network of member firms, employers, other leading accountancy bodies, and our existing students, in order to devise a programme that is best in class. “For anyone interested in an exciting and challenging career, my message is that Chartered Accountants are in extremely high demand, and the career opportunities on offer are exceptional.  The recent expansion of our entry pathways and flexible routes to the qualification now make it even more accessible for talented and ambitious graduates and professionals to progress in their careers with us.” Director of Education and Training Ronan O’Loughlin said: “Education never stands still and our programmes must keep pace with the rapidly changing business environment, new technologies and student expectations.  The new education programme does just that and will ensure that our members, Chartered Accountants, have the right blend of financial and technology skills and training to lead businesses into the future.” ENDS Reference: Bryan Rankin, Marketing Manager, Chartered Accountants Ireland: T: (01) 637 7268 Note to editors: Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland’s biggest accountancy body with over 26,500 members based in over 90 countries. Chartered Accountants Ireland is the biggest single educator of accountants in Ireland and is the sole educator and examiner for students of Chartered Accountancy on this island. Chartered Accountancy students train and generate relevant experience in firms including the ‘Big 4’, mid-tier and small practices as well as businesses of every size and the public sector. The qualification can also be followed independently through the Chartered Accountants Ireland Flexible Route.

Jun 26, 2018
Thought leadership

New partnership gives trainee Chartered Accountants specialist public sector accountancy training  Ireland’s biggest and fastest growing accountancy body, Chartered Accountants Ireland and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), the professional body for people working in finance in the public sector, have today (Monday 11 June 2018) announced a new agreement between the two organisations. As a result of this collaboration, Chartered Accountants Ireland will be delivering the new public sector elective to its final year students. The move comes as demand grows for specialist public sector finance professionals in both Northern Ireland and the Republic. There is also wide acknowledgement of the need for highly trained and experienced accountants to manage and audit the public purse.  The new elective will service this demand while opening up more career opportunities for newly qualified Irish Chartered Accountants.  Chartered Accountants Ireland Chief Executive, Barry Dempsey said:  “Today’s announcement marks the culmination of many months of work with our partners in CIPFA.  In combining an executive-level public sector elective with the respected Chartered Accountant professional qualification, our proposition is made even more attractive for talented and ambitious new graduates and those already working in the public sector.  “This new public sector elective is one part of an exciting, new education programme that Chartered Accountants Ireland will be unveiling for the 2018/19 academic year. We have revised our core syllabus, introduced new electives and new pathways to membership, as we anticipate and respond to the demands of our economy.  We believe that this new programme will greatly enhance both the student experience and the long-term value of the profession in a rapidly-changing environment. “We look forward to working closely with CIPFA on the development of our new public sector elective in the coming years.” Chief Executive of CIPFA, Rob Whiteman said: “We are excited to have entered into a strategic agreement with Chartered Accountants Ireland. Together we will work hard to empower accountants to manage public money and resources transparently and effectively.” ENDS Notes to editors: About Chartered Accountants Ireland Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland’s largest and longest established professional body of accountants founded in 1888.  The Institute, which is an all-island body, currently represents over 26,500 members around the world. It is also the biggest single educator of accountancy students in Ireland, with over 6,600 registered students.  About CIPFA CIPFA is the professional body for people in public finance. It represents approximately 14,000 members who are public finance leaders and officials in the United Kingdom and overseas, specialising in high quality public financial management and governance for organisations in, and providing support to, government and public services. Its members work throughout the public sector, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other public and private sector bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications is the foundation for a career in public finance. It also champions high performance in public services, translating its experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance.   Photo caption:  Pictured at the signing of the education agreement between Chartered Accountants Ireland and CIPFA are Dempsey, Chief Executive, Chartered Accountants Ireland (left) and Robert Jelly, Director, Education and Membership, CIPFA. Contact: Garry Webb, Chartered Accountants Ireland, phone 02890 435840/ 07841152045

Jun 11, 2018
Public sector

Revenue has provided us with written responses to questions raised by attendees at the public sector tax event held by Chartered Accountants Ireland.  The responses cover the tax treatment of travel and subsistence payments, scenarios where ‘exceptional circumstances’ apply to allow overnight tax free payments, PSWT on bank fees and benefit in kind treatment of salary overpayments and commercial jeeps.  The questions and responses we received from Revenue are reproduced below verbatim for your information. Q. How should public sector bodies tax travel and subsistence payments to ‘office holders’ on certain boards? Revenue Response: A business journey is one which an employee travels from one place of work to another place of work in the performance of the duties of his or her employment but will generally involve a temporary absence from the normal place of work.  Journeys between an employee’s home and place of work (and vice versa) are not business journeys and any reimbursement of subsistence expenses relating to such journeys is taxable. A retired individual that is employed for a specific board/committee will not have a pre-existing normal place of work.  In such circumstances, the normal place of work would be where the board/committee meets or carries out the interviews.  Accordingly, the expenses of travel attributable to the journey undertaken in attending the board/committee meetings cannot be made tax free.  The rationale for this is that the journey is not in relation to a temporary absence from their normal place of work.  In addition, payments in relation to subsistence should not be made tax free, for the same reasons. Where the board/committee member is not retired, the normal place of work of the board/committee would still be determined having regard only for the work of the relevant board/committee and without regard for the board/committee member’s other occupation.  Accordingly, the expenses of travel attributable to the journey undertaken in attending the board/committee would be taxable in these circumstances also. Q. Can you clarify where ‘exceptional circumstances’ could apply to allow an overnight payment where someone is over 50km from their place of work not being taxable? Revenue Response: An overnight payment may be allowed without deduction of tax when the employee is between 50 and 100 km from their place of work or home in exceptional circumstances only. ‘Exceptional circumstances’ includes: extreme weather conditions which would raise health and safety concerns, ·operational needs arise such as a situation where the meeting that the officer is attending does not finish until 8pm and they could not be expected to return home, and situations where an officer is spending more than one day away at a location between 50 and 100 km from their place of work or home but it would cost less or significantly reduce the loss of official time if the officer does not return to their place of work or home.   The employer must also be satisfied there was an operational need for the employee to travel to the location. See the appendix to Revenue’s manual on the Tax treatment of the reimbursement of Expenses of Travel and Subsistence to Office Holders and Employees (link here) for further detail on the Civil Service rates for travel and subsistence. Q. Are all bank fees subject to PSWT? Revenue Response: All fees, commissions and charges in respect of banking transactions are ’relevant payments’ for the purposes of the withholding tax scheme.  Thus, PSWT should be deducted from any payment made by an accountable person for banking transactions irrespective of how the charge is levied with one exception.  That exception being, the charge imposed by a bank for the ordinary servicing of a customer’s account, which is debited directly to the customer’s account. This charge is not regarded as a ‘relevant payment’ and as such would not be subject to withholding tax.  The issue of PSWT being deducted from payments to Elavon and Realex was examined in 2011.   Based on the information provided it was determined that the payments to Elavon, a merchant acquirer, were subject to PSWT while payments to Realex, a payment gateway, would be outside the scope of PSWT. Q. BIK on overpayments.  If an employee was overpaid and that overpayment; (1.) wasn’t recouped on hardship grounds or (2.) recouped on a long – say 2-year – payment deduction arrangement, would Revenue take a view that there’s an interest free loan and it’s BIKable, or it’s BIKable as it wasn’t recouped? Revenue Response: Where the amount is not recouped, the employer has incurred an expense in providing an additional benefit to an employee (being the overpaid salary).  As such, the BIK provisions would apply to the amount not recouped. Where the amount is recouped over 2 years, this could be considered an interest free loan for BIK purposes. Q. BIK on commercial jeeps – can the BIK provisions on vans be applied in that situation (instead of the BIK on cars)? Revenue Response: The BIK provisions for vans can only be applied to vehicles which: are designed or constructed solely or mainly for the carriage of goods or other burden, have a roofed area or areas to the rear of the driver’s seat, have no side windows or seating fitted in that roofed area or areas, and have a gross vehicle weight not exceeding 3,500 kilograms.   Commercial jeeps do not generally meet these criteria.  As such the BIK provisions for vans are unlikely to apply to these vehicles, but they may apply to certain commercial jeeps where the above criteria are met. Q. General query regarding contractors and travel and subsistence from home and home offices, etc. Revenue Response: See tax briefings 3 (link here) and 4 (link here) of 2013 for further detail of Revenue’s position in respect of travel and subsistence expenditure from home and home offices for contractors. If you have a more specific query in respect of travel and subsistence from home and home offices, please submit a query to Revenue’s Technical Service (RTS) via MyEnquiries in myAccount or ROS.

Nov 20, 2017

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