Clarification on Tax Clearance from Revenue

Sep 28, 2020

In response to queries from members, Chartered Accountants Ireland asked Revenue to clarify the interaction of tax clearance and the surcharge suspension if availed of last Wednesday, 23 September. We also asked Revenue to clarify if the tax payment date for income tax returns already filed can be amended to 10 December.

For taxpayers who could make the corporation tax deadline last Wednesday and rely on the surcharge suspension, will this impact their access to tax clearance for the EWSS and eligibility for the debt warehousing scheme? 

Revenue's response:

Tax clearance is required in order to the register for the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme. It is not a requirement for debt warehousing, however those availing of warehousing are required to keep their tax affairs up to date. Revenue has previously emphasised the importance of employers acting early to ensure they obtain tax clearance if they wished to participate in the scheme from 1 September and that applications could be made quickly and easily online through the eTax clearance (eTC) system in ROS or MyAccount. The application system contains a dropdown menu of categories which includes EWSS as an option. 

The eTC system operates in ‘real time’.  Once completed and submitted, Revenue assesses the application. Successful applications are confirmed on the screen within a few seconds.  Similarly, any employer who does not meet the requirements for tax clearance will be shown the reason why the application was not successful. Once the outstanding matters are addressed the business can then reapply for tax clearance. “Connected persons” as defined in sections 1094 and 1095 TCA 1997 must also have tax clearance. Filing of CT returns forms part of the tax clearance process. 

In very limited or exceptional circumstances it may be possible to obtain temporary tax clearance where an employer/agent cannot meet the requirements for any reason including the filing of any return required that is advised by Revenue to the applicant when the eTC application is made online. These are considered on a case by case basis. The employer / agent will need to contact the Collector General’s Division either through myEnquiries or telephone 01-7383663 as soon as possible and outline the reasons as to why they cannot address the outstanding matters, agree a timeframe as to when they will submit the outstanding return and enter into a phased payment arrangement with Revenue (for debts that do not qualify for the debt warehousing arrangement). In all circumstances the employer needs to regularise their tax affairs and have tax clearance before an EWSS subsidy in respect of September payrolls will be processed by Revenue (in mid-October).

Further information on applying for  tax clearance  is available at  www.revenue.ie/en/starting-a-business/tax-clearance/index.aspx

Can a taxpayer who filed a tax return for 2019 on ROS with a payment scheduled for 12 November now change the payment to 10 December? 

Revenue's response:

A taxpayer who filed a tax return for 2019 on ROS with a payment scheduled for 12 November can change the payment to 10 December. The date can be changed upon customer contact via My Enquiries (selecting ‘Other than the above’ and from the ‘more specifically’ menu, select ‘Revenue On-line Service (ROS) Payments’).  We would urge customers to make contact now, but in any event no later than 9 November to allow sufficient time for Revenue systems to update.

The Pay &File Payment reminder notice issued to ROS inboxes over the weekend which includes the MyEnquiries details for any payments queries.