Operation of Schedule E Deduction in Respect of Professional Subscriptions

May 01, 2017

Finance Act 2011 removed the Benefit in Kind exemption where employers paid professional subscriptions on behalf of employees. Revenue eBrief 19/11 was published in March 2011, and also discussed, by Revenue and practitioner bodies which included Chartered Accountants Ireland, at a Tax Administration Liaison Committee (TALC) meeting. The eBrief provides practical direction to employers for the operation of payroll, where tax relief under limited circumstances, in respect of subscriptions paid, continues to apply. The eBrief usefully summarises the existing precedent and practice.

We strongly recommend that both employers and employees study the eBrief to satisfy themselves of the correct position in relation to their own circumstances. This is a useful clarification by Revenue which will significantly reduce the number of refund claims which might otherwise be made arising from the payment of professional subscriptions. We remind members however that these procedures only apply to professional subscriptions as described in the eBrief.

It remains the position of Chartered Accountants Ireland that the blanket abolition of the Schedule E BIK exemption for professional subscriptions was a poor tax policy decision. We will continue to make representations for its reinstatement in a future Finance Act.

Revenue eBrief No. 19/11 is reproduced in full on here.