Latest updates

Tax RoI

Revenue expects telephone helplines to continue to operate reduced opening hours throughout the Autumn deadline season, as staff continue to work from home in line with Government health and safety measures. At a recent TALC meeting Revenue noted that staff will continue to work from home, in line with public health advice, which means limited capacity for the extension or reopening of phone lines. However, it is understood that the card payments phone line facility will be matched to the ROS helpdesk opening hours of 9 am to 5 pm. As highlighted on its website:“Revenue is actively working to put the necessary technology in place that allows the restoration of all of its customer telephone helplines in a manner that aligns with public health advice.”Revenue continues to encourage taxpayers and their agents to use the myEnquiries facility for queries or correspondence on any matter. The myEnquiries service experience is understood to be much improved since the initial switch to work from home in March. Current telephone line opening hours are set out on Revenue’s website. 

Sep 14, 2020
Tax RoI

Revenue provided updates to the CCAB-I at a recent TALC meeting which include the prioritisation of tax clearance applications, the suspension of RCT bulk rate reviews for September and the TWSS compliance checks. Almost 22,000 applications for tax clearance have been made since mid-August, with 40 percent of those applications relating to the EWSS.  Revenue granted 74 percent of tax clearance applications immediately and others were rejected due to issues including tax debt of more than €10,000, or more than three outstanding VAT3 returns etc. Revenue staff are prioritising tax clearance application providing responses within one to two days.  Revenue confirmed that VAT Return of Trading Details is not currently a clearance factor, but these tax returns should be filed on time. Revenue will not be completing a bulk rate review for RCT in September and noted that taxpayers should self-review to apply for a RCT rate change. Revenue confirmed that 20,000 TWSS compliance checks have been conducted to date, with over 10,000 cases closed. TWSS compliance checks will continue on a rolling basis to the end of the year. Revenue noted a high level of compliance but highlighted worrying trends in a small number of cases for instances of payroll manipulation and invoice deferral for activity in Quarter Two of 2020.  Taxpayers can make disclosures under the Code of Practice for Revenue Audit and other Compliance Interventions.A number of employers have sought to fully reverse out of the TWSS and Revenue are allowing such employers to repay wage subsidy claims and account for payroll taxes before 15 October. If the TWSS is repaid and tax is settled by 15 October, such employers will not be published as having availed of the scheme. Details are set out on page 11 of Revenue’s Guidance on the Operational phase of the COVID-19: Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme which commenced on 4 May 2020.

Sep 14, 2020
Tax RoI

Members in practice from all over the country have been in contact with us in recent weeks telling us of the huge work pressures they face and resourcing constraints in meeting the tax deadlines.  This is a challenge also facing members of our fellow CCAB-I accountancy bodies.  Chartered Accountants Ireland and the CCAB-I have made representations to the Government and to Revenue on the deadline crisis facing accountants.  In the CCAB-I Pre-Budget 2021 submission and Chartered Accountants Ireland publication The Next Financial Year, we have called for a suspension of surcharges over the corporation tax deadline for 23 September and the income tax deadline for 12 November.  These publications were distributed to all TDs and Senators and to the Government.   Chartered Accountants Ireland under the auspices of the CCAB-I has made representations to Revenue through the TALC forum and we set out the issues in advance for Revenue in a letter which was discussed at the Main TALC meeting this week. The Sunday Independent recently reported this letter and the difficulties facing accountants this deadline season. We will update you on this important matter via our website, Tax News and Chartered Accountants eNews. 

Sep 14, 2020
Tax UK

HMRC and the Governments of the UK continue to publish updates on COVID-19 tax and related issues. When using a form or publication going forward or contacting HMRC, check you are using the most recent version or up to date way of contact which may have changed due to the pandemic. The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on how the devolved tax system and fiscal framework could support recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak. The consultation closes on 8 October 2020; HMRC has published a policy paper on COVID-19;Guidance on the treatment of staff costs for employees who have been furloughed in the context of R&D tax relief claims has been published;HMRC has updated the Residence, Domicile and Remittance Basis Manual with “international tax clarifications” due to COVID-19;Temporary relaxations have been made to the Enterprise Management Incentive scheme legislation. From 19 March 2020 until 5 April 2021, an employee will not be prevented from meeting the working time requirement where, due to the pandemic, they are furloughed, working reduced hours, or taking unpaid leave;The Council of the European Union has confirmed that the effective date of new e-commerce VAT rules will be deferred by six months from 1 January 2021 to 1 July 2021.HMRC have published a factsheet for taxpayers with information on penalties and assessments which will apply where grants have been over-claimed under the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). This also includes information on how to notify HMRC of over-claimed SEISS grants;Parents and carers who use Working Tax Credits should check their eligibility and updated guidanceThe Pensions Administration Standards Association has issued follow up COVID–19 guidance to highlight best practice for administrators as they navigate their way out of lockdown and businesses adopt new ways of working Companies House has automatically extended accounts filing deadlines by three months where these fall between 27 June 2020 and 5 April 2021. As a result, the deadline for submissions of Senior Accounting Officer (“SAO”) certificates and notifications will also have an additional three months to submit their SAO filings to HMRC, where they receive a three month extension from Companies House for filing statutory accounts;We understand that HMRC has stepped up its compliance activity on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants, writing to some 3,000 employers;HMRC has now published updated debt management guidance; and       The Treasury Committee has launched a new inquiry on ‘Tax after coronavirus’

Sep 14, 2020
Tax RoI

A  Sweepback CSV template for the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) has now been made available by Revenue. Employers can download this file and populate it with the required information. On 15 September, Revenue will release a facility on ROS for employers to upload this Sweepback CSV. All applications must be submitted by the employer or agent through ROS before 14 October.  Additional guidance on the operation of the July/August Sweepback has been published outlining how to apply the sweepback process.

Sep 14, 2020
Tax UK

Read the update below from HMRC on the job retention scheme. “From last week employers can use our updated template to claim for 100 or more furloughed employees.The XLS and XLMS versions of the template now highlight any missing information needed to make a CJRS claim. Where information is missing, fields will be red. Once the missing information is filled in, the fields will turn green, making it easier for employers to provide all the data we need to process their claim quickly and successfully. The template now also allows employers to flag if employees have recently returned from statutory leave, to ensure claims with any new employees listed are processed correctly.It’s important that employers provide all the data we need to process their claims. Payment of their grant may be at risk or delayed if they submit a claim that’s incomplete or incorrect, so we want to help employers get this right.Fraudulent claimsWe have started to investigate CJRS claims where fraud is suspected. We will be paying particular attention to claims that differ from the PAYE data we hold, and where we have received reports of fraud. Employees are encouraged to report their employer if they have reason to believe that they are abusing the scheme. They can do this anonymously if they prefer. For more information go to GOV.UK and search ‘report fraud to HMRC’.”

Sep 14, 2020
Tax RoI

Members in practice from all over the country have been in contact with us in recent weeks telling us of the huge work pressures they face and resourcing constraints in meeting the tax deadlines.  This is a challenge also facing members of our fellow CCAB-I accountancy bodies.   Chartered Accountants Ireland and the CCAB-I have made representations to the Government and to Revenue on the deadline crisis facing accountants.  In the CCAB-I Pre-Budget 2021 submission and Chartered Accountants Ireland publication The Next Financial Year, we have called for a suspension of surcharges over the corporation tax deadline for 23 September and the income tax deadline for 12 November.  These publications were distributed to all TDs and Senators and to the Government.   Chartered Accountants Ireland under the auspices of the CCAB-I has made representations to Revenue through the TALC forum and we set out the issues in advance for Revenue in a letter which was discussed at the Main TALC meeting this week. We will update you on this important matter via our website, Tax News and Chartered Accountants eNews. 

Sep 11, 2020
Tax RoI

Accountants working in practice have provided an essential public service assisting businesses in accessing Government COVID-19 wage supports and grants. Firms have taken on this extra workload while also dealing with a workflow disruption of up to eight weeks due to the Government public health restrictions, and like other small and medium-size businesses all over the country, many firms have been working with a reduced complement of staff over the summer due to health and safety concerns and childcare constraints.  In addition, accountants tell us of delays in getting access to client premises to carry out essential audit work.  This has all culminated in firms facing a race against the clock this Autumn to get tax returns submitted by the deadlines.  Members in practice from all over the country have been in contact with us in recent weeks telling us of the huge work pressures they face and resourcing constraints in meeting the tax deadlines.  This is a challenge also facing members of our fellow CCAB-I accountancy bodies.   Chartered Accountants Ireland and the CCAB-I have made representations to the Government and to Revenue on the deadline crisis facing accountants.  In the CCAB-I Pre-Budget 2021 submission and Chartered Accountants Ireland publication The Next Financial Year, we have called for a suspension of surcharges over the corporation tax deadline for 23 September and the income tax deadline for 12 November.  These publications were distributed to all TDs and Senators and to the Government.   Chartered Accountants Ireland under the auspices of the CCAB-I has made representations to Revenue through the TALC forum and we set out the issues in advance for Revenue in a letter which was discussed at the Main TALC meeting yesterday. We understand that Revenue are considering the continued availability of the surcharge suspension for Corporation Tax returns.We will update you on this important matter via our website, Tax News and Chartered Accountants eNews.  Deferred launch of CRO customer portalWe represented members concerns with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) on its plans to launch a new CORE customer portal at this difficult time for accountants and companies.  The CRO has acted on our representations and announced the postponement of the implementation of the CORE portal until December 2020 after the key filing periods have passed. We will keep you updated on further developments.The CRO held several webinars on the Digital Transformation programme.  Please see a recording of the webinar and the subsequent Q&A for further information.  Thank you for your invaluable feedback and we will continue to lobby for the suspension of surcharges.  Norah CollenderProfessional Tax Leadernorah.collender@charteredaccountants.ie 

Sep 09, 2020
Tax RoI

In a recent press release Chartered Accountants Ireland encouraged businesses to act now if they intend to participate in the Stay and Spend tax credit scheme. The scheme is now open for registration through ROS for businesses wishing to participate. However, businesses need to check that their tax affairs are in order and consider if any additional steps are necessary to ensure they meet the relevant criteria for participation ahead of the commencement of the scheme on 1 October.  You can read more in our press release.  

Sep 07, 2020
Tax RoI

The temporary reduction in the standard VAT rate from 23 percent to 21 percent took effect from 1 September. The standard VAT rate applies to approximately 53 percent of activity, including the supply of adult clothes and footwear, electrical equipment, cars, petrol, diesel, alcohol, and tobacco.  This is one of the Government’s July Stimulus Package measures and is estimated to cost €440 million in total.  The rate is set to revert to 23 percent on 28 February 2021.  See Revenue’s Tax and Duty Manual, Changes in rates of VAT for procedures to be followed by VAT registered traders when increases or reductions in VAT rates take place. In a press release on the measure, Minister Donohoe said:“This temporary reduction in the standard rate of VAT cuts across a wide range of economic activity and as such there is a broad range of the types of businesses and traders who will benefit. Discretion in relation to the setting of prices charged will remain that of relevant businesses, however, it will help consumer confidence, benefit consumers and generate economic activity if it was passed on to the final consumer.”

Sep 07, 2020
Tax RoI

The Exchequer deficit now stands at nearly €9.5 billion. This compares with a deficit of €625 million in the same period last year. However, cumulative tax receipts for the year are €34,248 million, only 2.3 percent lower than the same period last year. Tax receipts-to-date have benefitted from a strong performance in January and February as well as solid corporate tax receipts, which have offset, to a large extent, the fall in VAT and excise receipts.Exchequer figures show cumulative tax revenue to end-August is down by 2.3 percent, or €802 million on the same period last year. Reflecting significantly reduced personal consumer spending in the spring, VAT receipts to end-August are now down by over €2.1 billion, or 21 per cent on the same period in 2019.  Similarly, excise receipts have fallen by 15 percent, or €579 million to end-August.Cumulative income tax receipts to end-August are down, on a year-on-year basis, by 1.4 percent, or €194 million. Corporation tax receipts in the month were up by €100 million on August last year, although August is not a significant month for corporation tax receipts.For the full picture, see Fiscal Monitor August 2020. 

Sep 07, 2020
Tax RoI

The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme guidelines were updated to provide clarification on the turnover eligibility period to be reviewed for comparative purposes, the treatment of grants for the purposes of determining a reduction in turnover, the definition of turnover for financial institutions, monthly eligibility reviews, payroll frequency changes to qualify for reduced employers PRSI, and the calculation of gross weekly wage for PRSI exempt employees.Information on proprietary directors per Revenue’s press release last week and details of the sweepback process are also set out in the updated guidelines.  The updated are all highlighted in yellow and a review of the guidelines is essential for employers participating in the scheme.  

Sep 07, 2020
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