Revenue Note for Guidance

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Revenue Note for Guidance


Other obligations and returns


This Chapter imposes a number of obligations on taxpayers, such as the obligation to show tax reference numbers on receipts (section 885) and keep records (section 886). It also provides for the making by various persons of a wide range of returns of information to the Revenue (sections 888 to 898).

The returns required by sections 888 to 898 (other than sections 891A to 891D) ostensibly require a notice to issue from an inspector before the person concerned is required to make the return. However, section 894 shifts the onus for making these returns on to certain specified persons without the need for the issue of a notice by an inspector. Section 894 does not supersede the provisions in the sections providing for the returns following receipt of a notice from an inspector. Where necessary an inspector is still authorised to issue such notices.

The application in practice of section 894 is governed by Statement of Practice SPIT/1/92 “Returns of Certain Information – Third Party Returns” and regard should be had to its contents.

Section 895 (returns in relation to foreign accounts) and 896 (returns in relation to certain offshore products) are so designed in their own right as to require the automatic return of information rather than waiting for a request from an inspector.

Section 897 (returns of employees’ emoluments) operates only on request by an inspector.

Regard should also be had to the provisions of Part 47 relating to penalties for false returns, etc.

885 Obligation to show tax reference number on receipts


This section does not impose an obligation to issue a receipt, invoice or other such document but where such a document issues, certain obligations follow. All receipts, invoices or other such documents relating to amounts of €7 or more must carry the issuer’s —

  • tax reference number, or
  • full name and address.

The section applies to professions and to trades providing a service only or a service which includes a supply of goods. The section does not apply to companies.


(1) A “business” is —

  • a profession, or
  • a trade consisting solely of the supply of a service, but includes such a trade part of which incorporates the supply of the goods in the course of the supply of the service (for example, service agent for machinery who supplies the parts required to carry out the servicing of the machinery).

The word “supply” in relation to goods or services has the same meaning as in the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010.

A “specified person” is defined so as to confine the application of the section to individuals and the precedent partner in a partnership. It should be noted that the terms of the section are not applied to companies which have obligations under company law to be on public record and are not in as good a position as individuals to keep their existence hidden.

A “tax reference number” is any of the following —

  • the Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) stated on the certificate of tax credits and standard rate cut-off point issued to that person by an inspector (since copy certificates may be issued to an employer in respect of their employees it is necessary to provide that the quotation of a number on such an employee’s certificate does not meet the terms of the section),
  • the reference number quoted on any return of income form or notice of assessment issued to a specified person by an inspector, and
  • a specified person’s VAT registration number.

(2) A specified person must quote —

  • his/her tax reference number (or one of them if he/she has more than one), or
  • his/her full name and address (if he/she does not have a tax reference number)

on any document being an invoice, credit note, debit note, receipt, account, statement of account, voucher or estimate for €7 or more, issued in the course of business.

Relevant Date: Finance Act 2021