Revenue Note for Guidance

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Revenue Note for Guidance

904 Power of inspection: tax deduction from payments to certain subcontractors


This section relates to subcontractors in the construction, forestry and meat processing industries. The section gives powers of inspection to an authorised officer of the Revenue Commissioners in relation to payments by principals to subcontractors. These powers include —

  • power to enter premises, search for, examine, remove and retain records for use in later legal proceedings,
  • power to seek explanations, and
  • the extension of the entry and inspection powers of the section to subcontractors themselves and employees of both principals and subcontractors so as to cover any premises where records of construction operations are kept.

The powers provided for in this section mirror those in section 903 in relation to PAYE and employees.


(1)authorised officer” means an officer of the Revenue Commissioners authorised for the purpose of this section.

“principal”, “relevant contract”, “relevant operations” and “subcontractor” have the meanings set out in Chapter 2 of Part 18.

“records” mean records to be kept under Chapter 2 of Part 18 and regulations made under that Chapter (payments to subcontractors in certain industries) and section 886 (obligation to keep certain records).

(2) An authorised officer may at all reasonable times enter a premises on suspicion that relevant operations (construction, forestry or meat processing) are or have been carried on there or that there are records located there.

(2)(i) The authorised officer may require records to be supplied by appropriate persons.

(2)(ii) If the authorised officer believes that any of the records required to be produced are not so produced a search for such records may be conducted.

(2)(iii) The authorised officer may remove, retain, copy or make extracts from any records either for further examination or possible court cases.

(2A) There is a prohibition on the authorised officer entering premises, or part of a premises, occupied as a private residence unless the consent of the occupier is given or a warrant is obtained from a Judge of the District Court, authorising such entry.

(3) An authorised officer can require all reasonable assistance in going about his/her work.

(4) An authorised officer is to produce evidence of authorisation on request.

(5) A penalty of €4,000 applies for non-compliance with the provisions of this section.

(6) Records to which this section applies are to be kept for 6 years or such lesser period as the Revenue Commissioners may authorise.

Relevant Date: Finance Act 2021