Revenue Note for Guidance
This section is an enabling provision allowing the Revenue Commissioners to make regulations to oblige certain categories of taxpayers to file tax returns or pay tax liabilities electronically. Any regulations made may also provide for the repayment of tax electronically. The section came into operation on 28 July 2008 following the making of commencement order SI 308/2008 by the Minister for Finance.
(1) The definition of “electronic means” is designed to be technologically neutral. This will allow for any new developments in the area of the automated transfer of data to be used for electronic filing of tax returns or the payment of taxes electronically if considered desirable.
The term “repayment of tax” is defined in such a way as to include any other amount relating to the tax to be repaid (for example, interest on the tax).
A person who will be obliged to either file their tax return electronically or to pay their tax electronically or to do both is referred to in the legislation as a “specified person”. Such a person may be a group of persons or a class of persons identified in the regulations to be made governing mandatory e-filing and e-payment.
Also to be identified in the regulations governing e-filing or e-payment are the returns which must be made electronically under the regulations (known as the “specified return”) and the tax liabilities which must be paid electronically (known as “specified tax liabilities”). These include any interest which is payable along with these tax liabilities. The reason these concepts are needed is to ensure that a person who is obliged to file and pay electronically is only obliged to do so in respect of returns and liabilities which Revenue are capable of receiving electronically.
(2) The interpretive provisions of section 917D apply for the purposes of any regulations making e-filing or e-payment mandatory in the same way as they apply for the purposes of the Revenue Online Service (ROS). This ensures that the mandatory e-filing and e-payment regulations can be applied to all the taxes and duties listed in section 917D. It also means that the definition of “return” in section 917D applies for the purposes of mandatory e-filing. The effect of this is that any piece of information which a person is legally obliged to supply to Revenue can if for some reason it is essential that it be filed electronically be required by regulation to be so filed.
(3) Revenue may make regulations requiring —
Regulations may require the mandatory electronic payment of tax but might not necessarily require the return in relation to that tax to be made electronically. Likewise, the regulations could provide for the electronic re-payment of tax where there might not be any mandatory requirement to either make the return or pay the tax electronically in the first place.
(4) Specific provision is to be made in the Regulations providing for the exclusion of certain persons from the mandatory e-filing and e-payment requirements. This exclusion applies where Revenue is satisfied that the person could not reasonably be expected to have the capacity to file a tax return or to pay tax electronically. In this regard it is the person’s capacity to do these things by electronic means which must be looked at and not their capacity to file a return or to pay tax. Where a person is aggrieved at their non-exclusion there is a right to appeal to the Appeal Commissioners.
(5) The regulations may include, but are not be limited to, certain additional ancillary matters. These matters may or may not be needed depending on the way any particular regulation made is intended to work and include matters such as:
(6) The Revenue Commissioners may nominate any of their officers to perform any acts and discharge any functions authorised by regulations made under this section to be performed or discharged by the Revenue Commissioners.
(7) Where a specified return has been made by a specified person in a form which does not comply with regulations made under this section or a specified person has made a payment of tax other than in accordance with the regulations a penalty of €1,520 applies.
(8) Regulations made are to be laid before Dáil Éireann. If a vote annulling them is passed by Dáil Éireann within 21 days the regulation are annulled.
By virtue of section 164(2) of the Finance Act 2003 this section will only come into operation following a commencement order by the Minister for Finance. The section came into operation on 28 July 2008 following the making of commencement order SI 308/2008 by the Minister for Finance.
Relevant Date: Finance Act 2021