Revenue Note for Guidance

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Revenue Note for Guidance

917F Electronic transmission of returns


This section contains the substantive provisions of the Chapter allowing tax returns to be made electronically.


Satisfying obligations

(1) The obligation of any person to make a tax return is treated as having been satisfied if information is transmitted electronically in response to that obligation and subject to the fulfilment of certain requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure the security and integrity of the information transmitted.

There are four requirements to be met if a return is to treated as made electronically —

  • The electronic return must be made by a person specifically approved by the Revenue Commissioners (called the “approved person”) or a person authorised (called the “authorised person”) to make that return by the approved person. The conditions which any person must meet for approval are set out in section 917G.
  • The electronic return must be made in the manner approved by the Revenue Commissioners. Section 917H sets out the requirements under which the return must be transmitted.
  • The electronic return must have the electronic identifier of the approved person or authorised person affixed to it.
  • The receipt of the electronic return is acknowledged by the Revenue system.

Information included

(2) The additional elements which are currently incorporated into the paper return are also incorporated into the electronic return. This provision ensures that the electronic return can include facility for making claims for relief similar to that in paper returns.

Provisions disapplied

(3) Where requirements which are normally incorporated as part of the paper tax return are not suitable for inclusion in an electronic return, or cannot easily be applied to the electronic return, these provisions of the various tax codes are disapplied for electronic returns. The particular requirements covered by this provision are —

  • the declaration normally incorporated into the return,
  • the signature of the person making the return,
  • the making of the return in writing,
  • the signing of the return by a person acting under the authority of a person obliged to make a return,
  • the provision whereby the Revenue Commissioners prescribe the form of a return, and
  • the provision whereby the Revenue Commissioners prescribe the form of a claim.

Date of submission

(4) The date on which an electronic return is acknowledged as received by Revenue shall be treated as the day on which the obligation of a person to make a return is treated as fulfilled.

Keeping of hard copies

(5) Where an electronic return is submitted on behalf of an approved person or authorised person, the person transmitting the return is required to make a hard copy of the return submitted. Such a printed copy is to be made under specific conditions and authenticated in a specific way. These requirements are set out in section 917K. This is to ensure that a taxpayer will not be able to repudiate a return made on his behalf by some other person (e.g. a tax agent).

Supporting documentation

(6) Where any provision requires that a tax return, or related claim, be accompanied by supporting documents or evidence, the requirements need not be complied with where the return is made electronically. Instead, such documents must be retained by the taxpayer for production to a revenue officer on request.

Relevant Date: Finance Act 2021