Revenue Note for Guidance
This section imposes an obligation on all chargeable persons (in practice certain directors are relieved of this obligation – see Statement of Practice SP-IT/1/93) to prepare, and furnish to the Collector-General, a return for the year of assessment or accounting period, as appropriate. The return must be furnished on or before 31 October in the tax year following the tax year to which the return relates or, in the case of a company, within 9 months of the end of the company’s accounting period. A return must be made even though a chargeable person may not have been notified to do so by the inspector. Penalties apply for failure to submit returns. There is also provision for the exclusion of persons from the obligation to deliver a return.
The provisions of section 895(6), which imposes an obligation on persons to include details in their tax returns of foreign bank accounts opened by them, should be noted in the context of Self Assessment. Any person opening a foreign bank account is regarded as a chargeable person for Self Assessment purposes and for the purposes of the surcharge under section 1084 for the late submission of returns. Such a person is, therefore, obliged to make an automatic Self Assessment return under this section. This obligation applies to all persons who come within the terms of section 895(6), including PAYE taxpayers.
Income tax returns must also contain details relating to the profits of the tax year preceding the year for which the return is made where the taxpayer changes his or her period of account and a review of the previous year’s profits is required in accordance with section 65(3).
The provisions of Part 47 should be consulted for details of penalties for failure to make certain returns and for fraudulently or negligently making incorrect returns, etc. Part 47 also contains provisions imposing a surcharge for the late submissions of returns (section 1084), the restriction of certain corporation tax reliefs where a corporation tax return is submitted late (section 1085) and for the publication of the names of tax defaulters, including persons who have been successfully prosecuted for failure, etc to make a return (section 1086).
(1) Every chargeable person must make a tax return for each chargeable period to the Collector-General. The return should show the usual particulars required, including details of profits or gains from all chargeable sources, distributions, etc. The return should be made on or before 31 October in the tax year after the tax year to which the return relates, in the case of income tax or capital gains tax returns, and within 9 months of the end of the accounting period, in the case of corporation tax returns. (Where this date is after day 21 of the month in which the period ends, the return must be filed by day 21 of that month). Also to be included, in the case of income tax returns, are details relating to the profits of the tax year preceding the year for which the return is made, where the taxpayer changes his or her period of account and a review of the previous year’s profits is required in accordance with section 65(3).
(1A) The form used to make a tax return may require information in relation to gift tax and inheritance tax.
(2) The obligation to make a return in the case of a partnership is placed on the precedent partner.
(3) Returns submitted in accordance with subsections (1) and (2) are regarded as returns that were required by notice under the relevant income tax, capital gains tax or corporation tax provisions. Also, action relating to the failure to make a return may be taken in respect of the failure to make a Self Assessment return as if a notice under the relevant provisions had been given to the chargeable person on the specified return date.
(4) A chargeable person must make a return even if the person has not been notified to do so by an inspector.
(5) The preparation and delivery of Self Assessment returns may be made by either the chargeable person or by an agent of the chargeable person. Where an agent makes the return, it is treated as if it had been made by the chargeable person. There is a presumption to this effect unless the contrary is proved.
(6), (7) & (9) An inspector may exclude a person from the obligation to make a return. Where this happens, the person is advised by notice in writing and the notice is to specify for how long the exclusion is to operate. However, exclusions do not extend to removing the obligation to make a return where a person has a liability to capital gains tax for a chargeable period. Likewise, the section does not interfere with the obligation to comply with a notice, to make a return, under the general provisions relating to returns contained in Part 38. Any such notice should not require a return to be made by a chargeable person any earlier than the specified return date for the chargeable period. Also, the giving of such a notice to make a return does not relieve a person of any obligation to make a Self Assessment return under this section.
(8) A return of the income of both spouses or civil partners by one spouse or civil partner fulfils the Self Assessment return obligations of both spouses or civil partners in cases of separate assessment to tax under section 1023(5) or 1031H(5).
(10) A certificate signed by a Revenue officer to the effect that, having examined relevant records, it appears from those records that a person is a chargeable person and that a particular return was not received, is to be accepted as evidence that the return was not made, until the contrary is proved.
(11)(d) & (e) The Collector-General may designate a specific address to which returns, required to be delivered to him or her under this section, are to be made. Any address so designated is to be published in Iris Oifigiúil.
(12) Penalties are provided for failure by a person to make returns and there are increased penalties where the failure is by a body of persons.
Relevant Date: Finance Act 2021