Revenue Note for Guidance

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Revenue Note for Guidance

1094 Tax clearance certificates in relation to certain licences


This section sets out the circumstances in which a tax clearance certificate is to be issued by the Collector-General for the purposes of obtaining various licences. The person who is the beneficial holder of the licence must apply for the tax clearance certificate. This usually is the person to be named on the licence but, where the licence is held in the name of a nominee, the application must be made by the person on whose behalf the nominee holds the licence.

In order to qualify for the tax clearance certificate, the person applying for the certificate and certain other persons connected with that person must have complied with all the obligations provided for in the Acts, and any instruments made under the Acts, governing income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax and VAT in relation to —

  • the payment of taxes, interest and penalties, and
  • the delivery of returns.

The section also provides for appeals against a refusal of the Collector-General to issue a tax clearance certificate.



(1) “the Acts” are defined in a list of statutes and instruments made thereunder which cover the taxes, levies, duties and charges under the care and management of the Revenue Commissioners. The Acts concerned are —

  • the Customs Acts,
  • the statutes relating to excise duties and the management of those duties,
  • the Tax Acts,
  • Parts 18A, 18B, 18C and 18D,
  • Part 22A,
  • the Capital Gains Tax Acts,
  • the Value-Added Tax Acts,
  • the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012,
  • the statutes relating to stamp duty and to the management of that duty,
  • the Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003, and the enactments amending or extending that Act.

“beneficial holder of a licence” is the person who carries on the activities to which the licence refers.

“licence” is a licence, permit or authorisation under various statutory provisions. These are —

“market value”, in relation to any property, is the amount the property might reasonably be expected to fetch on an open-market sale on the date the property is to be valued.

“specified date” is the date of commencement of a licence sought under the various provisions referred to in the definition of “licence”.

“tax clearance certificate” is to be construed in accordance with subsection (2).

Issue of tax clearance certificate

(2) The Collector-General is to issue a tax clearance certificate for the purposes of the grant of a licence to a person where —

  • that person, and any partnership of which the person is or was a partner in respect of the period of membership in the partnership,
  • in a case where that person is a partnership, each partner,
  • in a case where that partner is a company, each person who is either the beneficial owner of, or able directly or indirectly to control, more than 50 per cent of the ordinary share capital of the company,

has or have complied with all the obligations imposed on that person by the Acts in relation to —

  • the payment or remittance of the taxes, interest and penalties required to be paid or remitted under the Acts, and
  • the delivery of returns.

Power to refuse tax clearance certificate

(3), (3A) & (4) The Collector-General is empowered to refuse a tax clearance certificate where there has been a transfer of a licence between certain connected persons (within the meaning of section 10) unless the transferor has complied with the necessary conditions. However, this provision does not apply to a transfer of licence effected before 24 April, 1992 or effected after that date where a contract for the sale or lease of the premises to which the licence relates was signed before that date.

Application for tax clearance certificate

(5) The application for a tax clearance certificate is to be made to the Collector-General in a form prescribed by the Revenue Commissioners or in such other manner as they may allow (to allow for an application by electronic means).

(6) Where the Collector-General refuses to issue a tax clearance certificate to a person, the Collector-General is to notify the applicant in writing as soon as is practicable that the application was not successful. The applicant must also be informed as to why the application was unsuccessful.

Appeal against refusal to grant tax clearance certificate

(7)(a) A person has a right of appeal in the event of a tax clearance certificate being refused by the Collector-General.

Any person aggrieved by such refusal may, by notice in writing appeal to the Appeal Commissioners. An appeal must be made within 30 days after the date of the notice of the refusal. The Appeal Commissioners will hear and determine an appeal in the manner provided for in Part 40A of this Act. However, no right of appeal exists by virtue of this section in relation to any amount of tax or interest due under the Acts.

(7)(b) The notice of appeal is to be in writing and is valid only if —

  • it specifies the matter or matters with which the person is aggrieved, and the grounds in detail of his appeal as respects each such matter, and
  • any amount under the Acts which is due to be remitted or paid, and which is not in dispute, is duly remitted or paid.

Issue of tax clearance certificate in electronic format

(8) A tax clearance certificate may be issued by the Collector-General in electronic format and may, with the applicant’s written agreement, be published in a secure electronic medium (for example, a website) where it can be accessed by persons authorised to do so by the applicant.

(9) The duration of the tax clearance certificate will be stated on it.

Relevant Date: Finance Act 2021