US Senate approves Swiss/US DTA protocol

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On 17th July 2019, the U.S. Senate approved the 2019 Protocol to amend the Switzerland USA Double Taxation Agreement.


Formally, the protocol will enter into force on the date the instruments of ratification are exchanged.


The core element of the protocol of amendment is the exchange of information.


The protocol provides for the following changes:

  • Currently there is no differentiation between tax evasion and tax fraud in Switzerland. This was in line with the international standard on information exchange. Switzerland applied this to in excess of one hundred jurisdictions however, the United States was not one of them. The protocol will erase this difference within the context of administrative assistance in relation to the U.S. It will also apply to other categories of information requests.
  • For pillar 3a solutions (i.e. dividends paid to individual retirement arrangements), it will provide for an exemption from the source country (i.e. the Us) withholding 15% tax on cross border dividends from 1st January 2020 provided the protocol of amendment comes into force in 2019.
  • Mandatory binding arbitration of unresolved competent authority cases will be implemented where the competent authorities cannot reach agreement in the mutual agreement procedure. This will eliminate exposure to double taxation.
  • Under the new provision, the United States will be able to make group requests under the FATCA Agreement. The IRS will submit the group requests to the Swiss Federal Authority. The affected Swiss financial institutions will have ten days to deliver the required information on receipt of the request from the Swiss Federal Authority.

This milestone in the Switzerland and USA tax relationship is likely to make Switzerland far more appealing to U.S. multinationals.

UK Private Residence Relief

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If you have recently moved to the UK and intend selling your home in Ireland, please be aware that even if you qualify for Principal Private Residence Relief under Section 604 TCA 1997 in Ireland you may not qualify for UK Private Residence Relief.

This article is aimed at individuals who have become UK resident and who are in the process of selling their Irish principal private residence.


In general, you do not pay Capital Gains Tax when you sell or ‘dispose of’ your home if all the following conditions apply:

  • you have only one home and you’ve lived in this property as your main home for the entire time you’ve owned it
  • you have not let part of it out (Please be aware that this does not include having a single lodger)
  • you have not used part of the property for business purposes only
  • the grounds, including all buildings, are less than 5,000 square metres in total
  • you did not buy the property with the sole or main intention to make a gain

If all the above conditions apply you will automatically get a tax relief called Private Residence Relief.



Your period of ownership begins on the date you first acquired the dwelling house or on 31st March 1982 if that is the later date. It ends when you dispose of or sell the property.

The final 18 months of your period of ownership will always qualify for Private Residence Relief regardless of how you use the property during that time but providing the property has been your only or main residence at some point.



The following periods of absence are treated as periods of occupation for the purposes of calculating Private Residence Relief:

  • Any periods of absence, for whatever reason, not exceeding three years in total
  • Any period of absence when carrying out the duties of your employment outside the United Kingdom
  • Any periods not exceeding four years in total which are due specifically to employment requirements.


In order for these periods of absence to qualify as “deemed occupation” there must be a time both before and after the absence when the dwelling house is the individual’s sole or main residence. It is important to keep in mind that absences due to the conditions of an employment will qualify for the Relief even if the individual does not return to the dwelling house afterwards provided the reason for not their returning is due to their contract of employment requiring them to live somewhere else.


Any period of absence which requires the individual to live in job/work related accommodation will qualify for Private Residence Relief if there is an intention to occupy the dwelling as a main residence at some point.


HMRC will, by concession, allow a period of up to one year before the individual begins to occupy the property as his/her principal private residence to be treated as a period of occupation provided the property is then occupied as his/her only or main residence. In exceptional cases, HMRC may extend this period to two years.


From April 2015, the PRR rules were amended so that a property may only be treated as an individual’s main or sole residence for a tax year where that person or his/her spouse/legally registered partner has either:

(a) been tax resident in the same country as the property for the tax year in question (For further information on residence rules please follows this link: or

(b)  has stayed overnight in the property at least 90 times in that UK tax year.  Time spent in another property owned in the same jurisdiction/country can also be included in the ninety day count so that the total number of days in all properties in the territory in question are added together.


The new rules apply equally to a UK resident individual disposing of an overseas home as well as to a non-UK resident disposing of a home in the United Kingdom.


Finally, Lettings Relief may be available in circumstances where Principal Residence Relief is restricted because all or part of a property has been rented out.

This Relief is particularly important for individuals who, due to the current economic climate, experience difficulty selling their former home and, as a result, find they need to rent it out while they’re trying to sell it.

A maximum gain of £40,000 per owner is exempt from Capital Gains Tax provided that property has at some time been the main or only residence of the owner.

From 6th April 2020 there will be a change to this Relief whereby Lettings Relief will only be available in situations where the owner shares occupancy with the tenant.


Form 46G

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Traders (including farmers), professionals and other persons carrying on a business, as well as non-trading or non-profit making organisations and bodies of persons (including charitable organisations and statutory bodies) are required to file Forms 46G annually containing details of payments made by them to third parties for services provided.


For individuals / persons (other than companies) the return should include payments made

  1. in the twelve month period to 31st December each year or
  2. up to the date on which accounts of the trade or profession are normally prepared

The Form 46G must be filed on or before 31st October of the following year.


For companies, the Form 46G should cover all relevant payments in an accounting period and be submitted no later than 9 months following the end of the relevant accounting period.


A non-compliant taxpayer (i.e. where a taxpayer fails to deliver a true and correct return) may be liable to a penalty of €3,000. In addition to which a tax clearance certificate may not be granted and tax refunds may be withheld.


Details of payments must be returned where the total amount paid to one individual or company in the year exceeds €6,000.


Relevant payments include:

  • Payments for services provided in connection with the trade, profession, business etc.
  • Payments for services provided in connection with the formation, acquisition, development or disposal of the trade or business
  • Periodical or lump sum payments made in respect of any copyright.


Revenue provides a list of services that must be specifically disclosed. This list should be reviewed prior to filing a Form 46G on an annual basis.


The following categories of services were recently added:

  • Call Centre/Customer Service
  • Childcare
  • Fitness, Sport & Leisure Services
  • Fleet Management Services
  • Health & Safety Services
  • HR/Recruitment Services
  • Internet & Information Technology related services (including website design or re-design, cloud services etc.)
  • Landscaping/Gardening/Horticulture
  • Marketing /Business Analysis
  • Printing & Publishing
  • Research


Certain payments are not required to be disclosed such as:

  • Payments for essential services/utilities such as electricity, gas and telephone
  • Payments from which income tax has been deducted
  • Payments from which withholding tax has been deducted.  This includes payments which are subject to PAYE, fees paid subject to withholding tax, payments subject to Relevant Contracts Tax (RCT), etc.
  • Payments to non-residents
  • Payments for services where the value of any goods provided as part of the service exceeds two thirds of the total charge


For further details, please follow the link:

Electronic VAT Refund (EVR) Deadline – 30th September 2019

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Has your business incurred VAT costs in another EU member State between 1st January and 31st December 2018?

If the answer is “yes” then you should begin preparing your ‘EVR’ refund claim.

As you’re aware, if you are an Irish VAT registered business who has incurred VAT in another E.U. state, you can’t reclaim this VAT in your Irish VAT 3 Form.  Instead, you must submit an online claim through the Electronic VAT Refund (EVR) service.


This EVR claim is made via the tax authorities’ portal in the trader’s own country.  In other words, an Irish VAT registered business must submit its application to the Irish Revenue Authorities via ROS.

It is the responsibility of the Irish Revenue Authorities to then forward the EVR claim to the E.U. state in question to process the refund.

The EVR application must include the following:

  • The Supplier’s details
  • The Country
  • Import information
  • The VAT details
  • Details regarding the type of supply made
  • In some member states invoices may need to be included with the claim.

The EVR application must be filed on or before 30th September 2019 in relation to VAT incurred between 1st January and 31st December 2018.

The refund payment will be made by electronic funds transfer (EFT) to the bank details provided in the claim.

A maximum of five applications can be made via the EVR  in a calendar year.  The refund period can’t be greater than one calendar year (i.e. 1st January to 31st December) and it can’t be less than three calendar months except in circumstances where the application is in relation to the last quarter of the year.

It is not possible to amend a claim to increase a VAT refund.

Please be aware that EVR reclaims are governed by the VAT recovery rules of the E.U. member state to which the claim relates.  In other words, if you are an Irish VAT registered business making an EVR reclaim in, say, France then you must comply with the French VAT rules and not the Irish rules.

If, however,  you are registered or have an obligation to register for VAT in a particular EU member state then, any reclaim of VAT incurred there must be made directly to the tax authorities of that particular E.U. jurisdiction.


For further information, please click on to the link: