Tax News

Revenue announces extension to ROS Pay and File deadline 2021



The Revenue Commissioners acknowledge the on-going efforts by taxpayers and agents and in light of the current Covid-19 developments, the Pay and File deadline for ROS customers has been extended to Friday, 19th November at 5.00pm.



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Digital Games Tax Credit



On 12th October 2021 the Irish Government announced the introduction of a Digital Games Tax Credit, i.e. a refundable Corporation Tax Credit available to digital games development companies.


On 21st October, Section 33 of the Finance Bill introduced section 481A TCA 1997 in relation to the new tax credit for the digital gaming sector which provides relief at a rate of 32% of the qualifying expenditure incurred in the development of digital games (i.e. the design, production and testing of a digital game) up to €25 million.


In other words, the credit of 32% will be on the lower of:

  1. 80% of the qualifying expenditure per project or
  2. €25 million per project


In order to qualify for the relief, the minimum expenditure per project is €100,000.


The digital gaming corporation tax credit will be available up to 31st December 2025.  


This tax credit is available to companies who are resident in Ireland, or who are EEA resident and operate in Ireland through a branch or an agency.



To qualify for this tax credit, the digital game must be issued with one of two types of Certificate from the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media:

  1. An interim certificate which is issued to companies who are in the process of developing their game or
  2. A final certificate which is issued to companies who have completed the development of their game.


A digital games development company may not make a claim for the tax credit unless it has been issued with either an interim or a final certificate.


If a company has been issued with an interim certificate, it can claim the tax credit within twelve months of the end of the accounting period in which the qualifying expenditure is incurred.


Relief will not be available for digital games produced mainly for the purposes of advertising or gambling.


A digital game development company will be required to sign an undertaking in respect of “quality employment” which is similar to the requirements contained in section 481 TCA 1997 for tax relief for investment in films.


A claimant company will not be allowed to qualify for any additional tax relief under Section 481 Film Relief or the R&D tax credit.


As the credit will require EU state aid approval, it is to be introduced subject to a commencement order.


EWSS Eligibility from 1st July 2021


The Finance (Covid-19 and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021 has extended the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) until 31st December 2021.


It also amended the comparison periods for determining eligibility for EWSS for pay dates from 1st July 2021.


The main criterion for eligibility is that employers must be able to prove that they were operating at no more than 70% of either (a) turnover or (b) customer orders received for the period 1st January to 30th June 2021 as compared with 1st January to 30th June 2019.  It must also be able to clearly demonstrate that this disruption was caused by Covid19.


In other words, an employer must be able to show, to the satisfaction of Revenue Commissioners, that their business is expected to suffer a 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders, which was due to Covid19.


Simultaneously, Revenue introduced a new requirement for employers to submit a monthly Eligibility Review Form (ERF) on ROS.  The ERF requires (a) data relating to actual monthly VAT exclusive turnover or customers order values for 2019 in addition to actual and projected figures for 2021 for all relevant businesses as well as (b) a declaration.


The initial submission should be made between 21st and 30th July 2021 and by 15th of every month from August onwards.


On 15th of every month during the operation of this scheme, employers will be required to provide the actual results for the previous month, together with a review of the original projections they provided so as to ensure they continue to remain valid.


The eligibility for EWSS must be reviewed on the last day of each month.  If the business is deemed ineligible, then that business must de-register for EWSS from the following day.


If, however, the situation changes, then the business can re-register again.


The following subsidy rates, based on employee’s gross pay per week, will continue to apply for the months of July, August and September 2021 as follows:

  • €400 and €1,462 gross per week, the subsidy is €350
  • €300 and €399.99 gross per week, the subsidy is €300
  • €203 and €299.99 gross per week, the subsidy is €250
  • €151.50 and €202.99 gross per week, the subsidy is €203.


Additional Points:

  1. EWSS support is available for Employers with a valid Tax Clearance Certificate, providing they can demonstrate that the Covid-19 Pandemic disrupted their business resulting in a reduction in their turnover or customer orders by at least 30%.
  2. Childcare businesses which have been registered in line with Section 58C of the Child Care Act 1991, are not required to meet the 30% reduction in turnover or customer order test to be eligible.
  3. As and from 1st July, 2021, the eligibility criteria for the scheme will be calculated with reference to a twelve month period, as opposed to the six month period, as before.
  4. Revenue requires employers to retain appropriate documentation, including copies of projections, to demonstrate continued eligibility over the specified period.
  5. Employers must operate normal deductions of Income Tax, USC and employee PRSI from employees’ wages/salaries on all EWSS payments through the payroll. A reduced rate of employer PRSI of 0.5% applies in relation to wages/salaries which are eligible for the subsidy payment.
  6. If an employer fails to complete and submit the EWSS Eligibility Review Form, this will result in the suspension of EWSS subsidy payments by Revenue.


For further information please visit: 

CRO update on filing date for annual returns

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The Registrar of Companies has decided to extend the filing deadline for companies with an Annual Return Date falling on 30th September 2020 or later  until Friday, 11 June 2021.


The extension of the deadline from 28th May 2021 was in recognition of difficulties being experienced when trying to file Annual Returns in the run-up to the filing deadline, which the CRO are currently working to resolve.


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From 21st May 2021 Revenue will recommence their assessment of the tax clearance status of businesses.


Please be aware that this may result in the rescinding of the tax clearance status of businesses that are currently in receipt of the EWSS and/or the CRSS.  It is essential to check the status of your tax clearance as your business may becoming ineligible to receive further payments under these schemes until the compliance issues concerned are fully resolved.


If Revenue have contacted you to remind you of your requirement to file outstanding returns or to address other compliance issues in order to retain your tax clearance status, please make sure you do so as a matter of urgency.


In summary, businesses which are reliant on the EWSS and/or the CRSS should take immediate action by contacting Revenue and addressing the outstanding issues.


Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit – Revenue eBrief No. 089/21

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Revenue published Tax and Duty Manual Part 29-02-03 – Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit today.


These updated guidelines clarify Revenue’s treatment of rental expenditure as well as including information on the treatment of subsidies received under (i) the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) and (ii) the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS).


According to previous guidance material on this matter issued on 1st July 2020 Revenue’s position was that “rent is expenditure on a building or structure and is excluded from being expenditure on research and development by section 766(1)(a) TCA 1997”.


Since then, Revenue’s position has been the source of continuous discussion and debate with many disagreeing with Revenue’s interpretation of the treatment of rent in relation to R&D claims.


Clarity had been sought from Revenue with regards to their position on rent in relation to both historic and new claims for Research and Development tax relief.


In this latest update, Revenue has clarified that rent will qualify in such circumstances where “the expenditure is incurred wholly and exclusively in the carrying on of the R&D activities.”


According to Paragraph 4.2 of the updated Revenue Guidance Manual:

“In many cases expenditure incurred on renting a space or facility, which is used by a company to carry on an R&D activity, may be expenditure that is incurred “for the purposes of”, or “in connection with”, the R&D activity but will not constitute expenditure incurred wholly and exclusively in the carrying on of the R&D activity. The eligibility of rental expenditure incurred by a company will relate to the extent to which it is incurred wholly and exclusively in the carrying on of the R&D activities. Where the nature of the rented space or facility is such that it is integral to the carrying on of the R&D activity itself then it is likely that the rent can be shown to be more than merely “for the purposes of” or “in connection with” the R&D activity.”



Therefore, it is possible for rental expenditure to be included as part of an R&D tax relief claim but only where that rented building is deemed to be integral to the carrying on of R&D activities.  According to Revenue’s guidance material, an example of a rental expense that may be considered qualifying expenditure might relate to the rental of a specialized laboratory used solely for the purposes of carrying out R&D activities. This is contrasted with the rental of office space necessary to house an R&D team, but which is not deemed to be integral to the actual R&D activity.  In this case, this rent would not be treated as eligible expenditure.


Revenue have confirmed that this position will only apply for accounting periods commencing on or after 1st July 2020. 



Revenue’s Manual has also been updated to include:

  • Confirmation that the EWSS and TWSS are considered State support and therefore expenditure from such assistance will not qualify for relief.  In other words, such amounts will reduce the qualifying allowable expenditure or qualifying R&D tax relief expenditure.
  • The COVID-19 practice for 2020, in relation to the use of a building in a ‘specified relevant period’ under section 766A TCA 1997.
  • A further example of a subcontractor who would not be eligible to claim the R&D tax credit.



For further information, please follow the link:



The Companies Registration Office’s New Online Portal launched on 16th December 2020


The new CORE Portal will be launched on 16th December 2020.


The new Portal will make filing with Companies Registration Office easier and more efficient.


Main Features of the new CORE Portal include:

  1. The ability to upload signed PDF signature pages. This removes the requirement to post signature pages to the CRO and should greatly reduce issues such as lost or delayed post as well as missed filing deadlines. A signature page must be generated and signed then a PDF version of the signed signature page can then be uploaded to the system. Please be aware, the option of E-signatures to sign the signature page will not be available.


  1. An automatic Fifty Six days to file Annual Returns. This replaces how presenters file annual returns.  Currently the Form B1 can be filed and a signature page generated twenty eight days after the ARD with a further twenty eight days to file the accounts.  From 16th December 2020 companies will have an automatic 56 days from its ARD (annual return date) to complete the entire filing process which will include (a) preparing the annual return in CORE, (b) uploading the financial statements, (c) generating the signature page once the financial statements have been successfully uploaded, (d) uploading the signed signature page in a PDF format and (e) make the necessary filing payment.


  1. From 16th December 2020 it will be possible for CORE users to preview, remove and upload a new version of the financial statements before the B1 signature page is generated. Currently a new signature page is created every time a set of financial statements is removed and a new version is uploaded.


Revenue’s updated guidance around working e-working

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In response to the Covid-19 outbreak in Ireland, the Government has asked people to take all necessary measures to reduce the spread of the virus and where possible individuals are being asked to work from home.


Today Revenue updated their e-Working and Tax guidance manual (i.e. Revenue eBrief No. 045/20) in which it published Government’s recommendation as to how employers can allow employees to work from home.


The content of Tax and Duty Manual Part 05-02-13 has been updated to include:

  • An explanation of what constitutes an e-worker along with examples.
  • The conditions that apply to employer payments of home expenses of e-workers.
  • Clarification that current Government recommendations for employees to work from home as a result of COVID-19 meet the conditions for relief.
  • Guidance for employees claiming relief for allowable e-working expenses, who are not in receipt of e-working payments from their employers.


Revenue has defined e-working to be where an employee works:

  • at home on a full or part-time basis
  • part of the time at home and the remainder in the normal place of work
  • while on the move, with visits to the normal place of work


The guidance material goes on to state that e-working involves:

  • logging onto a work computer remotely
  • sending and receiving email, data or files remotely
  • developing ideas, products and services remotely


The revised Revenue guidance clarifies that the following conditions must also be met:

  • There is a formal agreement in place between the employer and the employee under which the employee is required to work from home
  • An employee is required to perform substantive duties of the employment at home; and
  • The employee is required to work for substantial periods at home


The guidance confirms that e-working arrangements do not apply to individuals who in the normal course of their employment bring work home outside standard working hours.


It would appear from the updated material, that where there is an occasional and ancillary element to work completed from home, the e-working provisions will not apply.


The revised guidance does not specify what a “formal agreement” between the employer and employee might contain therefore it would be advisable for businesses/employers going forward to consider putting in place a formal structure for employees looking to avail of the e-worker relief in the future.


The guidance material states in broad terms that employees forced to work from home due to the Covid crisis can claim a tax credit.

“Where the Government recommends that employers allow employees to work from home to support national public health objectives, as in the case of Covid-19, the employer may pay the employee up to €3.20 per day to cover the additional costs of working from home.  If the employer does not make this payment, the employee may be entitled to make a claim under section 114 TCA 1997 in respect of vouched expenses incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties of the employment”.


The revised guidance advises that employers must retain records of all tax-free allowance payments to employees.


In situations where an employee is working from their home but undertakes business travel on a particular day and subsequently claims travel and subsistence expenses, please be aware that if the e-workers daily allowance is also claimed by that employee for the same day, then it will be disallowed and instead, treated as normal pay in the hands of the employee/e-worker i.e. it will be subject to payroll taxes.


Where an employee qualifies as an e-worker, an employer can provide the following equipment for use at home where a benefit-in-kind (BIK) charge will not arise provided any private use is incidental:

  • Computer, laptop, hand-held computer
  • printer
  • scanner
  • software to facilitate working from home


There is no additional USC liability imposed on the provision of this work-related equipment to an employee.


Please be aware, however, that laptops, computers, office equipment and office furniture purchased by an employee are not allowable deductions under s. 114 of the Taxes Consolidation Act (TCA) 1997.


e-Working expenses can be claimed by completing an Income Tax return.  An individual can complete this form on the Revenue website as follows:

  • sign into myAccount
  • click on ‘Review your tax’ link in PAYE Services
  • select the Income Tax return for the relevant tax year
  • click ‘Your Job’
  • in the ‘Claim for Tax Credits, allowances and Reliefs’ page select ‘Remote Working (e-Working) Expenses’ and insert the full amount of the expense in the “Amount” section.

As a claim may be selected for future examination, all documentation relating to a claim should be retained for a period of six years from the end of the tax year to which the claim relates.


Finally, for employees who meet the relevant conditions and are deemed qualify as e-workers:

  • Using part of his/her home for the purposes of e-working will not affect his/her entitlement to principal private residence (PPR) relief when selling his/her home in the future.
  • There is no reduction in the Local Property Tax (LPT) where part of the property is used for the purposes of e-working.


For further information, please follow the link:



New Developments in PAYE Services

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Following recent developments of the PAYE system,  employees and Proprietary Directors can now access details of their total pay and statutory deductions for 2019. They can also view their tax position for the year based on Revenue’s preliminary calculation.


New terminology and documentation have been introduced as follows:

  1. The Employment Detail Summary replaces the P60 for 2019 and subsequent years. is the official record of an employee’s pay and statutory deductions for the year.
  2. The Preliminary End of Year Statement is a calculation by Revenue of the employee or Proprietary Director’s income tax and USC liabilities for 2019 based on the payroll information submitted by employers throughout 2019.
  3. The Statement of Liability replaces the P21 Balancing End of Year Statement.


You can access the record of your payroll details for 2019 as follows:

  • Go to MyAccounts
  • Click on the PAYE Services Screen
  • Click on Employment Detail Summary
  • Click on Review Your Tax 2016 – 2019


This summary of payroll information or proof of income can be downloaded or printed for you to retain or it provided to third parties as required.


To calculate whether you have underpaid, overpaid or paid the correct amount of income tax and USC for 2019 you can request a Preliminary End of Year Statement by

  • Clicking on PAYE Services
  • Clicking on Review Your Tax 2016 – 2019
  • Clicking on Statement of Liability for 2019


If you have overpaid your taxes, based on the Revenue’s records, please be aware that the refund will not issue automatically.   You will need to file an Income Tax Return for 2019 to include (i) your total income, (ii) any allowable deductions and (iii) your tax credits so that Revenue has been provided with full and complete information necessary to calculate your tax position.


In order to file an Income Tax Return, you should:

  • Go to MyAccount
  • Click onto the pre-populated form for 2019
  • Examine the information contained in the form to ensure it is correct
  • Insert all relevant information that has not been included in this pre-populated form including dividend income, deposit interest, health expenses, etc.


Once you have submitted your Income Tax Return,  it will be processed by Revenue and a Statement of Liability will issue along wtih any refund due for the 2019 year of assessment.


The refund can be paid in two ways: (i) directly into your bank account or (ii) by cheque posted to your home address.  if you wish to have the refund transferred electronically, you must:

  • Go to MyAccounts
  • Click onto MyProfile
  • Insert the BIC, IBAN and full name on the bank account in the relevant sections


If, however, the Preliminary End of Year Statement shows that you underpaid your taxes for the 2019 year of assessment, you must file an online Income Tax Return to include all relevant income, allowable deductions, tax credits, etc.  This can be done through MyAccount.  Once Revenue has processed the information, a Statement of Liability will issue.  This document will outline how any underpayment is be recovered.  Options include adjusting your tax credits and standard rate cut-off point over one or more years.


The Revenue Commissioners will write to taxpayers who have underpaid tax based on their preliminary calculations, requiring them to complete and file an Income Tax Return for 2019.


In circumstances where the taxpayer does not file a return, the Revenue Commissioners will write to them again, this time outlining how the underpayment is to be collected.



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.