Employer Tax Dublin

Determining the employment status of an individual – New Irish Revenue Guidance



On 20th October 2023, the Supreme Court delivered its unanimous decision in The Revenue Commissioners v Karshan (Midlands) Ltd. t/a Domino’s Pizza [2023] IESC 24 (the “Karshan Case.”  It was held that delivery drivers of Domino’s Pizza should be treated as employees and not independent contractors.  Today Revenue published their “Guidelines for Determining Employment Status for Taxation purposes” which outlines a five step decision making framework to determine the employment status of individuals for tax purposes: eBrief No. 140/24



According to Revenue:


“Where an individual is engaged under a contract of service, i.e., as an employee taxable under Schedule E, income tax, USC and PRSI should be deducted from his or her employment income through their employer’s payroll system on or before when a payment is made.


Where an individual is engaged under a contract for service, i.e., as a self-employed individual taxable under Schedule D, he or she will generally be obliged to register for self-assessment, to pay preliminary tax and file their own income tax returns using the Revenue Online Service (ROS).”




The guidance material asks the following questions:



1. Does the contract involve the exchange of a wage or other remuneration for the work carried out?


In other words, there must be an exchange of work for wage/remuneration before a working relationship can be categorised as a “contract for service.”


A contract is considered to be an engagement where there is a payment by the business to the individual regardless of whether or not there is a written contract in place.




2. If so, is the agreement one pursuant to which the worker is agreeing to provide their own services, and not those of a third party, to the employer?


This test distinguishes between a situation where a worker provides services to a business personally versus where it’s possible for that worker to engage others to provide the services on his/her/their behalf.




3. If so, does the employer exercise sufficient control over the putative employee to render the agreement one that is capable of being an employment agreement?


The court judgment placed a strong emphasis on the degree of freedom the individual has to decide how the work is carried out.


It is essential to establish the level of control the business has over the individual worker.  For example, can it decide what the particular duties are, as well as how, when and where the work should be carried out?


Is the worker carrying on the business of the organisation he/she/they work(s) for or is this individual working on their own account?


In other words, to what degree is the worker/individual integrated into the business?




4. If the above three requirements are satisfied, the decision maker must then determine whether the terms of the contract between employer and worker and the related working arrangements are consistent with an employment contract, or with some other form of contract.


Apart from reviewing any written agreement in place, it is vital that the facts of the working arrangement are examined to establish if the individual is working for the business or is providing services on his/her/their own account.




5. Finally, it should be determined whether there is anything in the particular legislative regime under consideration that requires the court to adjust or supplement any of the foregoing.




If the answer to any of the first three questions set out above are “No”, a contract of employment is not deemed to exist and the individual should not be treated as an employee.


If, however, the answer to the first three questions is “Yes”, then questions 4 and 5 of the framework must be considered to determine if a contract of employment exists.


The Guidelines also include nineteen practical examples which demonstrate the application of the five step framework to assist in determining how workers, in a number of different situations, will be taxed.






  • If required by Revenue, taxpayers must be able to demonstrate, using the five step framework, how they determined that a worker should be treated as self-employed rather than as an employee.


  • If a business previously treated a worker as self-employed rather than as an employee, but having reviewed the five-step framework it would appear that this individual is in fact an employee for tax purposes, the business must immediately rectify the situation by operating payroll taxes.


  • If the business has incorrectly treated the worker as a self-employed contractor rather than as an employee, the Revenue Commissioners may seek the repayment of uncollected payroll taxes, Employer’s PRSI as well as interest and penalties.


  • It is advised that businesses carry out an urgent and comprehensive review of the five step framework to determine employment status of their workers.




If you require any assistance, please contact us.




Please be aware that the information contained in this article is of a general nature.  It is not intended to address specific circumstances in relation to any individual or entity. All reasonable efforts have been made by Accounts Advice Centre to provide accurate and up-to-date information, however, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate on the date it is received or that it will continue to remain so. This information should not be acted upon without full and comprehensive, specialist professional tax advice.

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: https://www.revenue.ie/en/employing-people/ewss/how-to-claim-for-employees-and-subsidy-rates.aspx