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“The Revenue Commissioners have expressed dissatisfaction”

An interesting note from the Institute of Tax re an Appeals Commissoners decision on 12 March 2013.

“Appeal Commissioners Decision of 12/3/2013
As a result of a Tax Audit estimates on a re-grossed basis for PAYE/PRSI were made on a Company which had discharged third party liabilities of a Director. The Appeal Commissioner held that re-grossing was not appropriate and that PAYE/PRSI only applied to the amounts actually paid by the Company. The Revenue Commissioners have expressed dissatisfaction.”

You would nearly feel sorry for the Revenue!

Revenue Commissioners target IT contractors

So, the Revenue Commissioners have announced a review of ”the tax affairs of companies and their directors, where the main source of income is a contract or contracts “for service” with a larger company or companies (directly or through intermediaries), the company in question does not appear to have a substantial business separate from these contracts, and in most cases the director(s) are the only employees of the company and pay tax through PAYE”.
Revenue have “established that in many cases there are deficiencies in accounting for input costs and expenses, with the result that there has been a significant understatement of tax liability to the benefit of the director(s)”.
In other words, Revenue believe contractors are over claiming expenses relative to their work profile.
It is our understanding that Revenue are also examining the Umbrella/Managed company status of many contractors. There is real concern that the PRSI class applicable to many contractors operating through Managed companies is incorrect and substantial liabilities may exist.
This review is being carried out in the Revenue South West region incorporating Cork, Limerick, Kerry & Clare.
At Noone Casey we look after the tax affairs of many hundreds of contractors using our real time online accounting tool I-Finance. We ensure only appropriate expenses are claimed thus avoiding the issue of underpayment of taxes.
I-Finance is structured so that you
• Operate as a proprietary director of your own limited company. Why is that important?
o You have greater control over your own money – no 3rd parties controlling the bank account.
o You have no exposure from Revenue should they move against the umbrella/composite company structures.
o You can maximise simple tax saving techniques which are not available in a Sole Trader/Umbrella Company structure.
• We process all the financial administrative tasks relating to your contract – which gives you more time to focus on the things you want to do.
• We prepare and issue all your client-approved invoices.
• You dictate how much you want to be paid, we process the payroll for you and make sure all your PAYE/PRSI is correctly deducted and returned on your behalf.
• We monitor your company bank account and assist you execute a ‘same day payment’ model via online banking into your personal bank account.
• We offer you up-to-date advice on all allowable business related expenses.
• We prepare and file all your annual returns (both personal and company related).
• We advise you on how to financially plan for the future and assist you in selecting the best savings and investment options for you personally.
If you are operating as a contractor in the Munster region and have concerns over the expenses you have claimed and /or your Managed company structure, contact me today acasey@noonecasey.ie or 01 6766476 to discuss your affairs.
We will advise you on the correct route out of your potential difficulties.

Special Assignee Relief programme (SARP)

A SARP return must be made by an employer of
employees who availed of relief under the Special
Assignee Relief Programme (SARP) during the year
ended 31 December 2012 on or before 15 February
2013.
Under the SARP program 30% of basic salary (to a
maximum of €127,500) is excluded from the charge to
Income Tax for employees who take up full time
employment in Ireland. Qualifying employees must have
been a full time employee with a Company incorporated
and resident in a Treaty State for the 12 months prior to
arriving within the State. The individual must also be
resident in Ireland to qualify for the relief. The relief
does not apply to Universal Social Charge or PRSI. An
Employer will also be able to bear the cost of certain
items for a relevant employee on a tax free basis to
include the cost of a return trip for the employee and
family to an overseas country to which they are
connected plus primary and or post primary school fees
up to €5,000 per annum per child where the school is
approved by the Minister of Education.
The SARP return is available on the Revenue website
and requests:
• details of the Employer and Employee registration
numbers
• employee name
• amount of income, profits or gains in respect of
which no tax was deducted
• costs associated with an annual return trip to the
country of residence or nationality for self and/or
family
• costs of school fees for children paid to an approved
school in the state
• increase in number of employees as a result of the
operation of the relief or number of employees
retained by the company as a result of the operation
of the relief
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Tax implications of Civil Partnership & Co-habitation

The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (Act) was signed into law on 19 July 2011. The purpose of the legislation is to extend to registered civil partners the same tax treatment as is currently provided to married couples under the Tax Acts. It was anticipated that the Act would extend a similar tax treatment to cohabitants however the rights of cohabitants with regard to tax legislation have not been significantly increased in this Act.

Civil Partnership

A civil partnership is defined as a same sex relationship similar to a marriage where both parties have entered into a legal agreement under the Act. The Civil Partnership is required to register with the relevant Registrar in order to qualify for favourable tax treatment. Following the registration of the Civil Partnership, civil partners must notify their local Revenue office of the date of registration.

Thereafter the civil partners will be entitled to broadly the same tax treatment as is currently in place for married couples. To that end they will be entitled to the ‘married tax band’ and credits for Income Tax purposes. They will be entitled to transfer assets to each other without triggering Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty. Likewise any gift or inheritances made between civil partners will be exempt from Capital Acquisitions Tax.

In the year of registration, both partners will continue to be taxed on a single assessment basis. In subsequent years, the civil partners can elect for joint assessment, separate assessment or separate treatment as appropriate. Where a civil partnership is legally dissolved, Revenue will record the dissolution and each party will be treated as individuals for tax purposes from the date of dissolution.

Cohabitants
A qualifying cohabitant is defined as a person who has lived with another for 2 years or more in the case where they have one or more dependant children and 5 years or more in any other case. As noted above, the Act does not extend the tax treatment of married couples to cohabitants. However under the legislation, a qualifying cohabitant will have the right to seek redress from the courts similar to married couples. For example where a relationship has ended and a qualifying cohabitant can demonstrate that he/she was financial dependant on the other cohabitant the court may order:

1. That property be transferred from one party to another
2. That maintenance be paid
3. That a pension adjustment order be granted
4. That a cohabitant be provided for from the estate of a deceased cohabitant

Those wishing to avoid the effects of the new Act will need to enter into a cohabitants’ agreement.

If you wish to discuss the implications of civil partnership or cohabitation on your personal tax position, do not hesitate to contact Anthony Casey at 01 6766 476 or by email at acasey@noonecasey.ie

VAT on online sales

The European Commission has adopted a package of measures aimed at making the VAT treatment of telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services more business friendly.
Currently such services are taxed where the EU supplier is established. In addition non-EU suppliers must charge VAT in the Member State where the customer is established.
Many businesses have incorporated businesses in Luxembourg to avail of that jurisdiction’s low VAT rates for electronic services.
From 1st January 2015, telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services will be taxed where the consumer is established or resides.
In the future the Commission will seek to extend the new treatment step by step to other goods and services. This complies with the notion that fundamentally, VAT is a tax on consumption, and should therefore be charged at the place of consumption.

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