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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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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.

Revenue & the Sheriff

The Collector General & the Revenue Commissioners have carried out almost 32,000 enforcement proceedures during 2012 recovering €210m.
The most common enforcement type was the appointment of County & City Sheriffs to collect debt amounting to almost €150m. This occurred on over 22,000 occasions.
Sheriffs fees can be in the region of 2% of the debt – resulting in an additional €3m in fees paid by the hard pressed tax payers.
Not bad work if you can get it!

Report of Comptroller and Auditor General Published

The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General for 2011 has been published. In relation to tax and Revenue it includes a number of interesting points:
• Income tax receipts increased by a net €2.5 billion (bn) in 2011 when compared with 2010, reflecting the introduction of the Universal Social Charge (USC) and the reduction in tax bands and credits.
• Tax forecasting has been made more difficult with the emergence of significant corporation tax losses. The utilisation of losses in 2010 is estimated to have reduced potential corporation tax receipts by €2.75bn.
• A new debt analysis tool was introduced on a pilot basis in February to allow Revenue case workers prioritise the recovery of debt by reference to the age of the debt. It also allows them to determine the type and timing of interventions to maximise recovery.
• Total tax outstanding at the end of March 2012 was just under €2bn. The two largest categories of debt outstanding are income tax and VAT. Overall, about one third of the debt outstanding was under appeal.
• 3 economic sectors accounted for 59% of the total tax written off in 2011; construction, wholesale and retail trade and accommodation and food services. The majority of these write offs arose due to liquidations and the trade ceasing with insufficient liquid assets
Thanks to the Institute of Tax for the above summary.

New Collector-General appointed

Revenue has announced that they have appointed Michael Gladney as the new Collector-General. Mr Gladney headed up Revenue’s Limerick Tax District & South West Region’s Large Enterprise Audit Unit, prior to his appointment as Collector-General.

The previous Collector-General, Gerry Harrahill has been assigned as head of Revenue’s Corporate Affairs and Customs Division

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