The pay-and-file deadline for self-assessed taxpayers will fall a month earlier this year but anyone in financial difficulty as a result of the change can expect no mercy from the Revenue, The Sunday Business Post reports.

“Finance Bill proposals to bring forward the pay-and-file deadline will put extra strain on cash-strapped individuals and small businesses, by requiring them to make their return and settle their tax bill by the end of September, a month earlier than the existing October 31 deadline,” the newspaper notes. “Taxpayers who pay-and-file online currently have an extension on the deadline until mid-November, with the new rules proposing a similar extension to mid-October.”

The Revenue said there was “nothing in the legislation that provides for any leeway” for the more than 600,000 taxpayers who will be affected by the proposed changes.

According to the Finance Bill, the proposed changes will “enhance the accuracy of budget forecasting and help facilitate an earlier budget if required”. However, the president of the Irish Taxation Institute Andrew Cullen said it was more bad news for anyone experiencing cash-flow problems, a view echoed by Avine McNally, acting director of the Small Firms Association.

“The changes will put pressure on small firms and the self-employed, especially this year, as there is no consideration given,” she said.

In an apparent nod to these difficulties, another proposal contained in the bill would allow the cash-strapped to settle their taxes by credit card.

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