€200 NPPR Levy for 2010 falls due on Wednesday

March 29, 2010

The €200 Non- Principal Private Residence (NPPR) charge for 2010 falls due this Wednesday, 31 March 2010. If you are liable, you have three months to pay this charge, until 30 June next.

After 1 July, an additional late payment fee of €20 per month will be charged.

You will be liable for the €200 charge if, on 31 March 2010, you are the owner of a residential property that is not your “Principal Private Residence”.

For more information, see the NPPR website.

For some reason, the NPPR site “is currently undergoing maintenance and will be unavailable until Wednesday the 31st March. The site will re-open and accept payments on the 31st March.”  However, in the meantime, the helpful FAQ section of the site is still open.

Is your company paying for unnecessary audits?

March 26, 2010

I have recently updated my website www.mcgibney.com with a detailed feature on Audit Exemption. If you own or run a limited company, the chances are that your company can use Audit Exemption to avoid the hassle and expense of an annual audit.

I have read previously that some 96% of Irish companies are eligible to avail of this option, yet not all companies do so.

To qualify, a company’s filing record in the Companies Office must be fully up to date.

You can read the article here.

Woman “used Starbucks Card to Bribe Taxman”

March 24, 2010

A weird little tale today from San Francisco, where a court heard last week heard how a woman allegedly used a Starbucks Gift Card in a failed attempt to bribe an IRS tax agent.

According to court records, the lady was  charged last Thursday with bribery of a public official.  It is reported that she owed more than $13,000 in tax arrears following an IRS tax audit.  She allegedly wrote to to the IRS agent after the audit, attaching a $100 Starbucks gift card and a little message: “Enjoy!”.

The San Francisco federal court heard how she later met the agent and allegedly gave him some cash as well. In exchange she is said to have received “a phony document that made (her) believe that she had a zero balance for 2006 and 2007 tax years”.

The full story was reported in  the excellent WebCPA tax website and also by the San Francisco Chronicle.

This strange story made me think.  I must confess to a slight fondness for the Starbucks “experience”  (strictly in moderation, mind you),  but until now I never realised that anyone might expect a Revenue Inspector to love the global coffee chain this much.

And until now I have never, ever heard of anyone attempting bribery in writing.

Don’t try this at home folks.

Laptop of the future?

March 22, 2010

Here is a strange and wonderful vision of a futuristic laptop that can be rolled up like a newspaper and easily carried around. Unfortunately its not yet a reality, but maybe some day?

Tax Refund? – if it sounds too good to be true…

March 18, 2010

It seems that an email is doing the rounds, claiming to be from the Revenue Commissioners, and promising that “you are eligible to receive a tax refund of 734.21 euro”.

If you receive this news, don’t spend your refund in a hurry, as it is a hoax. It’s merely the latest of an endless series of phishing emails designed by fraudsters to dupe taxpayers to disclose their personal information to them.

The email asks recipients to submit personal details including date of birth and debit/credit card details, using what Revenue describe as “a convincing reproduction of the http://www.revenue.ie website”.

A Revenue statement stresses that they  never send emails which require customers to send personal information via email or pop-up windows.

Revenue extend RCT Errors Grace Period

March 15, 2010

The Revenue have announced a 1-month extension to the limited “grace period” that they allow for disclosure and correction of RCT errors made in 2009.

The concession is now available until 15 April, with a further extension to 23 April for taxpayers who filed their 2009 RCT35 return on ROS before the recent 23 February deadline. It refers only to cases of genuinely once-off errors by otherwise compliant taxpayers.

I outlined  in a recent post how this concession works.  It is explained in more detail on a Revenue statement dating from 2007.

If you have recently completed an RCT35 return, you should now double-check your RCT compliance for 2009, to ensure that any outstanding matters can be resolved with Revenue within this grace period.


Unfortunately, the concession is of very limited use to small construction operators. This is because, under its terms,  a fixed penalty of €3,000 still applies to each separate RCT breach disclosed to Revenue.

This fixed-penalty system can have cruel outcomes for small operators, with limited means.

Take the hypothetical example of a minor builder, who discovers that he inadvertently neglected to apply for a 2009 payments card for a carpenter, who holds a C2, and to whom he made 2 payments totalling €20,000 last year.  The builder, a compliant taxpayer, now approaches Revenue and discloses these breaches. He gets hit with a €6,000 penalty for his trouble.

I would argue that this is a perverse incentive.  Human nature will dictate that errors will occasionally be made, by even the most scrupulous of taxpayers.  I think it is important that the tax code allows taxpayers some form of facility to notify errors to Revenue once they find them.   There must be a better way to encourage compliance with RCT.

The latest Revenue Statement is here.

Apply online for Mortgage Interest Tax Relief

March 11, 2010

Did you know that the Revenue.ie website includes a very handy online application form for Mortgage Interest Tax Relief  at Source (TRS)?

After you have made your first mortgage repayment, you can complete your TRS application online. Revenue will then process your application and instuct your mortgage lender of the tax relief due to you on each mortgage repayment.

Revenue caution that it can take “up to 8 weeks” for mortgage interest relief (TRS) credits to be applied to your account.

The online application form applies to most, but not all, mortgage lenders. In addition it does not apply to local authority or credit union mortgages. If your mortgage is excluded, you must complete a paper application.

I suggest that you read the Revenue guidelines before completing your application. Alternatively, you can contact the (in my experience, very helpful) Revenue TRS Section in Limerick at  1890 463626