William S. Burroughs’ sobering election morning thougths

February 25, 2011

On Election morning, some sobering thougths from the late William S. Burroughs.

“We have a new type of rule now. Not one-man rule, or rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision.

They are representatives of abstract forces who have reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of past.  There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers.

The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident. Inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.”

Or as the Irish cynic  once quipped: “I won’t bother voting – the Government will always get in.”

Let’s all hope that, this time, Burroughs and the cynic are wrong for once.

Today is P35 & RCT35 Deadline Day

February 15, 2011

Today, 15 February, is deadline day for 2010 annual returns by employers and  construction, forestry and meat processing contractors.

15 February is the annual deadline for filing of paper-format P35 returns with Revenue. A later deadline of 23 February applies to P35 returns filed online, where the liability is also paid online using the  ROS system.  The Revenue.ie site contains some useful guidance in relation to P35 returns.

This year’s P35 deadline is also the final opportunity for employers to make Self Corrections to PAYE underpayments for 2009 under Revenue’s Self Correction rules.  This is especially relevant in the case of locum doctors engaged to work in GP practices and possible exposure to PAYE/PRSI arrears if  they are subsequently deemed to be working as employees.

Revenue have previously warned affected General Practitioners to regularise their 2009 PAYE/PRSI position, if appropriate, by today, 15 February, otherwise they may face penalties for non-compliance.  See this recent Revenue eBrief for more on this topic.   The ‘if appropriate’ qualification is important as in many instances the question of GP’s liability to PAYE/PRSI is not at all clear-cut.

Finally, today is also the deadline for principal contractors to file 2010 annual RCT35 subcontractors returns with Revenue.  A similar deadline extension to 23 February applies also to the RCT35 return.  Again this later deadline applies only where both the return and the RCT liability payment  are submitted to Revenue using  ROS.  A recent Revenue eBrief stresses the importance to contractors of filing the RCT35 return on time.

Employers’ PRSI Incentive – Boost or Dole Trap?

February 15, 2011

The Employers’ PRSI Incentive Scheme  – Is it merely a dole trap for graduates?

Newly-recruited employees can enjoy an exemption from employers PRSI for 12 months, under the Employers’ PRSI Incentive Scheme. This scheme was introduced in Budget 2010 and extended in Finance Act 2011 to continue until the end of 2011.

The incentive is open to employers who create new and additional jobs in 2010 and 2011. If you created a new job in 2010, before the scheme was launched in June 2010, you may still qualify for an exemption of employer’s PRSI for this job.

The 12 months exemption applies from the date you are approved for the scheme.


Both the job you create and the person you employ must meet certain criteria. While you are waiting to be approved for the scheme, you should operate the standard employee and employer PRSI.

The person you employ must be on the FÁS Work Placement Programme for at least 3 months or be getting one of the following social welfare payments for a continuous period of at least 6 months:

The job must:

  • Be created in 2010 or 2011
  • Be a new and additional post/job – employers will not be allowed to substitute existing employees to avail of the scheme
  • Be for at least 30 hours per week
  • Last for at least 6 months. If the employment ends within 6 months of getting the exemption, you may be liable to pay the employer’s PRSI contributions for that employee.

Exemption limits

You can only get an exemption from employer’s PRSI for up to 5 employees. A higher limit of 5% of their existing workforce applies to large employers.

How to Apply

If you have a new employee and are eligible for the scheme, fill in Form PRSI 20 and send it with a current tax clearance certificate to

Department of Social Protection
Floor 2
Shannon Lodge
Co. Leitrim

Is it enough?

One of the biggest economic problems in Ireland right now is that so many employers are scared stiff of the downturn getting worse. As a result, they are not hiring staff unless absolutely necessary.  Employers PRSI is often (quite correctly) cited as a disincentive to employment.   This incentive aims to address this problem , but in truth it is far too restrictive to do so in any meaningful way.

A Dole Trap?

The fact that it is restricted to workers on social welfare and/or the Fas Work Placement Programme  is a case in point. This would imply that a new graduate must stand in the dole queue or sit on a Fas course for 3/6 months after they graduate before they can take up employment under the scheme.  Are we in danger of creating a ‘dole trap’ for our best and brightest?