Revenue To Enforce VAT Return Of Trading Details

July 29, 2013

Revenue are planning to withhold tax repayments and Tax Clearance Certs from VAT-registered businesses, who fail to submit an obscure statistical return of VAT sales and purchases.

The VAT ‘Return of Trading Details’, or RTD, is a mandatory form which requires each business to record their annual aggregate sales and purchases totals for each VAT rate.

VAT Return of Trading Details

The RTD was introduced in the early 1990s as part of the reforms to the VAT system following the adoption of the EU Single European market in 1992.

In those days, it was regarded as a very important form, as it enabled Revenue to monitor business sales and purchases for audit purposes, and compare  respective totals against the corresponding figures in business accounts.

However, the RTD seemed to fall into disfavour about 15 years ago, with dwindling numbers of businesses bothering to file it each year subsequently.

This non-compliance never seemed to bother Revenue too much, and it became increasingly rare for Revenue demand completion and submission of RTD’s, or to refer to RTD’s in official correspondence.

This has all changed with today’s Revenue eBrief, unveiling new plans to enforce RTD completion and filing.  This includes a new, “simplified” RTD, to be launched in late 2013, with local tax districts enforcing full compliance with RTD requirements from  1 September 2013.

Revenue state that, from that date, “taxpayers who are seeking repayments or refunds of tax may be requested by their local Revenue District to submit outstanding RTD forms in order for such repayments or refunds to issue.”

Time to get filing!

Revenue Attack Home Office Company Expenses

July 26, 2013

Revenue have today announced new rules for mileage and subsistence expense claims by individuals who provide services to third party customers via a limited company.

Revenue Attack Home Office Company ExpensesThe main purpose of the updated rules seems to be to prohibit an employee or company director from claiming expenses in respect of travel to and from a home office – even if this is a company’s registered office or administration location.

It appears that valid expense claims may be entertained for travel between client locations, but not in any circumstances between the person’s home and the third party customer’s premises.

The new rules are contained in a Revenue Tax Briefing issued today.

They are likely to have significant ramifications for small business owners.

I would be concerned that they will make it considerably harder for many businesses to make ends meet, and they may well render some jobs (and possibly entire businesses) unviable.

They also appear, at first glance, to discriminate against companies operating from a home office. A director of such a company operating in, say, Dublin will now be unable to claim motor or subsistence expenses for business trips to Donegal or Kerry.

On the other hand, if the company rents a non-home office premises 100 metres away from the directors’ home, the entire expenses will be allowable.

This appears neither sensible nor just.

The full implications (and legality) of the new rules will only become clear in due course.

If you are likely to be affected by the new rules, you should consider seeking professional advice on their effects in the near future.

Who Leaked Lowry “Tax Raid” Report to RTE?

July 25, 2013

RTE News are today reporting that “the Revenue Commissioners have raided the home of Independent TD Michael Lowry”.

I find this report very puzzling, and I’m at a loss to understand how this news came into RTE’s possession.

RTE "Michael Lowry's home raided by Revenue Commissioners"

I presume Mr. Lowry didn’t tell them – even if he had the time and inclination, I can’t understand why he would do so.

After all, having one’s home raided by the taxman is an inconvenience that people generally prefer to keep to themselves.

And I am equally certain that Revenue didn’t tip off RTE either. After all, their Customer Service Charter reassures taxpayers of “Consistency, Equity and Confidentiality” as follows:

“Revenue will treat the information you give us in confidence and ensure that it will not be used or disclosed except as provided for by law.”

This generally means that if Revenue raid your neighbour’s home, it won’t feature on the national news. Yet Mr. Lowry’s latest tax discomfort has now somehow become public.

All very puzzling indeed.