Revenue Exchange Rates for 2015 Tax Returns

February 11, 2016

The Revenue Commissioners have just published their official 2015 average foreign currency exchange rates for 2015 tax returns.

When preparing your 2015 Income Tax return, you should use the specified Revenue rate to convert any income denominated in Sterling, Dollars or another currency, to Euro.

A payslip with a calculator and pen

The rates for 2015 and earlier years are as follows.

                          Average Market Mid-Closing Exchange Rates v. Euro
2012 2013 2014 2015
Australian dollar AUD 1.2407 1.3777 1.4719 1.4777
Brazilian real BRL 2.5084 2.8687 3.1211 3.7004
British pound GBP 0.81087 0.84926 0.80612 0.72585
Canadian dollar CAD 1.2842 1.3684 1.4661 1.4186
Chinese yuan CNY 8.1052 8.1646 8.1857 6.9733
Danish krone DKK 7.4437 7.4579 7.4548 7.4587
Indian rupee INR 68.5973 77.9300 81.0406 71.1956
Japanese yen JPY 102.49 129.66 140.31 134.31
Norwegian krone NOK 7.4751 7.8067 8.3544 8.9496
Russian ruble RUB 39.9262 42.3370 50.9518 68.0720
Swedish krona SEK 8.7041 8.6515 9.0985 9.3535
Swiss franc CHF 1.2053 1.2311 1.2146 1.0679
US dollar USD 1.2848 1.3281 1.3285 1.1095

Lloyds Accounts

A special rate applies to convert Lloyds Account amounts from sterling to euro.

This is based on the sterling mid-closing rate on the last market day of the calendar year, as per the Central Bank.

The rate for 2015 is Stg £1 = €1.3625.

The new Revenue eBrief publishing these details is here.

Are Revenue Really Using PAYE Audits to Fish for Third-Party Data?

August 18, 2015

“Revenue are doing audits of PAYE taxpayers who got one-off single-house planning permission and demanding details of all payments to tradespeople.”

…according to Aidan Clifford in the Sunday Independent at the weekend.

I haven’t yet heard of this happening. If if it is, I’d be very, very alarmed.

Revenue Audit

The purpose of a Revenue Audit is to audit a tax return. It should never be merely a general trawl through a private individual’s personal expenditure.

And if Revenue are auditing PAYE taxpayer returns with the sole intention of fishing for information on non-business spending, there’s a good chance they’re violating both their own Code of Practice and their wider data protection obligations.

If you’ve a grievance over the conduct of a Revenue Audit, you can use their complaints procedure.

Don’t Lose Sleep over AirBnB Tax Returns

August 11, 2015

Unfortunately, confusion and panic have greeted this morning’s news that the AirBnB have notified Revenue of income earned by their Irish hosts who welcome paying guests into their homes.

Don't lose sleep over airbnb tax returns

Thousands of Irish homeowners are now registered with AirBnB and many of these people will now worry at the prospect of receiving large tax bills.

However, the situation for most is not nearly as serious as media reports suggest.

Revenue’s guidelines on the subject (updated in a March 2015 eBrief) confirm that providing accommodation to occasional visitors does not qualify for tax exemption, but is subject to Income Tax (along with PRSI & USC) as a trade.

The flipside of this is that it is only the trading profit, and not the gross income received, which is taxable.

This means that an AirBnB host must only pay tax on the profit they earn, after deduction of all expenses.

Such expenses will include the direct costs of each booking, eg

  • AirBnB booking fee,
  • breakfast and other meals provided,
  • cleaning, etc

and also a percentage of the many indirect household costs which relate to the accommodation, including

  • insurance,
  • electricity & phone
  • repairs & maintenance
  • mortgage interest
  • wear & tear on household furniture & fittings.

The extent to which a householder can claim these latter costs depends on how much of each cost relates to business (eg AirBnB accommodation) as opposed to personal use.

For example, in a typical property where the accommodation business is incidental to its use as a family home, I’d expect that the appropriate % of such indirect costs that can be claimed would be very small.

Still, every little counts, and when you deduct all appropriate costs from your gross AirBnB income, you will probably find that the net taxable element is a fraction of the gross sum.

This net amount will be subject to income tax of 20% or 41% (40% in 2015), in addition to 4% PRSI and USC (generally up to 7%).

In addition, the other minor comfort is that we are talking here about current, as opposed to historic, income.

The information given by AirBnB to Revenue relates to the period from May to December 2014.

This income is taxable in 2014 and the deadline for filing 2014 Form 11 & Form 12 tax returns is not until 31 October next, or 12 November if filed on ROS.

This means that AirBnB hosts have plenty of time to regularise their tax situation ahead of the October/November deadlines. Obviously this should also include any such income received before May 2014.

This is a stark contrast to the catch-22 dilemma faced in the past by others with historic undeclared income, where interest and penalties often combined to generate huge liabilities.

My advice to AirBnB hosts? –

  • Firstly, don’t lose any sleep amid the current hysteria.
  • Secondly, get your affairs in order, with professional assistance if you need it, and make sure you file your 2014 (and any earlier) returns by the forthcoming deadline.

Dont Lose Sleep over AirBnB Tax Returns

2013 Income Tax Returns Now Online

March 3, 2014

The 2013 Form 11 & Form 11E Income Tax returns are now available on the Revenue website.

The deadline for filing these returns with Revenue is 31 October next.

The Form 11E return is a shorter and simpler version of the standard Form 11 Income Tax return.

2013 Form 11 Tax Return now online

The Revenue Helpsheets for Form 11 & for Form 11E are also online.

If filing a paper tax return, you should first ensure that you are not subject to Mandatory eFiling for Income Tax returns.

Of course, the smartest and easiest way to file an Income Tax return is via ROS, Revenue’s online system.


My 2013 Tax Return: Which Exchange Rate Is Best?

January 21, 2014

If you have income denominated in a non-Euro currency, you may wonder which is the most appropriate exchange rate to use when preparing your 2013 tax return and calculating your tax liability.

Revenue have just published their official exchange rates for a range of currencies for 2013, based on Central Bank rates.

These are as follows, along with  the corresponding rates for earlier years.

Average Market Mid-Closing Exchange Rates v. €
2010 2011 2012 2013
UK Pound Sterling GBP 0.85784 0.86788 0.81087 0.84926
US Dollar USD 1.3257 1.392 1.2848 1.3281
Other Currencies
Australian dollar AUD 1.4423 1.3484 1.2407 1.3777
Brazilian real BRL 2.3314 2.3265 2.5084 2.8687
Canadian dollar CAD 1.3651 1.3761 1.2842 1.3684
Chinese yuan CNY 8.9712 8.996 8.1052 8.1646
Danish krone DKK 7.4473 7.4506 7.4437 7.4579
Indian rupee INR 60.5878 64.8859 68.5973 77.93
Japanese yen JPY 116.24 110.96 102.49 129.66
Norwegian krone NOK 8.0043 7.7934 7.4751 7.8067
Russian ruble RUB 40.2707 40.8846 39.9262 42.337
Swedish krona SEK 9.5373 9.0298 8.7041 8.6515
Swiss franc CHF 1.3803 1.2326 1.2053 1.2311

Revenue Foreign Currency Euro Exchange Rates for 2013 Tax Returns

Lloyds Accounts

A special rate applies for conversion of Lloyds Account amounts from sterling to euro. This is based on the sterling mid-closing rate on the last market day of each calendar year, as per the Central Bank. The rate for 2013 is Stg £1 = €1.19947.

The above figures are detailed in today’s Revenue eBrief.


Chartered Accountants Rule Out Pay & File Changes

April 19, 2013

Chartered Accountants Ireland have today slammed as “simply impossible”, a proposal to bring forward the annual Income Tax pay & file deadline for self-assessed taxpayers.

This follows a report earlier this week that the annual 31 October deadline, for Form 11 tax returns, was to be changed from 31 October to a “much earlier” date.

Help - Self Assessment Tax Return

In a note to its members this afternoon, the accountants’ Institute states that it has received confirmation from the Department of Finance that the self-assessment Income Tax payment date of 31 October “will not be brought forward in 2015”.

The timing of the annual Pay & File tax deadline is now a live issue, as the terms of the EU Stability and Growth Pact now require Ireland to complete its annual exchequer Budget much earlier than the traditional first week of December.  For this reason, Budget 2014 is scheduled for 15 October next.

The level of self-assessment tax receipts is always a key factor in each year’s Budget and the Dept of Finance will now face additional difficulties in preparing annual Budgets before they can confirm the amount of self-assessment taxes receivable in late October/early November.


However, Chartered Accountants Ireland have now reiterated to the Department of Finance, their belief that “it would be simply impossible for indigenous Irish business to comply with earlier Self Assessed Income Tax payment and filing arrangements“.

They have also highlighted “the disruption and administrative burden which would follow if the filing date was to be brought forward“.

The shelving of the earlier tax deadline would be a welcome relief for tens of thousands of business taxpayers and other individuals who are obliged to file self-assessment returns in respect of rental and other income.

It would also avert a threatened nightmare for workers in accounting and book-keeping  firms who already face considerable pressure and stress in managing the annual tax return deadline season.

Earlier Pay & File Tax Return Deadlines On The Way?

April 18, 2013

The annual self-assessment tax filing deadline is set to be brought forward to a “much earlier” date, according to a report by Brendan Keenan in Monday’s Irish Independent.

At present, self-employed individuals, company directors and others must file their annual Form 11 income tax return by 31 October. A later deadline of mid-November applies to online returns.

Pay & File Tax Deadline

Under new Eurozone financial monitoring rules, the Irish government will apparently be obliged to bring forward the annual Budget from December to October each year. Accordingly, the 2014 Budget has been scheduled for 15 October this year.

Self-assessment taxpayers will have a further month, until 14 November, to declare and pay their Income Tax liabilities for 2012 and Preliminary Tax payments for 2013.  This means the Dept of Finance will be framing the 2014 Budget without knowing the total amount of tax receipts for 2013.

In order to prevent this anomaly becoming an annual problem, it is now being suggested that the tax return deadline be moved forward next year.

If the tax deadline is brought forward by 7 weeks, in tandem with the change of date for Budget Day, this would suggest a new Pay & File deadline date in early-to-mid September. If the current online filing extension is continued, we can expect the final deadline in late September for online returns.

This would represent a major change, both for self-assessment taxpayers and for accounting and book-keeping firms who prepare tax returns for their clients.

It takes quite a leap of faith to expect that accounts staff will be happy to work crazy hours preparing tax returns throughout the month of August, when everyone else enjoys their summer holidays.

On that basis alone, I would have serious doubts over the feasibility of a September tax deadline.

Remember than two years ago, the 2011 Finance Bill included a proposal to bring forward the Pay & File deadline by one month t0 30 September.  This quickly attracted controversy and was later quietly dropped.

Sadly, with the EU now setting the agenda, its quite likely that the tax authorities will have no wriggle-room this time.

Interesting times ahead for us all…