COVID-19 information and advice for taxpayers and agents

Filing returns, paying taxes, debt management and debt warehousing

Filing Tax Returns

Taxpayers (individuals and businesses) should continue to file their tax returns even if payment of the resulting liabilities, in whole or in part, is not possible. Where, due to the virus, key personnel that compute tax returns are unavailable, we strongly advise that the relevant return is submitted on a ‘best estimate’ basis.

The application of a surcharge for late CT1 Corporation Tax returns for accounting periods ending June 2019 onwards (i.e. due by March 23, 2020 onwards) is suspended until further notice. Similarly, the application of a surcharge for late iXBRL financial statements for accounting periods ending March 2019 onwards (i.e. due by March 23, 2020 onwards) is suspended until further notice.

Where a CT1 Corporation Tax return, in respect of an accounting period ending June 2019 onwards and due by 23 March 2020 onwards -

  • is filed late
  • is not a return that is deemed to be filed late under section 1084(1)(b) TCA 1997
  • and
  • the late filing is the result of COVID-19 circumstances,

the late CT1 return may be completed without the restriction of reliefs, such as loss relief and group relief, required by section 1085(2) TCA 1997.

Tax Payments

There are a number of online payment methods available to make a payment to Revenue on online payment facilities.

For specific queries on payments please continue to submit your query through My Enquiries selecting the following:

  • For ‘Enquiry relates to': Select ’Other than the above’ from the drop down menu.
  • For ‘More specifically': Select ‘Revenue On-Line Service (ROS) Payments’ from the drop down menu.
  • Please enter details of your enquiry (maximum 2,000 characters).

Direct Debit

For information on how to amend or cancel a monthly direct debit payment, see Monthly direct debit. Alternatively, you can submit your request to amend or cancel a monthly direct debit payment via myEnquiries by selecting the following:

  • For ‘Enquiry relates to': Select ’Collector-General’s ‘ from the drop down menu.
  • For ‘More specifically': Select ‘Direct Debit’ from the drop down menu.
  • Please enter details of your enquiry (maximum 2,000 characters).

ROS Debit Instructions (RDI)

Taxpayers can also contact their bank at any time to cancel debit Instructions other than monthly direct debits. This information is contained on the ROS Debit Instruction Acknowledgement screen. When cancelling taxpayers should ensure that they send a copy of the cancellation letter which they sent to the bank to the Collector – General’s via MyEnquiries to the ROS Payment Support Unit.

Variable Direct Debit – Notice for Employers’ Income Tax/PRSI/USC/LPT payments

Routinely, payments for Employer Income Tax/PRSI/USC/LPT are debited on the third last working day of each month for both Fixed Direct Debit and Variable Direct Debit payments. However, where a variable direct debit fails due to insufficient funds, Revenue has suspended the process of issuing a further request for the payments until further notice. Should an employer wish to make a payment after the third last working day, they can avail of other online payment facilities. This temporary suspension will come into effect for March 2020 Variable Direct Debit payments.

Employers should continue to report their payroll details each month to ensure that the filed/deemed return is accurate.

Tax debt - Warehousing and Interest rate reduction

Since March 2020, Revenue has suspended debt collection and the charging of interest on late payment for the January/February, March/April and May /June VAT periods and February, March, April, May and June PAYE (Employer) liabilities. In May 2020 Revenue announced the warehousing of these tax debts.

On 23 July 2020 as part of the Business and Community Stimulus package, the Government announced a reduced interest rate of circa. 3% per annum on non-COVID-19 related tax debts designed to provide vital liquidity support to struggling businesses and sole traders that have historic unpaid tax debts. Taxpayers who enter into an agreement with Revenue no later than 30 September 2020 can avail of the reduced rate from the date of that agreement.

Debt Management

We work very successfully with taxpayers to resolve their tax payments difficulties. While taxpayers are advised to pay tax liabilities if at all possible, we recognise that tax payment difficulties are an inevitable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following measures are in place to assist SMEs who are experiencing tax payment difficulties:

  • All debt enforcement activity is suspended until further notice.
  • The charging of interest on late payments is suspended for March/April VAT and April PAYE (Employers) liabilities. This is in addition to the earlier announcement that the charging of interest on late payments is suspended for January/February VAT and both February and March PAYE (Employers) liabilities.
  • Businesses, other than SMEs, who are experiencing difficulties in paying their tax liabilities should contact the Collector-General’s office through MyEnquiries. Alternatively, these businesses can engage directly with their branch contacts in Revenue’s Large Corporates Division or Medium Enterprises Division.

* For tax purposes, an SME is a business with turnover of less than €3 million which is not dealt with by either Revenue’s Large Corporates Division or Medium Enterprises Division. SMEs are managed from both a service and compliance standpoint by Revenue’s Business Division.

We will continue to issue updated guidance to businesses in good time before future returns are due.

It is important that businesses, which may be facing difficulty in paying their taxes for the first time, know that we will work with them to resolve their tax payment difficulties. With early and meaningful engagement, we can generally agree payment arrangements that are acceptable to both the business and Revenue.

Businesses can apply for a Phased Payment Arrangement online by using Revenue’s Online Phased Payment Facility which is accessible through  ROS. This online facility is available 24/7 and affords businesses considerable flexibility to self-manage their tax payment schedule in line with business needs or temporary cash flow challenges. For example, a business may opt to defer a payment in the phased arrangement or apply to suspend the phased payment arrangement.

For Taxpayers that have the capacity to enter a PPA, Revenue’s online facility enables   tax payments for current periods to be included. 

The duration of the phased payment required will vary dependant on individual taxpayer circumstances. This can be set out when the phased payment application is being made. The duration required will be reviewed by Revenue on a case by case basis and the taxpayer will be advised accordingly.

For those businesses that have no capacity at present to pay their current taxes or meet the PPA obligations, the customer may defer the PPA payment by one month via the online facility. Alternatively, a customer may seek a deferral in excess of one month and such requests will be considered on a case by case basis. 

For those businesses that have partial capacity to pay their current taxes but cannot enter into a PPA in the short term, the Collector-General’s Division will accept any proposed payment and agree to defer the remainder for a one month period on the basis that they will contact the Collector-General following the one month deferral.

It is imperative that all such cases should continue to submit all their returns by the due date - the submission of returns is essential.

Local Property Tax

On 13 May 2020 Revenue announced that, given the continuing situation regarding COVID-19, the deduction date for property owners who opted to pay their LPT for 2020 by Annual Debit Instruction (ADI) has been further extended to 21 July 2020.

In March, Revenue extended the original deduction date (21 March 2020) to 21 May 2020. The announcement of 13 May  further extends the payment date to 21 July 2020.

Property owners who have opted to make a payment by ADI do not need to advise Revenue or take any action.

Next: Compliance with certain reporting and filing obligations and the satisfaction of certain other tax-related conditions