Category: Current News


General Data Protection Regulations – what has this to do with you?? On 25th May 2018 the biggest change to data regulation in the EU comes into force. This affects you as an individual and also your business if you collect people’s names, addresses or other personal information. It will affect your golf club, your GAA club, your Resident’s Association and your walking group. Yes – it will affect you!GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from 25th May 2018 will replace current data protection laws in the European Union.

The new regulation will give individuals greater control over their data by setting out additional and more clearly defined rights for individuals whose personal data is collected and processed by organisations. The GDPR also imposes corresponding and greatly increased obligations on organisations that collect this data.

Personal data is any information that can identify an individual person. This includes a name, an ID number, location data (for example, location data collected by a mobile phone) or a postal address, online browsing history, images or anything relating to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of a person.

The GDPR is based on the core principles of data protection which exist under the current law. These principles require organisations and businesses to:
• collect no more data than is necessary from an individual for the purpose for which it will be used;
• obtain personal data fairly from the individual by giving them notice of the collection and its specific purpose;
• retain the data for no longer than is necessary for that specified purpose;
• to keep data safe and secure; and
• provide an individual with a copy of his or her personal data if they request it.

Under the GDPR individuals have the significantly strengthened rights to:
• obtain details about how their data is processed by an organisation or business;
• obtain copies of personal data that an organisation holds on them;
• have incorrect or incomplete data corrected;
• have their data erased by an organisation, where, for example, the organisation has no legitimate reason for retaining the data;
• obtain their data from an organisation and to have that data transmitted to another organisation (Data Portability);
• object to the processing of their data by an organisation in certain circumstances;
• not to be subject to (with some exceptions) automated decision making, including profiling.

The rules for dealing with subject access requests (i.e. a request for your personal information held by the business) will change under the GDPR. In most cases, companies will not be able to charge for processing an access request, unless the company can demonstrate that the cost will be excessive.

There are also special requirements for Processing Children’s Data.

This move is being overseen by the Data Protection Commissioner and more information can be obtained at http://gdprandyou.ie/.

If you rented out property in the Republic of Ireland in 2013 then this applies to you.

A recent decision of the High Court on the deductibility against rental profits of the Non Principal Private Residence charge (NPPR) has been appealed by Revenue to the Court of Appeal. Until that appeal is decided Revenue is not in a position to amend assessments or process repayment claims based on the High Court judgement.

It is unlikely this appeal will be settled before 31st December 2017.  While there is a general right to repayment of tax provided for in Section 865 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 where a person has paid an amount of tax which is not due, that right is subject to a limit of four years from the end of the chargeable period to which the claim relates.

Revenue are providing the facility to register your right before 31st December 2017 to a repayment, in case it should be successful for the year 2013.  This will protect your right and will be actioned by Revenue if the appeal is not successful next year.

I am in the process of writing to all my clients who had rental income at that time.

If I do not get to you first, then please let me know the amount of NPPR you paid on your rental property in 2013 and I will register your claim.  The deadline for this claim is 31st December 2017 but please do not leave it until then!

If you have any questions about this then please contact me.

This affects your favourite charity, your club, your sports group and the list goes on.  There are two cut-off dates of 31st August 2016 and 30th November 2016 for limited companies to change (convert) to one of the new company formats under the Companies Act 2014.  This applies to ALL limited companies, both trading companies and those charities, clubs or sports groups who are set up as limited companies.

This is not something that can be done in five minutes.  A Special Resolution needs to be submitted to the Companies Registration Office (CRO) together with a new constitution for the company.  The CRO will then issue a new Certificate of Incorporation when the company is converted.

For charities there is an extra step.  Charities need to draft their new constitution and submit it to the charities section of Revenue for them to agree it.  This is a requirement for those charities who are able to reclaim tax on donations.  Then the constitution needs to be lodged with the CRO for the company to be converted.  If you leave it to the last minute then you will be caught in bottlenecks in Revenue and also in the CRO and may miss the deadline.

More information on these matters can be found at www.cro.ie/Conversions/Overview; www.cro.ie/Publications/Publications/Information-Leaflets leaflet No 31; http://www.charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie/

New tax to hit teenagers!

Legislation is being drafted by the (acting) Government to allow Revenue to implement a new tax starting on 1st July 2016. This tax will be a charge per keystroke on a mobile phone and it is expected to be a money winner for the (acting) Government. The only other country in the world with a similar tax is Japan where it has been successfully in operation for two years.

The way the tax works is this: if you send a text consisting of eight words with an average of five keystrokes per word (plus spaces), you will be taxed on having used 48 keystrokes. The rate at which the tax will be charged will be determined by the (acting) Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, but will probably be €0.0002 per keystroke. So for 20 text messages of eight words as above the tax will be €0.19.

As teenagers send the most texts they will be hardest hit by the new tax. An average teenager sends 100 texts in a three minute period consisting of between five and 20 words. Over a sixty minute period this works out at €24. If you have ever seen students going to school or college, every single one of them is on their mobile phone – all the time!

It is proposed that the tax will be collected by adding it onto your phone bill, effectively making the phone companies tax collectors! Needless to say, the phone companies are not in favour of this tax.

The (acting) Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, is fully supporting the new tax. Repetitive Strain Injury is becoming a real menace in our younger generation as thumbs are used for texting, with the added health hazard of the early onset of arthritis from the age of 23.

A percentage of the finance raised by the new tax will be returned to the Health Service to treat withdrawal symptoms as it is expected there will be a mass reduction of texting by teenagers. There will also be nationwide workshops on the lost art of verbal communication which is currently in danger of becoming extinct. As a pre-requisite for these workshops, Question 15 on the Census form for 24th April 2016 is “Can you communicate – Very well, Well, Not well, Not at all.”

More information about the new tax will be released by Revenue later this month.

Information moratorium until 1st April 2016.

Charities Regulatory Authority

The Charities Act 2009 requires all charitable organisations carrying out activities in the State to be registered with and to provide information relating to their organisation to the Charities Regulatory Authority. This includes both those charities who are, or who are not, registered with Revenue for the purpose of receiving tax back on donations.

There are currently about 8,500 charities registered with Revenue and these can be seen at http://www.revenue.ie/en/business/authorised-charities-resident.html .

Charities are now required to complete their registration at www.charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie . The process has been simplified in response to feedback from users. After the basic registration has been done the charity can maintain various information relating to their charity themselves. Depending on their turnover, they may also be required to supply financial accounts.

Staff from the Authority are currently doing road-shows in a very co-operative hand-on fashion explaining the process of registration and answering questions.

This registration process will, in due course, also extend to all schools and to Parent Teacher Associations and other sub-level groups.

More information can be found at www.charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie .

Deadline• Due date for self-assessed Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax returns for the year of assessment 2014.
• Due date for the payment of any balance of Income Tax for the tax year 2014, if inadequate preliminary tax was paid for 2014.
• Due date for the payment of Preliminary Income Tax (inclusive of USC) for the tax year 2015.
• Due date for the payment of Capital Acquisitions Tax and filing returns in respect of gifts and inheritances taken in the 12 month period ended on 31st August 2015.
• Due date for the payment and return of €200,000 Domicile Levy for 2014.
• Latest date for making contributions to a PRSA, an AVC or an RAC for the tax year 2014.

Some of the above dates are extended to 12th November 2015 if using ROS.

Other relevant dates:

1st November 2015:
Date on which residential property must be held in order to be liable for the 2016 Local Property Tax.

31st December 2015:
General deadline for qualifying work under the Home Renovation Incentive.
Claims for repayments of Income Tax for the year of assessment 2011 must be submitted by this date.

As usual if you have any questions about your tax then contact us.

1 cent and 2 cent coins will soon be history. From the end of October 2015 retailers will be rounding your bill up or down to the nearest 5c, thus eliminating the need for the 1c and 2c. This will apply to the final total on your bill, not the individual cost of items. You will still find an item costing 99cent and that will remain.

You will not be asked about this. As long as there is a public notice in the shop, the retailer can round your bill up or down to the nearest 5c. Notices will start appearing in mid-October as the public are informed about the change.

Experiments have been on-going in the South East and proved to be cost-effective and are now being extended country-wide.

The following shows the effect:
Bills ending in 1c will change to 0c.1-cent 2-cent
Bills ending in 2c will change to 0c.
Bills ending in 3c will change to 5c.
Bills ending in 4c will change to 5c.
Bills ending in 5c will still end in 5c.
Bills ending in 6c will change to 5c.
Bills ending in 7c will change to 5c.
Bills ending in 8c will change to 10c.
Bills ending in 9c will change to 10c.
Bills ending in 10c will still end in 10c.

What to do if you have 1c or 2c
You will still be able to use these in shops e.g. 2 X 2c and 1 X 1c to make 5c. As the shops take them in they will be lodged in the banks. The banks will pass them on to the Central Bank who will withdraw them from circulation.

Many of these coins end up in charity piggy banks which means that many new ones had to be minted which put costs up. These piggy banks can be emptied and the contents lodged in the banks.

There will be a substantial amount of time where the coins still remain legal tender and so can still be used.

For most of us, this comes into play if you rent a room to students or an employed person. Revenue have a clear policy on this.

For Rent
If you let a room (or rooms) in your sole or main residence as residential accommodation, including for example, rooms let to students for the academic year, and the gross amounts receivable, including monies for food, laundry or similar goods and services, does not exceed the exemption limit for the year of assessment in question, the profits or losses on the relevant sums are treated as nil for Income Tax purposes.

The exemption limit for 2014 was €10,000 and for 2015 is €12,000.

Bed and Breakfast
Revenue make it clear that this allowance does not apply to Bed and Breakfast use (including Airbnb). They state: “The room or rooms must be used for the purposes of residential accommodation, i.e. the occupant is using the room, either on its own or in conjunction with other parts of the residence, as a home. The relief does not apply to rooms that are used for the provision of accommodation to occasional visitors for short periods, including, for example, where the accommodation is provided through online accommodation booking sites.”

Income Tax return
Even though the income is exempt if it is under the exemption limit, it still needs to be included in your Tax return under the Exempt Income section.

Airbnb
Please see the separate blog below about this.

If you have any questions about any of the above or if you want help to get your tax affairs sorted out, then please Contact us.

The deadline for sorting out your rental income through Airbnb is looming. Any income earned in 2014 needs to be entered on your 2014 Income Tax return which is due to be filed by 31st October 2015.

If you are not in the habit of filing Income Tax returns then you need to start now. Don’t leave it until the end of October as you will need to register for filing online and this takes up to two weeks. You will have a penalty to pay if your return is late.

If you have already filed then you need to send in your rental details and ask for an Amended Assessment.photo

2013 Income
If you had income in 2013 which you have not declared, then you need to declare it now, before Revenue come to you. Otherwise the penalties and interest you have to pay will be a lot steeper.

2015 Income
You need to be setting aside up to 58% to pay your Income Tax when it becomes due.

You cannot afford to ignore this. As you know, Airbnb are supplying names and addresses to Revenue of all those who rent out a room / house through them so Revenue will most certainly be aware of the income. If you do not go to Revenue first, they will come to you, and the result will not be pleasant!

Capital Gains Tax
Be aware that if you are renting part of your Principal Private Residence then you may have a Capital Gains Tax liability if you sell your premises. Normally, there is no liability on your Principal Private Residence but there may be on the part used for a business (in this case renting).

Rent A Room Allowance
Please see the separate blog below about this. It is a connected area and can cause confusion.

If you have any questions about any of the above or if you want help to get your tax affairs sorted out, then please Contact us.