Ireland’s tax authorities have provided a variety of guidance to ease employee and employer tax filing obligations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 23 March 2020, Irish Revenue released eBrief No. 046/20 to provide advice and information to taxpayers and their agents during the COVID-19 pandemic.1 Irish Revenue has provided advice and guidance covering a variety of changes to usual compliance requirements concerning such matters as Irish shadow payroll obligations for employees of a foreign employer, taxable benefits-in-kind, days-based test of residence for individuals, extension of the filing period for employers to make a claim for employee eligibility for Ireland’s expatriate regime under the Special Assignee Relief Programme, and other notification, reporting, and filing requirements.
The guidance includes a number of matters likely to be of relevance to employers and mobile employees. The tax relief measures regarding certain tax liabilities and compliance obligations give taxpayers some very welcome breathing room to preserve their cash-flow and take additional time to organise their tax affairs in these trying times.
Travel restrictions resulting from the impact of COVID-19 can mean that employees are spending longer periods of time in Ireland than expected and may therefore breach conditions in place for reliefs from Irish taxes.
The updated guidance confirms as follows:
Recognising also that the COVID-19 crisis has significantly disrupted businesses, Irish Revenue guidance provides for a number of extensions of reporting or clearance application deadlines related to payroll tax matters. These may affect local and mobile employees and include:
Revenue confirms in eBrief No. 46/20 that a taxable benefit-in-kind will not arise when employers provide equipment such as laptops, printers, scanners and office furniture in order for employees to set up a working space in their homes.
In eBrief No. 45/20, Revenue issued updated guidelines on e-working arrangements to cover employees working remotely as a result of COVID-19.2 The e-working tax relief measures include payment of a tax-free daily allowance of €3.20 to compensate employees for additional utility costs incurred due to working at home. Alternatively, employers may reimburse a given percentage of documented qualifying utility costs incurred. When the employer makes no contributions to the employee, the employee may make a claim for relief to Revenue by filing a tax return after the tax year-end.
A personal public service number (PPSN) is a unique reference number that helps individuals access social welfare benefits, public services and information in Ireland. It is also required to enable an individual register for Irish tax, claim personal tax credits and reliefs, and file personal tax returns.
Normally, application for a PPSN must be made in person at the local Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). The DEASP has advised that to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19, individuals in Ireland may apply by email to the DEASP.3
2 Revenue eBrief No. 045/20 (20 March 2020).
3 See further details of the manner of application and information to be supplied.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Ireland.
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