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Tax Return Date Move 'To Close Firms'

25 October 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Charlie Weston
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Author: Charlie Weston (Irish Independent)

JOBS will be lost and firms will be forced to shut down if the Government goes ahead with plans to force the self-employed to file and pay tax next June, business lobby groups are to tell ministers.

Some 180,000 small and medium-sized firms employ around 655,000 people.

But forcing small firms to submit tax returns just seven months after this year's deadline would create huge cashflow problems and force them to reduce staff hours and cut back on the hours worked by employees, ISME and the SFA said.

Small firms have called for transition arrangements to be put in place.

Some 600,000 people are expected to file tax returns by the end of this month, with self-employed accounting for some 40pc of these.

Last week's Budget was the first under new European rules demanding that all member states have their draft budgets published by October 15 and finalised by the end of the year.

To meet this new deadline, the Department of Finance wants to bring the pay-and-file date forward so that officials have all the information needed to finalise the earlier Budget.

They have proposed either the end of June or mid-September as possible dates.

ISME boss Mark Fielding said his group will make a submission to the Department of Finance stressing that moving the pay and file date to June will cause huge cashflow problems.

"Having a much earlier pay and file date will threaten the viability of many smaller firms."

He said ISME accepted that the Government needed to have visibility about what to expect in terms of the returns from the self-employed but this could be achieved by setting an earlier filing date, with the tax owed on this paid at a later date.

ISME has suggested that if firms are forced to file and pay tax earlier that they should get a small discount on the tax, such as a 1pc reduction in the overall bill.


The Small Firms Association said many of its members will be forced to cut jobs and hours worked as this is one of the few costs they can control.

Avine McNally of the SFA said: "If this goes ahead in June, it will lead to job cuts."

She said smaller firms were already struggling to get loans from banks, so would be unlikely to get finance to pay their taxes earlier than usual.

The department is proposing three options for the new pay-and-file date – either moving it to June 30, around September 20, or another date in September.

It said moving it to the end of June would have advantages for both practitioners and the Revenue Commissioners, as it would spread the work associated with filing over a longer period.

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Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.


The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.

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