Tax Issue - Spring 2020

Welcome to the first edition of the Tax issue for 2020.

In this issue we focus on human capital and, in particular, the role of the tax system in helping Irish businesses to attract and retain top talent. In an increasingly globalised world the competition for talent is not restricted to the domestic Irish market but is truly an international challenge. Ireland’s tax system has a number of provisions and reliefs that can apply for inbound assignees to Ireland. In this issue we look at a number of these reliefs and the conditions required to avail of them. It is vitally important that both the individuals and their employers are aware of the intricacies of the Irish tax system and potential reliefs that may be applicable. It can be quite a minefield for businesses and individuals trying to navigate their way through dense legislation and changing Revenue practice. RBK Tax can assist employers and employees in structuring international assignments and ensuring they avail of applicable tax reliefs.

We also take a look at recent developments in the area of “employee” versus “self-employed”. Readers may remember that in our Summer 2019 tax issue we discussed a recent determination of the Tax Appeals Commission (TAC) on this point. The Appeals Commissioner ruled in favour of Revenue in TAC. The taxpayer appealed that decision to the High Court which issued its ruling in favour of Revenue in December 2019. This is a very important ruling for businesses. In light of this “precedent” it is likely that this is an area that Revenue will pay particular attention to in future Revenue interventions and it is important that taxpayers carefully review their current operating structures in light of the decision. RBK Tax can assist businesses by undertaking PAYE “health checks” to identify risk areas and ensure that your practices and procedures are up to date with current Revenue practice.

We also look at an unwelcome change in Revenue practice in respect of the treatment of distributions from Irish Approved Retirement Funds (ARFs) for Non-Residents. Whilst many people would regard an ARF as a pension fund, technically from a tax perspective an ARF is regarded as a ‘capital asset’. Whether it is a “pension” or a “capital” asset can have very significant tax implications for non-resident individuals that are in receipt of distributions from an ARF.

Significant changes are taking place in the VAT landscape across the EU. In 2016, the EU Commission adopted an Action Plan on VAT to reboot the current EU VAT system. The extension of the Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) is scheduled to commence in January 2021. In this issue we will take a look at a number of “quick fixes” that were introduced into EU VAT legislation effective from 1 January 2020.

In this month’s issue, we look at the latest developments in:

Finally, this edition is published just before the nation goes to the polls. The new government, of whatever shade, will bring with it new taxation policies. As a small open economy we are very dependent on access to international markets. It is critical that our taxation policy is such that it supports international business, both inbound and outbound. The ability to attract talent to Ireland to enable Irish businesses compete internationally at the cutting edge is essential.


Ronan McGivern

Taxation Partner

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