Our view on recent updates from Irish Revenue and EU Commission

Our view on recent technical publications, guidance and recent updates on Indirect Tax from the Irish Revenue Commissioners and the EU Commission.

VAT Treatment of Education and Vocational Training (Revenue eBrief No. 37/17)

Section 54 of the Finance Act 2015 amended the VAT exemption that applies to education and vocational training to reflect the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Revenue have updated their VAT Tax and Duty Manual to reflect this amendment and to set out the VAT treatment applicable to education and vocational training and retraining services.

The Tax and Duty Manual explains the VAT treatment of activities including Education services, Private tuition, Vocational training and retraining, Conferences and etc. The Manual also includes explanations on topics such as activities not regarded as exempt education or vocational training, determination of place of supply of education and vocational training, VAT treatment of supplies of goods or services incidental to education and research services.

The Deloitte Indirect tax team has extensive experience dealing with VAT treatment applicable to education services and vocational training. To find out more on this topic, please contact Donal Kennedy, Ted Holohan or John Stewart.

Tax-Geared Penalties for Non-Submission of Returns (Revenue eBrief No. 63/17)

Revenue have recently published guidance regarding penalties for non-submission of returns.

Taxpayers are required to deliver their tax returns on or before the specified date as set out in the legislation. Where a return is not made by reason of fraud or neglect and an underpayment of tax arises, a penalty is to be imposed on such individuals or businesses.

Revenue have begun to impose a penalty on the late filing of VAT returns irrespective of whether the return yields a VAT payment or refund.

For any queries in relation to VAT compliance and ensuring you meet your VAT requirements, please contact Alan Kilmartin.

Publication of List of Tax Defaulters

On 27 June 2017, Revenue published the List of Tax Defaulters in respect of the period 1 January 2017 to 31 March 2017.

Revenue publishes details of persons in whose case the Court has determined a penalty relating to a settlement, or has imposed a fine, imprisonment or other penalty in respect of a tax or duty offence and where Revenue has accepted a settlement offer instead of initiating court proceedings, or a settlement has been paid in full.

During the period 1 January 2017 to 31 March 2017, a total of 1,351 Revenue audit and investigations, together with 23,233 Risk Management Interventions (Aspect Queries & Profile Interviews), were settled, resulting in yield of €109.37 million in tax, interest, and penalties.

Given the increased level of Revenue Interventions, it is highly recommend that a business/trader carry out a VAT health check to diagnose VAT risks as well as to identify VAT opportunities. Deloitte VAT team has extensive experience in VAT Compliance health checks, VAT Smart Review and “mock” Revenue audit. For any relevant queries, please contact Alan Kilmartin.

Restructured VAT Tax and Duty Manual (Revenue eBrief No. 53/17)

The Revenue’s VAT Tax and Duty Manual (TDM) has been restructured as part of a Revenue website redesign project. The content of Revenue’s VAT TDM has been taken from both its previous version and from content that was formerly published as website ‘leaflet’ material.

As a useful guide, the VAT TDM Index lists the subjects covered in the restructured manual and indicates the previous location of the content (VAT Leaflet or a VAT TDM). Such documents are issued by Revenue to provide updates on latest technical information and to reflect legislative changes with respect to VAT.

If you have any queries in relation to the interpretation of the VAT leaflet / VAT Tax and Duty Manual released by Revenue, please do not hesitate to contact Donal Kennedy, Ted Holohan or John Stewart.

Data Retention Policy for Compliance Interventions (Revenue eBrief No. 67/17)

The Tax and Duty Manual Data Retention Policy for Compliance Interventions outlines Revenue's data retention policy in relation to records, particularly electronic records, received as part of a compliance intervention. The purpose of Revenue interventions is to seek assurance that a business has filed true and correct tax returns based on the information contained in the underlying records. While most electronic records are received as part of an e-Audit intervention, they may also be received as part of other compliance interventions outlined in the Code of Practice for Revenue Audit and other Compliance Interventions 2017. 

The Data Retention for Compliance Interventions eBrief covers key topics such as Revenue’s authority to access trader’s records, how Revenue obtain relevant data in course of interventions, period for which data is being retained by Revenue and whether data acquired for one tax purpose may be used for another under Revenue’s care and management.

The Deloitte Indirect tax team has significant experience dealing with Revenue Audits and VAT Compliance Interventions. If you require any assistance on this topic please contact Alan Kilmartin or Jim Nolan.

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