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Tax of expenses should be enhanced to support entrepreneurs according to Deloitte

Press Release

Deloitte has made a number of recommendations to the Department of Finance on the taxation of expenses, which if put in place, would support entrepreneurs and help Irish employers attract people with specialised skills.

Deloitte has provided its recommendations in its submission with regards to the public consultation on the tax treatment of expenses of travel and subsistence for employees and office holders, which closes today. 

A summary of the recommendations are:

Place of work:

An employee’s normal place of work should be determined based on the facts.  The normal place of work should be the place where the employee or office holders perform most of the duties of their employment or office irrespective of whether that is their home or an employer’s office/workspace. This would remove the unnecessary complexity around this area. Currently Revenue recognise an employee or office holder’s home as a normal place of work only in exceptional circumstances. Furthermore this would realign the tax treatment of expenses of travel and subsistence with modern commercial reality.  

Lorraine Griffin, Head of Tax at Deloitte said: “We need to ensure that the modern concept of the normal place of work is in line with 21st century working practices. It is important that Government and Revenue recognise that an individual’s home may, in certain circumstances, be their normal place of work due to current business dynamics and improved technologies. Our recommendations on this point serve to support our SME and entrepreneurial sector, allow Irish employers to attract individuals with specialised skills and also create employment opportunities for the unemployed and under-employed across the island of Ireland.” 

Board meetings and NEDs:

Where an individual is traveling from their normal place of work, be it their home or other location, to board meetings on which they are serving as a non-executive director, such expenses of travel should be reimbursed tax free. This should equally apply to both resident and non-resident non-executive directors. For Irish companies to demonstrate that they are implementing the best-in-class standards of corporate governance and regulation, the composition of NEDs who sit on Irish corporate boards must also be aligned to this concept of ‘best-in-class’. Therefore, our tax system should recognise this essential function and not deter highly skilled and knowledgeable individuals from sitting on boards.

Daryl Hanberry, Global Employer Services Tax Partner at Deloitte said: “Given the specialist skillsets and knowledge which non-executive directors bring to the boards of Irish companies in order to enhance and maintain good corporate governance and regulation, it is important that our tax code does not impose an inequitable cost on such individuals which may deter them from assuming these critical corporate positions. Our recommendations in this regard should be equally applied to both resident and non-resident non-executive directors.”

Temporary workplaces:

A workplace should be recognised as a temporary workplace for up to two years absence from the normal place of work. Implementing a 24-month rule in respect of temporary assignments would allow for the alignment of both tax-free travel and subsistence expenses with other foreign jurisdictions. This would enhance Ireland’s position in respect of foreign direct investment on the global stage and thus continue domestic economic growth by helping to attract the necessary foreign skilled workforce.

”The tax treatment of expenses of travel and subsistence is of significant importance as it sets out the circumstances in which an employee or office holder may receive expenses incurred in relation to their duties of employment tax free. Employees and office holders who genuinely incur expenses of travel and subsistence in connection with duties of their employment should not be out of pocket as a result. Clarity of position and equitable treatment for all employees and directors are the key themes throughout the Deloitte submission,” concluded Lorraine Griffin.


For Further Information Please Contact

Aoibheann O’Sullivan

Murray Consultants

01 4980346

Claire Quinn


01 4172356 

About Deloitte 

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Deloitte has almost 2,000 people in Ireland providing audit, tax, consulting, and corporate finance services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. 

Deloitte has more than 200,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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