I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that legislation now obliges taxpayers within certain categories to meet their tax filing and paying obligations in an electronic format using the Revenue On-Line Service, ROS.
ROS was introduced in 2001 and the legislation underpinning mandatory electronic filing was introduced in 2008 on a phased basis, commencing with large companies, and extending to Government Departments, Public Bodies, all other companies and certain self assessed individuals. This progressive approach to mandatory electronic filing was extended to all VAT registered businesses in June 2012.
The mandatory legislation does not oblige non-self assessed individuals, e.g. employees, to engage with Revenue electronically.
There are some small businesses (not companies) that are not obliged to file electronically. These businesses include all non VAT registered businesses (businesses with turnover less than €37,500 for the supply of services, and €75,000 for the supply of goods) and certain self assessed individuals.
The legislation allows Revenue to exclude a taxpayer from their obligation to pay and file electronically, if Revenue is satisfied that the taxpayer does not have the capacity to do so. "Capacity" means sufficient access to the Internet, and in the case of an individual, also means not prevented by reason of age, or mental or physical infirmity from efiling or epaying.
Taxpayers who wish to apply for exclusion can do so to their local Revenue office. Where exclusions are granted taxpayers can continue to meet their Revenue obligations in a non electronic format.
For those who do not qualify for exclusion under the Legislation, Revenue has offered, and will continue to offer assistance to all new ROS users. This assistance includes a one to one tutorial on how to use ROS, which will be delivered at the customer's convenience. This approach ensures that all new ROS users become accustomed to and confident in using the service.
There are many advantages associated with using ROS the main being the tax calculation facility which instantly calculates the tax due providing the user with an accurate tax liability.