Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (136)

Pearse Doherty


136. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance his views on whether the Revenue Commissioners guidance in 2017 on the taxation of temporary foreign workers is unclear or in need of revision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20961/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I assume the Deputy is referring to Tax and Duty Manual 42.4.65 which Revenue issued on 17 April 2018. I am advised by Revenue that its recent updating of guidance on the tax position of foreign assignees followed extensive consultation by Revenue with practitioner representatives. This included detailed discussions in early March on draft text which had been circulated for comment to the practitioner representatives in December 2017.

In its latest guidance, I am advised that Revenue has significantly reduced the burden for employers. In particular, this has been achieved by:

- in the case of assignees from a country with which Ireland has a double taxation agreement (DTA), the extension of the previous workday test for ‘automatic release’ from the obligation to operate PAYE from 30 days to 60 days,

- the introduction of a new two year test, rather than a more restrictive one year test,

- retention of the 30 day test for non-DTA assignees and its extension to cover a two year period, and

- the guidance providing greater clarity for employers and practitioners.

There has been no change in the requirement for employers to track the number of days worked in Ireland by their foreign assignees. However, the 21 day deadline for employers to apply to Revenue for release from the obligation to operate PAYE has been extended to 30 days. This will facilitate a more practical approach by employers. At the request of practitioner representatives, numerous new examples of the practical operation of the guidance have been provided in the Manual.

I am further advised by Revenue that an individual’s liability to income tax and an employer’s obligation to operate PAYE are two separate issues. Under the terms of Revenue’s guidance, and where it is appropriate, Revenue will release an employer from the obligation to operate the PAYE system in circumstances where the assignee will not have a tax liability in the State in respect of his or her employment income.