Sunday 11 December 2016

Warning of penalties for late filing of tax returns

Published 20/10/2016 | 02:30

Those filing online get extra time to make a return, but Revenue said they need to check that they can still log into the system.
Those filing online get extra time to make a return, but Revenue said they need to check that they can still log into the system.

CLOSE to half a million people, mostly self-employed, who are due to file a tax return by the end of this month have been warned they face penalties if they are late.

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Those filing online get extra time to make a return, but Revenue said they need to check that they can still log into the system.

It is not just the self-employed who have to file a tax return.

Anyone with income outside the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system has to do so. This might include rental income, share dividends, foreign pensions, fees for nixers, and teachers getting paid in cash for grinds.

A Revenue spokeswoman said last year 475,000 filed a return, with 90pc of these filing online.

People have to file and pay tax for income earned in 2015, and pay preliminary tax for this year. The deadline is October 31, but those filing and paying online have until November 10.

Revenue said: "Remember, the quickest and easiest way to file your return is online, and there is still time to register with ROS (Revenue Online Service)."

A late-filing surcharge is added to the tax due. This is 5pc of the tax to be paid, or €12,695, whichever is the lesser, if return is submitted before the end of December. If it is filed after that, the surcharge is 10pc, or €63,485, whichever is the lesser.

This year landlords, including so-called accidental landlords, are expected to have to pay a huge amount of extra tax, due to the sharp rise in rents.

The surge in the number of people renting out their homes as part of the online property rental service Airbnb will also boost tax revenues.

Rents are at an all-time high, while there are some 170,000 landlords registered with the State's Rental Tenancies Board.

Tax experts said high rents and the large number of landlords was likely to lead to a windfall for the Revenue.

Senior tax manager at Taxback.com, Barry Flanagan, said: "Due to soaring rents in many parts of the country, the amount of tax owed by landlords will increase this year resulting in a Revenue windfall of sorts."

Average rents have shot up by a third, since bottoming out in 2011, and are now higher than the peak they reached in 2008.

"Landlords in these counties will almost certainly see an increase in their tax bill this year," Mr Flanagan said.

He said the increase in the numbers of people renting out their homes through Airbnb has meant that people who previously did not have to file a tax return have now been brought into the self-assessed tax net.

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