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600,000 self-employed forced to pay tax one month earlier

MORE than 600,000 self-employed people will be forced to pay tax a month earlier than usual this year.

This is because the deadline for those who make a tax return has been brought forward to the end of September.

The change will impact the self-employed and PAYE workers who have non-taxed income, like rent.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said the self-assessment rules would be amended to bring forward the date for the payment of preliminary tax from October 31 to September 30.

The change will impact from this year, a Department of Finance spokesman confirmed.

The Irish Institute of Taxation said last night that many self- employed people will struggle to get their tax returns and the money together in time to meet the new deadline.

And the date for the payment of the balance of tax for the previous tax year and the submission of a tax return (relating to income tax and capital gains tax) for that year is also changing from October to September.

Similar measures were undertaken last year for capital acquisitions tax.

Taxpayers will be able to able to pay their tax bill with a credit card, under one of the measures in the Finance Bill.

Mr Lenihan said the Revenue Commissioners wanted to give taxpayers additional options when they make a tax return.

However, finance experts said paying by credit card was not to be recommended as the interest charged on these was extremely high.

And tax defaulters will no longer have to agree to have their names published when they are found out.

In a statement, Mr Lenihan said: "Certain taxpayers and agents are aware of this requirement and they persistently resist or refuse to either agree liability or pay the settlement which does not allow Revenue publish the relevant details.

"The proposals contained in the Finance Bill address this situation."

A large number of tax reliefs are to be restricted or phased out. These include reliefs for companies and for consumers.

The Irish Taxation Institute said the withdrawal of reliefs would lead to business closures and job losses.

Irish Independent