U-turn on early tax deadline for self-employed
BUSINESS and farming groups are relieved after the Government did a U-turn on plans to force thousands of farmers and the self-employed to pay their tax months earlier than usual.
The Department of Finance was proposing that 600,000 people who file their own tax should cough up the money as early as next summer.
This would be just seven months after they paid this year's tax.
The Small Firms' Association and the ISME said jobs would have been lost if the Government had forced small firms and the self-employed to come up with tax payments months earlier than normal.
ISME boss Mark Fielding said a disaster for businesses had been avoided by the government row-back on the plan for early filing next year.
The department has bowed to huge pressure and will keep the same deadline for next year.
But the Department of Finance said no decision had been made yet for the date for paying and filing in 2015.
It said: "Following a consultation process in relation to changes required to the pay-and-file dates, the Minister for Finance has decided not to introduce any changes to the pay-and-file regime for 2014.
"The minister's intention to bring annual pay-and-file dates forward remains, in order to provide increased certainty around the annual tax take and forecasting process following the move to an earlier Budget."
Budgets are now in October instead of December, as part of new EU rules. Because of this, the department has proposed moving the pay-and-file deadline to either the end of June or mid-September.
Head of taxation at Chartered Accountants Ireland, Brian Keegan, said forcing the self-employed and farmers to come up with cash to pay tax before they had the money would have hit hard.
"The disruption which would have been caused to Irish indigenous business in the SME sector by bringing forward tax-payment deadlines would have been very serious," Mr Keegan said.
However, Chambers Ireland pointed out that there was still a threat that the self-employed and farmers would have to file earlier than usual in 2015.
Chief executive Ian Talbot said: "Delaying the implementation of a new deadline by a year does nothing to solve the very real problem that businesses will have been trying to compute and pay taxes several months in advance."
Full report: Business supplement