Telecommunications, Broadcasting and Electronic (TBE) services to consumers (B2C) – New VAT Place of Supply Rules – 2015 and Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS)

New EU VAT rules in relation to supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting and e-services (TBE) to consumers (B2C) will come into effect from 1 January 2015. From that date, businesses that make supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting or e-services to consumers in other EU Member States are obliged to register and account for VAT in those Member States. Alternatively, such businesses can now register for the optional special scheme, Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS). The MOSS will allow businesses to submit a single return and payment per calendar quarter for all Member States in which it makes such supplies.

Any eligible business wishing to register for MOSS should do so in advance of 1 January 2015 to avoid having to register for VAT in multiple Member States.

Revenue has published extensive information in relation to these changes during 2014. eBrief Nos. 12/2014, 70/2014, 71/2014, and 79/2014 refer.

The guidance already issued in relation to the Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) has been updated to clarify the following issues.

Can a business established in Ireland whose turnover is below the VAT registration threshold use MOSS?

The VAT registration thresholds that Member States apply to small business do not apply to businesses that are not established in the Member State.

A business which is established in Ireland but is not obliged to register for VAT in Ireland (because turnover is below the registration threshold) and which supplies telecommunications, broadcasting or e-services to consumers in other Member States will be obliged to register and account for VAT in those Member States or, alternatively, register for MOSS in Ireland.

Such businesses can register for MOSS without any obligation to register for VAT in respect of their supplies to customers in Ireland. When completing the MOSS registration process, the Corporation Tax Number or PPS Number (as appropriate) of the applicant should be provided as an alternative to a VAT number. Any queries in relation to the registration process should be addressed to the MOSS helpdesk.

VAT Groups and MOSS Registration

A VAT Group can register for MOSS. Any member of an existing VAT group can apply to register for MOSS. It is not obligatory that the Group ‘remitter’ is the group member to register for MOSS.

Standard Audit File for MOSS (SAF-MOSS)

The record keeping requirements in relation to MOSS are set out in Chapters 9 and 10 of the Mini One Stop Shop guide. The EU Commission undertook to develop a Standard Audit file for MOSS (SAF-MOSS) with a view to providing certainty for business in relation to record keeping and to facilitate the provision of information to tax administrations. The SAF-MOSS Schema specificationsExternal link have now been published and business can use this schema for submitting the information requested by Member States in a specified electronic format that is acceptable to most tax administrations. The SAF-MOSS is recommended for business to use but it is not compulsory. If a business does not wish to use the SAF-MOSS to submit information requested by a tax administration, an acceptable alternative format must be agreed at the time of the request.

Information in relation to Member States national VAT rules

From 1 January 2015 the tax treatment of B2C supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting and e-services will be determined by the rules of the Member State of consumption.

The VAT Directive (Council Directive 2006/112/EC) provides common VAT rules for all Member States but it allows Member States to avail of certain options and the interpretation of the VAT Directive may vary in some instances. To assist businesses who will be impacted by the new place of supply rules from 1 January 2015, the EU Commission have developed a portal which provides information on VAT rules in all Member StatesExternal link and is complemented by instructions for useExternal link.

Mandatory Electronic Filing & Payment – Implementation of Phase 5

taxmanMandatory electronic payments and filing, using Revenue‘s Online Service (ROS), is part of Revenue’s strategy to establish the use of electronic channels as the normal way of conducting tax business.

ROS is an internet facility which provides you with a quick and secure facility to pay tax liabilities, file tax returns, access your tax details and claim repayments. The ROS facilities are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can benefit from an extension to existing deadlines for paying tax and filing returns where you both pay and file using ROS.

Since 2009 the categories of taxpayers obliged to pay and file electronically has been expanding – see below. From 1st January 2015 all newly registering IT cases will become mandatory efilers.

Should you fall into any of the categories below, the following information is provided to support and help you to pay and file electronically.

Who is required to pay and file electronically?

Phase 1

Revenue’s mandatory electronic payments and returns programme commenced with Phase 1 on the 1st January 2009. Phase 1 included all taxpayers whose tax affairs are dealt with by Large Cases Division and all Government Departments.(Tax Returns And Payments (Mandatory Electronic Filing And Payment Of Tax) Regulations 2008pdf(S.I. No 341 of 2008 (PDF,71KB ))

Phase 2

Revenue’s Phase 2 came into effect from 1st January 2010. Phase 2 included all companies with a turnover of more that €7.3M and with more than 50 employees and all public bodies. (Tax Returns And Payments (Mandatory Electronic Filing And Payment Of Tax) Regulations 2008 pdfS.I. No 341 of 2008 (PDF,71KB ))

Phase 3A

The categories of taxpayer required to pay and file returns electronically from 1 June 2011 are:

  • All companies
  • All trusts
  • All partnerships
  • Self employed individuals filing a return of payments to third parties (Form 46G)
  • Self employed individuals subject to the high earners restriction (Form RR1, Form 11)
  • Self employed individuals benefiting from or acquiring Foreign Life Policies, Offshore Funds or other Offshore products
  • Self employed individuals claiming a range of property based incentives (Residential Property and Industrial Buildings Allowances).

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Phase 3B

Employers with 10 or more employees, not already covered in Phase 3A will be required to pay and file returns electronically from 1st October, 2011.

(Tax Returns and Payments (Mandatory Electronic Filing and Payment of Tax) Regulations 2011 pdf(S.I. No 223 of 2011 (PDF,71KB ))

In addition, all stamp duty returns and payments presented on or after 1 June 2011 must be filed electronically. (Stamp Duty (E-Stamping Of Instruments) Amendment)(No. 2) Regulations 2011pdf(S.I. No 222 of 2011 (PDF,51KB ))

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Phase 4

The categories of taxpayers required to pay and file returns electronically from 1 June 2012 are :

  • VAT registered cases
  • Individuals who avail of the reliefs and exemptions set out below*
Description of Relief or exemption and where it can be found in the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997
Description of Relief/exemption Section in TCA 1997
Retirement annuity contract payments Section 787
PRSA contributions Section 787C
Overseas pension plans: migrant member relief Section 787N
Retirement relief for sportspersons Section 480A
Relief for AVCs Sections 774 and 776
Artists exemption Section 195
Woodlands exemption Sections 140 and 232
Patent income exemption Sections141 and 234
Income on which transborder relief is claimed Section  825A
Business expansion scheme relief Section 489(3)
Seed capital scheme relief Section 489(5)
Film relief Section 481
Significant Buildings/gardens relief Section 482
Interest relief: loan to acquire share in company or partnership Sections 248, 248 (as extended by Section 250) and 253

* as per 2010 or subsequent F11

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Phase 5

The Tax Returns And Payments (Mandatory Electronic Filing And Payment Of Tax) Regulations 2014 are due to be published shortly and will require, from 1 January 2015, all new IT cases to pay and file electronically.

Returns and Payments that must be filed electronically

Specified Returns* and Specified Tax Liabilities* that must be paid and filed on ROS if they are applicable to your circumstances include:

Specified Returns and Specified Tax Liabilities that must be paid and filed on ROS
Specified Return Specified Tax Liability
Corporation Tax Form CT1 Preliminary Tax and Balance Due
Partnership Form 1 (Firms) -
Trusts Form 1 Preliminary Tax and Balance Due
Income Tax Form 11 Preliminary Tax and Balance Due
High Earner Restriction Form RR1 -
Employer PAYE/PRSI Form P30
Form P35
Forms P45 and P46
All PAYE/PRSI due
Value Added Tax Form VAT 3
Annual Return of Trading Details (RTD)

VAT on e-services Quarterly Return

VAT due

Quarterly VAT due on e-services

Capital Acquisitions Tax (Gifts and Inheritances) Annual Return Annual payment
Betting Duty Quarterly Return Quarterly Payment
Dividend Withholding Tax (DWT) Monthly Return Payment of DWT deducted from relevant distributions in previous month
Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) Annual Return Interim payment and Balance Due
Life Assurance Exit Tax (LAET) Biannual Return Biannual payment
Investment Undertaking  Exit Tax (IUT) Biannual Return Biannual payment
EU Savings Directive Annual Return -
3rd Party Payments Return (46G/46G company) Annual Return -
Air Travel Tax Annual Return Monthly Payment

*Please note that the above list is not exhaustive, you may be liable for other taxes and duties e.g. RCT, that may only be filed and paid electronically.

December 2014

CGT relief for disposals of certain land and buildings

CGT relief for disposals of certain land and buildings under section 604A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 – treatment of enhancement expenditure

Section 604A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (inserted by section 64 of the Finance Act 2012) introduced a capital gains tax relief on disposals of land or buildings acquired in the period commencing on 7 December 2011 and ending on 31 December 2013. Section 44 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2013 extended the period within which the land or buildings may be acquired for the purposes of the relief to 31 December 2014.

pdfPart 19.07.03a (PDF, 70.7KB) of the IT-CGT-CT Manual, is amended to clarify:

  • That the relief applies to the gain on the disposal of land or buildings that were acquired in the period from 7 December 2011 to 31 December 2014 (both dates inclusive).
  • That for the purposes of the relief “time of acquisition” and “time of disposal” have their normal meaning by reference to Section 542, TCA 1997.
  • That no distinction need be made as between “land” or “buildings” for the purposes of the relief, as any building situated on land is not an asset separate and distinct from the land.
  • That enhancement expenditure may be incurred at any time between the date of acquisition and disposal (including expenditure incurred on the construction of buildings on land or the completion of partially built buildings), without affecting entitlement to the relief.

In particular it should be noted that:

Land or buildings will be treated as acquired on or before 31 December 2014 where either

  • An unconditional contract has been made on or before that date (and regardless of the fact that the asset may be conveyed or transferred after that date), or
  • A contract is made subject to a condition precedent and the condition is satisfied on or before that date.

VAT and Charitable Donations via SMS Text Message

VAT and Charitable Donations made via SMS Text Message using pre-paid phone credit

The VAT on Telecommunications Services Manual has been updated to clarify Revenue’s position in respect of the VAT treatment of donations to charity made via text message using pre-paid phone credit.

Charitable organisations can receive the full amount of the donation made using pre-paid phone credit without a VAT deduction subject to certain conditions being met. Full details are available in pdfPart 5-47 (PDF, 87KB) of the Manual.

Revenue Defaulters List

rev eformToday’s edition of Iris Oifigiúil contains details of published settlements completed by Revenue in the period 1st July 2014 to 30th September 2014.

In the 3-month period to 30th September 2014, 107 taxpayers fall to be published. The settlements in these cases total€19.64m million.

Of the 107 published cases, 33 were for amounts exceeding €100,000; of which 10 exceeded €500,000, 5 of which exceeded €1m.

9 of the 107 settlements published, yielding €3.89m, relate to Revenue’s investigation into Bogus Non-Resident Accounts and Offshore Assets/Funds.

Click here to see the detailed list of defaulters.

For some this is a timely reminder of how seriously revenue look at the situation of :

-Failure to file tax returns.

-Filing returns which are knowingly incorrect

-Failing to keep proper records, etc.

In situations where a qualifying disclosure of tax defaults, as provided for in legislation, has not been made by a taxpayer, penalties levied range between 15% and 100% depending on the category of default and whether or not the taxpayer has cooperated with Revenue in the course of enquiries.

Penalties are not charged where a tax default was not deliberate, or was not attributable in any way to the failure by a taxpayer to take reasonable care to comply with his or her tax obligations. Neither is a penalty charged where an adjustment to liability arises from differences in the interpretation or the application of legislation, and the taxpayer could reasonably have considered her/his interpretation to be correct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting a business – Registration

Setting up a new business is a challenging but rewarding step in life. There is a great sense of achievement and you know every effort you put into your business is for your benefit. But there are many challenges along the way and one of them is complying with tax regulations and issues. My advice is to be aware of these from the start and once you have a procedure in place to deal with them, it will soon become routine.

The very first step in compliance is registration – here is a quick guide from Revenue on this.

Registering for Tax

How to obtain a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN)

In order to register for Tax you must first obtain a PPSN. Information on obtaining a PPSN can be found on theDepartment of Social Protection website.

How do I register for Tax as a self-employed person?

You should advise the tax office when you start a business as a self-employed person/sole trader. You must do this online using the Revenue Online Service – ROS, through the online eRegistration Service if you are:

  • An individual who is currently registered for PAYE Anytime;
  • An individual who is currently registered for Revenue’s Online Service – ROS;
  • Represented by an Agent.

ROS is Revenue’s internet facility which provides you with a quick and secure facility to register for tax, pay tax liabilities, file tax returns, access your tax details and claim repayments. The facilities are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. You will also benefit from an extension to existing deadlines for paying tax and filing returns where you both pay and file using ROS. Further information on Revenue’s online service can be found at ROS.

There are a limited number of customers where paper registration applications are still accepted – you will find details of those customers at eRegistration Service. Paper applications received where the applicant is required to submit the application on-line will not be processed and the paper application will be returned for completion on-line.

If you are in one of the categories currently excluded from applying online, you should complete one of the following forms and submit it to your local tax office:

pdfRegistration Form TR1 – Tax Registration form for Sole Traders, Trusts and Partnerships (PDF, 1MB)

Non-resident traders, please use:

pdfRegistration Form TR1 (FT) – Tax Registration form for non-resident Individuals, Partnerships, Trusts and Unincorporated Bodies (PDF, 1.05MB)

The TR1 form can be used to register for any/all of the following:

  • Income Tax
  • Employer’s PAYE/PRSI
  • Value Added Tax
  • Relevant Contracts Tax

I want to register as an employer only

pdfPREM Reg – Employer (PAYE/PRSI) Tax Registration Form (PDF, 231KB)

Please be advised, that once registered, it may be mandatory for you to file all payments and returns online through ROS. You can find further information on those who are required to file/pay electronically at Mandatory E-Filing. It is advisable that upon confirmation of your Income Tax/VAT/PAYE/PRSI number, you proceed to register for our online services at Revenue’s Online Service.

Shortly after registration you may receive a visit from a Revenue official to assist you in operating the tax system. In the meantime any difficulties or queries can be dealt with or general assistance received by contacting your local tax office.

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How do I register for tax when starting up a new company?

You should advise Revenue that you are setting up a company once you have registered the company with the Companies Registration Office and received your CRO number. Your Agent can do this online using the Revenue Online Service – ROS.

ROS is Revenue’s internet facility which provides you with a quick and secure facility to register for tax, pay tax liabilities, file tax returns, access your tax details and claim repayments. The facilities are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. You will also benefit from an extension to existing deadlines for paying tax and filing returns where you both pay and file using ROS. Further information on Revenue’s online service can be found at ROS.

If you are represented by an Agent, your Agent will be required to submit an on-line application on your behalf. However, if you are setting up a new company and are not represented by an Agent, you should complete the following form and submit it to your local tax office. Paper applications received where the applicant is required to submit the application on-line will not be processed and the paper application will be returned for completion on-line.

pdfForm TR2 – Tax Registration form for Companies (PDF, 974KB)

Non-resident traders, please use:

pdfForm TR2 (FT) – Tax Registration form for Foreign Companies (PDF, 1.69MB)

This form can be used to register for any/all of the following:

  • Corporation Tax
  • Employer’s PAYE/PRSI
  • Value Added Tax
  • Relevant Contracts Tax

Please be advised, that once your company has been registered, it will be mandatory for all payments and returns to be completed and submitted online through ROS. You can find further information on the requirements to file/pay electronically at Mandatory E-Filing. If your company is not represented by an Agent, it is advisable upon receipt of your Corporation Tax/VAT number etc., that you proceed to register for our online services at Revenue’s Online Service.

Shortly after registration you may receive a visit from a Revenue official to assist you in operating the tax system. In the meantime any difficulties or queries can be dealt with or general assistance received by contacting your local tax office.

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How do I register for tax when setting up a Trust/Partnership?

You should advise the tax office when you set up a trust/partnership. Your Agent can do this online using the Revenue Online Service – ROS.

ROS is Revenue’s internet facility which provides you with a quick and secure facility to register for tax, pay tax liabilities, file tax returns, access your tax details and claim repayments. The facilities are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. You will also benefit from an extension to existing deadlines for paying tax and filing returns where you both pay and file using ROS. Further information on Revenue’s online service can be found at ROS.

If you are represented by an Agent, your Agent will be required to submit an on-line application on your behalf. However, if you are setting up a new Trust/Partnership and are not represented by an Agent, you should complete the following form and submit it to your local tax office. Paper applications received where the applicant is required to submit the application on-line will not be processed and the paper application will be returned for completion on-line.

pdfRegistration Form TR1 – Tax Registration form for Sole Traders, Trusts and Partnerships (PDF, 1MB)

The TR1 form can be used to register for any/all of the following:

  • Income Tax
  • Employer’s PAYE/PRSI
  • Value Added Tax
  • Relevant Contracts Tax

Must I have a tax agent to act on my behalf?

There is no legal obligation to do so. However, many new businesses engage a tax agent or accountant to deal with tax and other matters – in particular, in the start-up period.

‘Starting a Business’ leaflet.

This leaflet provides a brief overview of some of the main taxation issues associated with starting and running a business.

pdfStarting a Business (PDF, 240KB)open

 

 

 

Frequency of Filing Tax Returns

You may have received notification from Revenue in relation to a change in the frequency you must file your tax returns – be it VAT or P30s for employees.

To elaborate more on the parameters of this here is an extract from a recent publication :

 

 

Extension to newly eligible VAT, PAYE/PRSI and RCT customers

Reductions in the filing and payment frequencies for VAT, PAYE/PRSI and RCT by smaller businesses are being extended to eligible customers from 1 January, 2015.

  • Businesses making total annual VAT payments of less than €3,000 are eligible to file VAT returns and make payments on a 6 monthly basis;
  • Businesses making total annual VAT payments of between €3,000 and €14,400 are eligible to file VAT returns and make payments on a 4 monthly basis;
  • Businesses making total annual PAYE/PRSI payments of up to €28,800 are eligible to make payments on a 3 monthly basis;
  • Businesses making total annual RCT payments of up to €28,800 are eligible to file RCT returns and make payments on a 3 monthly basis.

What are the benefits to eligible businesses?

The benefits are two-fold:

  • Improved cashflow by only having to make payments at the end of each 3, 4 or 6 monthly period, as appropriate.
  • Reduced costs of administration through less frequent filing of tax returns.

How will these changes be implemented?

Revenue will shortly write to each eligible business confirming that reduced frequency of tax returns and payments will apply from 1 January, 2015.

A copy of the letter will also be sent to the agent or tax practitioner on record for eligible customers (other than PAYE/PRSI customers).

Revenue will automatically extend the reduced filing and payment frequencies to eligible businesses without the need for any action on their part.

 

Mandatory Disclosure Regime – Finance Bill 2014 amendments

04 December 2014

Mandatory Disclosure Regime – Finance Bill 2014 amendments

Mandatory Disclosure rules impact on certain tax transactions relating to Income Tax, Corporation Tax, Capital Gains Tax, the Universal Social Charge, Value Added Tax, Capital Acquisitions Tax, Stamp Duties and Excise Duties.

Section 80, Finance Bill 2014 (as initiated), introduces a number of amendments to the Mandatory Disclosure regime, which, when the Bill is enacted, will be effective for any transaction which is commenced after 23 October 2014. The main changes are set out below.

Regulations and Guidance Open for Comment

Draft Consultation Mandatory Disclosure Regime Documents. To reflect the Section 80 provisions, Revenue has published draft amended regulations and guidance notes. The drafts are open for comment until 17 December 2014. Any comments should be provided to Paul Walsh, Principal Officer, Income & Capital Taxes Division, Office of the Revenue Commissioners, Stamping Building, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2 or paulwals@revenue.ie.

It is anticipated that final versions of these regulations and guidance notes will be published by the end of the year.

Commencement

Practitioners have raised concern about their ability, from a practical perspective, to comply with the new requirements of the Mandatory Disclosure regime for transactions which were commenced after 23 October 2014 in the absence of updated guidance notes or regulations.

Therefore, in relation to transactions which were commenced after 23 October 2014, Revenue will treat any disclosure or information received by 31 January 2015 as having been received in a timely manner with the result that no penalties for late disclosure will apply.

The main changes:

Incorporation of regulations into primary legislation
The principal change is that much of the material currently contained in regulations will be incorporated into the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. There are a number of consequential amendments that arise from this process and the necessary changes in language from that used in regulations to that used in the primary taxing statutes. Other than as detailed below, the rules of the mandatory disclosure regime have not been changed by section 80.

Hallmarks
A transaction is a disclosable transaction if, in addition to one of the main benefits of the transaction being tax avoidance, the transaction falls into one of more of the ‘hallmarks’ or specified descriptions. The Bill proposes two changes to the hallmarks:

  • The confidentiality hallmark for users of a scheme, under the regulations, involved a subjective test. The test for promoters involved an objective test in relation to confidentiality as against other promoters but a subjective test in relation to confidentiality as against the Revenue Commissioners. Under the amended wording in the primary legislation, the test is now, in all cases an objective test. That is, all tests now look at whether or not it ‘might reasonably be expected’ that the user / promoter would wish to keep the scheme confidential.
  • A new hallmark has now been added in relation to discretionary trusts. A transaction which has a trustee of a discretionary trust as party to the transaction is now brought within the scope of the legislation. The schedule to the draft regulations provides that transactions with certain trusts, e.g. a trust for permanently incapacitated individuals, under section 189A, need not be disclosed.

Transaction numbers
The most significant change to the Mandatory Disclosure regime is the introduction of transaction numbers for any transaction that is commenced after 23 October 2014. Revenue will assign a transaction number to transactions disclosed under the legislation.

A promoter is now required to give the transaction number to any person to whom a scheme is sold and also to any person who markets the scheme on the promoter’s behalf. Any person who enters into the scheme or who seeks to obtain a tax advantage from the scheme is deemed to be a chargeable person and must include the transaction number on the relevant return of income (Form 11 or Form CT1, as appropriate).

Marketers
Marketers have an obligation to disclose any scheme that they have reason to believe is a disclosable transaction.

Revenue Guidance Notes
The Revenue Guidance Notes are being amended to make it clear that promoters and users can only rely on the exclusion for schemes known to Revenue where the scheme is referenced in Revenue published material or in case law.

Death and Taxes – and now Water Charges !

On the 1st of October, water charges are in force whether we like it or not. Although you won’t receive your first bill until January, it is important that you know your water allowances etc. so you don’t face one hell of a water bill in the New Year after a hectic Christmas.  The reason why the government is introducing charges is clean water is expensive to produce, the government have little or no funds to keep sustaining the standard of our service and they wish to improve the water services in Ireland. We can argue for and against water introduction, regardless of the arguments it is being introduced on the 1st of October and we will have to pay, so it is important to know about the charge and what we will get for our money.tap

Allowances

Every household is entitled to a free annual water allowance of 30,000 litres – which means the first 30,000 litres of water you use a year are free. You will be entitled to a higher allowance if you have children under the age of 18.

The Basic allowance is available only on your main residence- so if you own a holiday home, you won’t be entitled to a free allowance for that property.

For each child under 18 years of age you get an additional allowance of 21,000 litres per child.

The free child’s allowance is only available for children who qualify for child benefit. So if your child is 17 years old, working and not in full-time education, you’re unlikely to get the free allowance for that child. Adult children don’t qualify for the free allowance.

In January you will receive a bill for your water for the first three months of the scheme, a single person living on their own will be charged €48 and two adults will be charged €70. It is important to know your bill will be broken down between drinking water and waste water usage.

For 2015 a family of two adults will pay a capped charge of €278 a year for drinking water and wastewater, while a house with four adults will pay €482.

Why should you fill out the form??

Each Letter includes a form where you apply for your free water allowances. You won’t be entitled to your allowance if you don’t apply for it!!!

The reason you’re being asked for your PPS number is to verify your identity and to allow you to apply for your free water allowance.

If you have a private well or you are a member of a group water scheme and have your own private wastewater treatment (such as a septic tank) you will not have to pay the water charge. However you must still fill out the application to inform Irish Water so that they know you are not liable to the charge.

If you don’t pay for your water or engage with Irish Water to make payment plans, your allowances are removed or at a last resort have their water pressure reduced. You won’t be disconnected for not paying your water charges.

You can organise a payment plan with Irish water if you having trouble paying your water bill.

How can you pay?

  • Direct debit, cheque, debit or credit card, electronic fund transfer or cash.
  • Customers can pay by cash anywhere they see the Paypoint , PayZone or PostZone or PostPoint signs – or at any post office,”

 

 

Can I avoid charges by cutting back on water?

Yes, but it will be difficult to do so.

  • About 75% of indoor home water use occurs in our bathrooms, and toilets are the single largest water users. Toilets use over 40% more water than needed. A old style flush toilets can use up to 13 litres of water in one flush to a dual flush toilet that uses six litres per flush.
  • An automatic dishwasher uses 40L of water, compared to dishwashing by hand, which uses about 35L.
  • Using a bucket of water to clean the car instead of the hose saves about 300L of water….each time!
  • A five minute shower with a standard showerhead uses 100L of water, while a five minute shower with a low-flow showerhead uses 35L if water.
  • A bath uses about 80L of water per use.

So it will be easy to burn through the basic free allowance if you flush an old style toilet six times a day, you will go through 28,470 litres of water a year. Add just two baths a year and you will go over your limit.

What about leaks?

A tap leaking one drop of water per second wastes more than 25L of water a day so that is over 9,000L a year! A running tap uses six litres of water a minute! So your yearly allowance could be wasted in approx. 4 days! Irish water are currently finalising their “free first fix” scheme. It should be rolled out early next year. So it is vitally important that your check your water meter for usually high usage. I would advise checking the water meter when you are away for a weekend to see if the usage changed over that period of time.

I am a landlord, what is my liability?

If you are a landlord, your tenants will be liable for the charge as it is the occupier you is liable for the charge. However, you will have to let your tenants know that they are liable for the charges – and instruct them to fill out the application form from Irish Water.

If your tenants refuse to fill out the application form, they won’t receive any free water allowance.  What if tenants refuse to pay the charges? Irish water have stated that they would do their best to pursue the tenants for the charges however the onus would eventually fall on the landlords if they continually refused to pay.  That could certainly be challenged in the courts as the liability lies with the occupier not with the landlord.

If you are a landlord you need to respond to the letter if the property is unoccupied or if you do not own the property and you will be liable to pay the unoccupied dwelling charge, which has yet to be confirmed by Irish water.  The CER have proposed a charge of €80 for unoccupied premises.

I am a Business Customer. How will Irish Water affect me?

On 1st January 2014 the Water services (No2) Act 2013 came into enactment which means that Irish Water is now responsible for water services. However, the local Authorities will be working as an agent for Irish Water from 1st January 2014, so you will continue to contact your local Authority for water services billing and payment queries until further notice. From 29th April 2014 you will contact Irish Water for queries relating to your water supply etc. the cost to will remain the same for 2014 as you were charged for 2013.

If I have a medical condition or on social welfare, do I get a reduction?

Irish Water will ask people to “self-report” on medical conditions, which will allow them to reduce their water charges bill. This system is based on an honesty basis and is open to abuse. What medical conditions which will allow for a reduction is yet to be clarified.  Joan Burton reported to the Dail that you would receive €100 a year paid quarterly as a reduction against the water charge.  Is this reduction substantial enough has been argued in the Dail, especially if such families have a disposal income of €8.75 per week.

What if my water is not fit for human consumption?

Under the current scheme, people who cannot drink water provided by the State will received a 25% discount. If water continues to be unsafe for more than 3 months the discount will increase to 50%. Households, where drinking water is unsafe, still pay full price for waste water supply. In cases where households can provide their own waste water services, an initial 50% discount is applied when water is unsafe to drink and then a 100 % discount after three months.

 

Although the charges for water have not yet been fully decided and are due to discussed in the Dail, it is important you know your entitlements and how much income you need to set aside in January.  This article we hope will have provided a little bit more information in an issue which will be flowing into your life in the coming months!

 

Jason McDowell

McDowell and Co Accountants –Stephen .St.- Sligo- 071 91 47580

35 Wolfe Tone St Sligo info@mcdowellaccountants.ie 071 91 69647