The Top 50 Self Assessment Tax Questions
Answered by our Tax consultants in an easy to read question and answer format.
Self Assessment Pay and File Income Tax
Q.1 When is the Personal Self Assessment Income Tax Return Pay and File tax deadline for tax year 2015?
a) The Self Assessment Pay and File tax deadline for the tax year 2015 is on 31 October 2016.
b) The Self Assessment Preliminary Tax Payment for the tax year 2016 must also be paid on this date.
Q.2 When is the Self Assessment Pay and File tax deadline for tax year 2015 using ROS (Online Income Tax Return)?
a) For 2015 Self Assessment Income Tax returns filed online using Revenue On-Line Service (ROS) the extended pay and file deadline is Thursday 10 November 2016.
b) To qualify for this extension your return must be uploaded through the Revenue On-Line Service ROS and all payments due must be processed through ROS on or before this extended deadline.
c) If you wish to avail of this extended Self Assessment tax deadline you or your agent will need to be registered for ROS well in advance.
Q.3 I am a PAYE worker with some consultancy income. Do I need to register for Self Assessment Income Tax?
a) If the non-PAYE income exceeds €3,174 for 2015 (€5,000 for 2016 onwards) you must register for the Self Assessment Income Tax system and submit an Income Tax Form 11.
b) If the income doesn’t exceed the threshold you can submit an Income Tax Form 12 which is the form normally used by PAYE earners.
Q.4 Which tax form do I complete – a Self Assessment Income Tax Form 11 or an Income Tax Form 12?
a) The Income Tax Form 12 is for PAYE individuals with additional income under €3,174 for 2015 (€5,000 for 2016 onwards).
b) The Self Assessment Income Tax Form 11 is for individuals registered for the Self Assessment tax system.
Self Assessment Preliminary Tax
Q.5 What is Preliminary Tax?
a) Preliminary Tax is an estimate of your tax liability for the current tax year. It is due on 31 October each year.
b) You must pay Preliminary Tax once you are registered for the Self Assessment Income Tax system.
c) Your Preliminary Tax payment covers your PRSI and Universal Social Charge liability as well as Income Tax.
d) To avoid interest charges, the amount of Preliminary Tax paid for a tax year must be equal to or exceed the lower of:
i. 90% of your final liability for the tax year; or
ii. 100% of your final liability for the previous tax year.
www.paylesstax.ie tax calculators provide an estimate of your Preliminary Tax on the basis of paying 100% of your final liability for the preceding tax year.
Q.6 What happens if I don’t pay my Preliminary Tax on time?
a) If you don’t pay your Preliminary Tax on time you will be charged interest for late payment of your tax.
Self Assessment Tax Registration for Tax Form 11
Q.7 How do I register for the Income Tax Self Assessment system?
a) You will need to complete a TR1 tax registration form to register for the Self Assessment Income Tax system. This applies to all self-employed and to PAYE earners with non-PAYE income over certain amounts. It also applies to employees in receipt of share options.
Filing out My Self Assessment Income Tax Return
Q.8 Can I do my own Self Assessment (self-employed) Income Tax return?
a) Yes you can fill out a Self Assessment Income Tax Form11 or submit an online tax return using the Revenue On-Line Service (ROS) or you can use www.paylesstax.ie .
Q.9 Where can I find information on how to fill out my Irish Self Assessment Income Tax return?
a) Revenue provide a 72 page guide to completing Self Assessment returns but www.paylesstax.ie makes it a lot easier for you.
Q.10 Do I need to calculate my own Self Assessment Tax liability?
a) Yes you must complete the Self Assessment Tax calculation on page 32 and page 33 of your tax form if your return is submitted after 31 August but www.paylesstax.ie does this for you.
Q.11 Do I need to complete the IT Self Assessment tax calculation panel on the Form 11 page 32?
a) You must complete the IT Self Assessment tax calculation panel if you are filing your return after 31 August 2016. Failure to complete this panel after 31 August may result in a €250 penalty, however, www.paylesstax.ie does this for you.
Q.12 How do I complete the IT Self Assessment panel?
a) Revenue provides a 72 page guide to completing Self Assessment returns but www.paylesstax.ie makes it a lot easier for you.
Self Assessment VAT
Q.13 Do I need to register for VAT if I am registered as a sole trader?
a) You will need to register for VAT if your sale of services exceeds €37,500 per annum or sale of goods exceeds €75,000 per annum.
Q.14 I have exceeded the VAT threshold. Am I liable for the VAT?
a) If you exceeded the VAT threshold and failed to register, you will be liable any VAT due and may incur interest and penalties for late payment.
Self Assessment RCT
Q.15 I’m a subcontractor and pay my tax through Relevant Contracts Tax (RCT). Do I still need to submit an Income Tax return?
a) Yes contractors subject to Relevant Contracts Tax must complete an annual Income Tax return.
Q.16 How do I know the principle contractor has paid my Relevant Contracts Tax?
a) The principle contractor should give you a breakdown of all deductions. This can be cross checked against your RCT credits in your Revenue ROS account.
Q.17 Can I offset RCT tax deducted against other taxes?
a) Yes RCT tax can be used to pay employers PAYE payments and VAT due during the year.
Tax Clearance Certificate
Q.18 How do I get a Tax Clearance Certificate?
a) Tax Clearance Certificates must now be applied for through Revenue On-Line Service (ROS). The Tax Clearance Certificate will only be issued if all of your tax returns and payments are up to date. It will be cancelled at any time during the year if your tax returns and payments go behind.
Q.19 What are Certified Accounts?
a) Certified accounts are accounts prepared by an accountant stating that the figures provided in the accounts agree with the records you have provided them.
Q.20 Do I need Certified Accounts to complete my Income Tax return?
a) There is no obligation for individuals or the self-employed to have Certified Accounts. www.paylesstax.ie systems automatically produce your accounts for you.
Q.21 What is the Income Tax relief due on pensions?
a) For individuals paying tax at the higher rate of 40% then tax relief is 40% of the pension contribution i.e. a €400 tax saving on every €1000 paid into the pension fund.
Q.22 How much tax can I save by paying into a pension?
|Up to 30 years||
|30 – 39||
|40 – 49||
|50 – 54||
|55 – 59||
|60 and over||
Self Assessment Mandatory E-Filing
Q.23 What is mandatory e- filing?
a) Individuals taxed under the Self Assessment Income Tax system that have any of the following must file their 2015 Income Tax return online using Revenue On-Line Service (ROS);
(1) Pension Relief Claims
(2) Artist /woodland or Patent exemption
(3) Foreign Life Policies
(4) Offshore Funds
(5) Other Offshore products
(6) Property Based Incentives
(7) Transborder or Business Expansion Relief
(8) High Earners Restriction
More information including a full list of Mandatory e-filing categories can be found on revenue.ie
Self Assessment Rental Income
Q.24 Do I have to pay Income Tax on my rental income under the Self Assessment Income Tax system?
a) Yes you must pay Income Tax and Preliminary Income Tax on any rental profits. It is your rental profit and not the gross rents that you pay Income Tax on. Click here for more information on Rental Income Tax https://www.paylesstax.ie/top-50-tax-questions/rental-income/
Q.25 How do I calculate my Income Tax liability from renting out my house?
a) Click here for a detailed explanation on calculating Income Tax due on rental income
Q.26 Do I have to pay PRSI on my rental income profit?
a) Yes at 4%
Q.27 Do I have to pay USC on my rental income profit?
a) Yes at your top USC rate.
See the www.www.paylesstax.ie top 50 questions on rental income
Q.28 I am a non-resident landlord. Do I need to pay tax on my Irish rental income under Self Assessment?
a) Yes you are still liable for Income Tax as a non-resident landlord.
b) Revenue may insist you appoint a tax collection agent to take responsibility for paying whatever tax you owe.
Q.29 As a non-resident landlord am I entitled to tax credits in Ireland?
a) Unfortunately non-residents are not entitled to the usual tax credits available to Irish residents.
Q.30 Do tenants have to deduct tax from my rents if I am a non-resident landlord?
a) Yes if they are aware that you are non-resident or are paying rents to a foreign bank account then tenants should deduct Income Tax from your gross rents at a rate of 20%.
Q.31 Can I get the Income Tax back that my tenant deducts?
a) Yes when you make your Income Tax returns you will be given a credit for the Income Tax deducted from your gross rents and if you are due a refund it will be refunded to you.
Q.32 I commute weekly to the United Kingdom for work. Am I entitled to tax relief?
a) Crossborder workers are entitled to reduce their tax liability to a specified amount under Transborder relief once they meet certain conditions.
Q.33 Is there a time limit for claiming tax refunds?
a) Tax refunds will only be paid if they are claimed within four years.
Employment Status: Self-Employed or Employee
Q.34 What’s the tax difference between a self-employed consultant and an employee?
a) The main difference is that as a consultant you are a Self Assessed individual and file and pay your own Income Tax through Revenue On-Line Service (ROS) whereas if you are an employee, your employer operates the PAYE tax system on your salary.
Q.35 Can I decide if I am a self-employed consultant to avoid the PAYE tax system?
a) No. The Revenue have guidelines for deciding your employment/self-employment status and they have the final say on this.
Q.36 What is a share option?
a) A share option gives the employee the right to purchase shares in the company at a fixed price on the option date.
Q.37 Are share options subject to tax?
a) Tax, USC and PRSI are due on the difference between the option price and the market price.
b) Relevant Tax on a share option must be paid within 30 days of when the option is exercised.
Q.38 Do I need to complete a tax return on share options?
a) A Form RTSO1 must be filed by the employee within 30 days of the option being exercised.
b) The employee must submit a Form 11 the by 31 October the following year giving details of the option and share sales.
Q.39 What are Revenue-approved profit-sharing schemes?
a) Revenue-approved profit-sharing schemes allow companies give their employees €12,700 worth of company shares each year.
b) Any gains made from the sale of these shares may attract Capital Gains Tax (CGT) if sold for a profit.
Foreign Investment Products
Q.40 If I make an investment in an offshore savings/investment type product do I have to declare this for tax?
a) Yes certain investments like this are caught under the Self Assessment Income Tax reporting rules. This is a very complex area and specific tax advice should be sought in connection with these matters.
Self Assessment Revenue Audits
Q.41 What is a Revenue Audit?
a) A Revenue Audit is simply an examination by Revenue of your records and figures for a given period to provide confirmation that the figures submitted on your tax return are correct and free from discrepancies.
Q.42 Why was I targeted for a Revenue Audit?
a) Revenue Audits can be triggered by information from third parties or by a review of your tax return against expected figures for your industry.
b) Revenue also target certain industries and areas to examine and improve Tax compliance.
c) Each year Revenue carry out thousands of randomly selected Audits.
Q.43 What should I do if I get selected for a Revenue Audit?
a) It is important you immediately check your records and returns for any inaccuracies that you may need to notify Revenue about.
b) All correspondence and requests for information, records and payments should be dealt with promptly.
c) You may need the assistance of an experienced tax practitioner to achieve a more favorable outcome and minimize stress at this difficult time. www.paylesstax.ie can provide such a service.
Q.44 What is a Revenue Desk Audit?
a) A Desk Audit is carried out by Revenue at their offices and will primarily involve them requesting and examining receipts or other proof to confirm certain figures submitted in your tax returns are correct.
Q.45 What is a Revenue field audit?
a) A Revenue field audit is a comprehensive examination of your records and returns carried out at your business premises.
Q.46 What if I find my Tax Returns contain mistakes or are incorrect?
a) It may be possible to reduce any interest and penalty charges by making a qualifying disclosure to Revenue alerting them to the error.
b) Depending on the sums involved you should seek professional assistance. www.paylesstax.ie is able to provide assistance in such circumstances.
Self Assessment Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
Q.47 What do I pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on?
a) You must pay Capital Gains Tax on gains made from the disposal of capital assets, e.g. shares and property assets.
b) Gifts may also attract Capital Gains Tax for the donor as the gift is deemed to be a sale at market value.
c) Capital gains tax is automatically due under our Self Assessment tax rules. These rules apply to PAYE earners even if they are not in the Self Assessment Income Tax system.
Q.48 When do I pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT)?
a) For disposals of assets between 1 January and 30 November Capital Gains Tax (CGT) must be paid before 15 December in the same tax year.
b) For disposals of assets between 1 December and 31 December Capital Gains Tax (CGT) must be paid before 31 January in the following tax year.
Q.49 Do I have to make a tax return and calculation of gains made by me?
a) Yes you must make a full declaration of any gains made during the tax year on your tax return for that year. If you do not do this you will be liable for a penalty even if you have paid the capital gains tax due.
Q.50 If I make a loss on an investment what do I have to do for my Income Tax return?
a) You must record the loss by submitting a Tax return for the tax year the disposal was made. This should be done no later than 4 years after the loss was incurred.
Self Assessment Gift Tax & Inheritance Tax
Q.51 What is Gift & Inheritance Tax?
a) It is a tax on gifts and inheritances and the current rate of tax is 33%.
Q.52 If I receive a gift do I have to pay tax?
a) It will depend on the amount of the gift and your relationship to the person making the gift.
b) Everybody can receive gifts up to €3,000 per annum tax free.
c) For gifts over this amount it depends on how much of your lifetime tax free threshold is available.
Q.53 What are the life time tax free thresholds?
a) There are three levels of tax free thresholds as per table below:
Relationship to Disponer
Relationship other than
Q.54 Who pays Gift & Inheritance Tax?
a) The recipient of the gift or inheritance is responsible for paying whatever tax is due and will be liable for interest and penalties if they do not.
Q.55 When do I have to pay Gift & Inheritance Tax?
a) A Self Assessment return is due once a year on the 31st October in respect of any benefits received in the year ended 31st August in that year.