Alison McGinley, Managing Director of TaxAssist Accountants, was invited by two national newspapers to provide expert commentary on the recent Budget and the looming tax return deadline of the 31 October.
The Irish Examiner published an article on the ‘Mixed reaction on SME measures’ and Alison was keen to voice concerns, on behalf of the nation’s small business clients, that the Budget did not do enough for this market.
“On the face of it, not a lot has changed for the SME sector. Dig a little deeper, however, and the small print throws up several small increases that will hit the sector. They will need to factor in a 0.1% increase in employer’s PRSI across the board, as well as an increase in the minimum wage.
“These rises in costs set against the backdrop of increased bureaucracy around staff, with the Revenue’s new PAYE modernisation system, will frustrate lots of small business owners who are already struggling to keep up the administration side of their businesses.”
The Irish Times published the article ‘Time is running out to get your self-assessed tax return in’ and Alison was keen to highlight issues around ‘earned income credit’ and a common errors people make when completing their returns in not completing the ‘extracts of accounts’.
Alison said: “Many people are unsure how to fill this out and leave it blank. Revenue uses these figures to compare profitability, salaries, expenses against information they have on file and against industry standards. Failure to complete this section may increase your chances of getting an audit.”
She added her thoughts on the reporting of losses: “If you are tax-resident in Ireland, you owe tax on your worldwide earnings. Foreign-sourced income may also be taxed in that country and you may be able to claim a credit for these taxes against your Irish tax bill, reducing or eliminating any further Irish tax on the income.”
On ‘Preliminary tax’, Alison was keen to highlight that clients must take the right approach because of the Revenue charging interest at a rate of 0.0219% per day on incorrect preliminary tax, or about 8% a year.
She said: “In the past, Revenue were slow to apply interest to underpaid preliminary tax, especially where the amounts involved were quite low. There has been a marked increase in recent times, however, of Revenue enforcing these powers and applying these interest charges.”
TaxAssist Accountants provides small businesses with advice tailored specifically for their needs – from completion of end of year accounts and annual tax returns to payroll and bookkeeping. This is complemented by a wide range of additional services including debt recovery, independent financial advice and personnel (HR) services.
There are 21 TaxAssist Accountants shops and offices across the Republic of Ireland, with further expansion planned in the future.
TaxAssist is looking to grow its network by joining forces with other accountants. If you are interested in finding out more, please call us on 01 854 0662.