Headlines

€1m to provide training and supports for Home Carers

11 June

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., announced today (8th June, 2015) that one million euros from the Dormant Accounts Fund, has been made available to provide a range of supports for Home Carers.

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The Department of Social Protection (DSP) will sponsor the new round of funding, which includes measures to promote supports for Home Carers. The new measure will be administered and managed by Pobal, who today stated that applications will be open to eligible groups from 1st July with a closing date of 22nd July 2015. Pobal will also be providing a series of four regional pre-application information meetings which will take place during the month of June.

The Tánaiste said, “I am delighted to announce that €1m is being made available through the dormant Accounts Fund for project proposals which provide training, information and related support services for Home Carers. The purpose of this measure will be to upskill carers to provide the best care possible, to reduce the risk of injury to the carer and to help them cope with the emotional and psychological aspects of their role. Funding will also be made available to provide for the dissemination of resource information for Home Carers and to provide supports to reduce social isolation experienced by Home Carers.”

Full details on this measure, the online application process, and how to register for the pre-application meetings are available from Pobal’s website on www.pobal.ie.

Department of Social Protection

Note to Editors

Pobal is a not-for-profit intermediary organisation that manages various funding programmes on behalf of the Irish Government and the EU. www.pobal.ie

The Dormant Accounts Fund is a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be claimed from accounts in credit institutions in Ireland i.e. Bank, Building Societies and An Post.

The fund is administered under the 2001 Dormant Accounts Act, together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003 and the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Act 2012 and is under the statutory functions of the Minister of the Environment, Community and Local Government with effect from the 1st January 2013. The New Dormant Accounts Disbursement Scheme 2010-2016 was announced on the 16th November 2013 and will apply for a maximum of 3 years and sets out the objectives to be achieved by making disbursements from the Fund.

In each year monies may be disbursed in accordance with Part 6 of the 2012 Act, from the Account, but only for the purposes of programmes or project to assist:-

    • The personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged
    • The educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged or
    • Persons with a disability (within the meaning of the Equal Status Act 2000)

The Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2014 has been adopted by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government which outlines the measures (programmes) and amount of funding which can be allocated to project proposals which meet the requirements and criteria under each measure in 2015.

New Staff

11 June

What you need to know when employing staff for the first time, the common pitfalls, tax saving tips and Government schemes available.

After you take on a new employee, you must first ensure that you are registered for Employers PRSI with the Revenue Commissioners. It is now quick and easy to register online via the Revenue Online Service (ROS).

When you take on that first employee it is important to get their P45 from their previous employer and then register them as your employee online. Once you have done this, Revenue will make available to you the employees tax credit, bands and USC rates through ROS.

All modern payroll systems will allow you to connect directly with ROS and import the employee’s relevant information. It’s important this is done correctly from the beginning to ensure both you are your staff are paying the correct tax.

You will be obliged to return to Revenue the payroll taxes deducted from each employee online via a P30 return. These returns are periodic in nature and are due for filing and payment by the 23rd of the following month (i.e. your January 2015 P30 will be due for filing and payment by 23 February 2015).

You will also be obliged to file a year end P35 return with Revenue. This form gives details of all tax deducted from your employees during the year. Specifically it details all Income Tax, Employers and Employees PRSI and the Universal Social Charge.

Late filing and payment of P30 and P35 returns may attract penalties and interest from Revenue, so it is crucial they are paid on time.

Tax Saving tips

If your employee travels to work by bike, you can purchase the bike on their behalf and deduct this from their payroll. The employee’s taxable salary is reduced by the cost of the bike and potentially saves them up to 51% (For an employee earning under €70,044). The amount of Employers PRSI paid by you will also be reduced.

New Companies Act

The Companies Act 2014 will come into effect from 1 June 2015. The objective of this legislation was to streamline and modernise company law in Ireland. As a result, there are a number of changes that companies and their directors will need to consider and discuss with their Accountant.

If you are currently set up as a company, you will be obliged to alter your legal form, you cannot continue in your current ltd company form; this does not need to happen straight away however. From June 1st there will be a transition period of 18 months. You have up until to this point to decide whether to opt in to the new regime and become a) a ‘new’ private company limited by shares (LTD) or opt out by becoming b) a designated activity company (DAC). If, by the end of that period, a private limited company has not chosen one of these options, it will automatically become a LTD.

What is a LTD?

In order to become a LTD company you will need to opt in to the new regime.  If a company becomes a private company limited by shares (LTD company), it is allowed to have only one director.

A LTD company will now have a constitution document so you will need to get one of these drafted. This document does not state the objects of the company, therefore the LTD company is not restricted to a single trading activity. A LTD company, under the new Companies Act, does not need to hold an Annual General Meeting.

What is a DAC?

In order to become a DAC, a private company will have to do so within the 18 month transition period after the 1st June 2015 and submit the relevant documents to the CRO.

All DAC’s, must have the words “Designated Activity Company” or “Cuideachta Ghníomhaíochta Ainmnithe” at the end of their name.  These can be abbreviated to “d.a.c.” or “dac”, c.g.a.” or “cga”.

If a company becomes a DAC, it must have at least two directors.

A DAC will now have a constitution document. This document sets out the objects of the company, therefore a DAC may be restricted to a single trading activity.

Am I obliged to change the company type and convert?

No. If, however, at the end of the transition period( 30th November 2016) you have not converted, the CRO will change the company automatically to be a LTD company.

Until a company converts to a LTD company type, an existing private company limited by shares is deemed to operate as a DAC throughout the transition period.

No fees will be charged by the Companies office for companies undergoing the conversion process or meeting the name requirements under the new Act. The CRO has proposed to allow the relevant documents to be filed for free.

So what do I need to do?

Depending on the type of business you are it may be advisable to convert yourself to a LTD, so as to not restrict your company’s activities during and after the transition period.

You may also need to consult any stakeholders of your business for their input. For example, your bankers may be supplying you with credit and may not wish you to convert to a LTD company as theoretically you could carry out multiple activities outside your current remit. In this instance your bankers may wish to restrict the activities of the company, as they see this is in their best interest to support repayment of the credit/loan.

Conclusion

As this a complex area you should contact your accountant for advice and support, as soon as possible.

It should be noted this new company legislation is unchartered territory for all involved and its interpretation may be subject to change as the months pass by.

Warning: Latest Email Scam

11 June

This week the Revenue Commissioners have become aware of fraudulent emails purporting to come from Revenue seeking personal information from taxpayers in connection with a tax refund or seeking credit/debit card details.

These emails did not issue from Revenue.

The Revenue Commissioners never send emails requiring customers to send personal information via email or pop-up windows.

Anyone who receives an email purporting to be from Revenue and suspects it to be fraudulent or a scam should simply delete it. Anyone who is actually awaiting a tax refund should contact their local Revenue Office to check its status.

Anyone who provided personal information in response to these fraudulent emails should contact their bank or credit card company immediately.

Please see our Security page for further information.

Revenue seizes over 9 million cigarettes in Dublin Port

11 June

As a result of an intelligence-led operation with China’s Customs Authorities, Revenue’s Customs Service today (28/05/15) seized over 9 million cigarettes at Dublin Port with a retail value of over €4.5m*

The container, which left China aboard the vessel “MV Cosco Fortune”, sailed via the ports of Ningbo and Rotterdam and finally arrived into Dublin Port on board a different vessel. The “Dorchester” brand cigarettes were described on the manifest as “vacuum cleaners” and are believed to be counterfeit.

Investigations into this importation are continuing.

In a separate, joint operation today involving Revenue’s Customs Service, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), five men were arrested and more than four million cigarettes along with a suspected mobile fuel laundering plant were seized in Co. Tyrone.

These seizures are part of Revenue’s ongoing operations targeting the supply and sale of illegal cigarettes. If businesses or members of the public have any information regarding the smuggling or sale of illegal cigarettes or tobacco, they can contact Revenue in confidence on free phone number 1800 295 295.

[Ends 28/05/15]

*The cigarettes seized at Dublin Port represent a potential loss to the Exchequer of €3.8m. This is assuming that they would have displaced the equivalent full tax paid quantity of cigarettes.

Revenue seizes weapons in Co. Clare

In an intelligence-led operation today (09/06/15), officers from Revenue’s Customs Service seized a quantity of offensive weapons following the search, under warrant, of a private residence near Kilmihil, Co. Clare.

The operation was conducted following an investigation into the attempted importation of a number of stun guns through the postal system.

The weapons seized included stun guns, nunchucks, knuckle dusters, extendable batons, a flick knife and an air pistol.

Members of An Garda Síochána assisted with the operation and investigations are ongoing

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