Revenue has today outlined what it has described as the most significant changes to the tax system since 1960 when PAYE was introduced.
The changes are intended to make tax matters easier for the general public by removing much of the paperwork that normally goes in tandem with paying tax.
The new system will result in the removal of the P45 and P60 systems in the coming weeks and their replacement with a “real time, comprehensive financial summary” of a person’s employment history.
Revenue said the new system will result in significant benefits to the public.
These benefits include greater transparency about the taxes people are paying through their salary, greater transparency to ensure employers are paying the taxes they should and improved access to tax rebates and medical refund claims during the year
The P60 – a certificate detailing total pay and deductions including PAYE, PRSI and the Universal Social Charge – is being replaced by an Employment Detail Summary.
In preparation for the changes, employers have been providing reports on a worker’s income and statutory reductions to Revenue every time they get paid so they have been building up a real time update of taxes paid.
By registering for and using the MyAccount option on the Revenue website, PAYE workers can view their deductions as they happen.
They can also make claims for tax refunds, for which there is a four year time limit.
Over 181,600 employers made 6.1 million payroll submissions, reporting gross pay and pensions of over €98 billion in 2019, Revenue said today.
The total Income Tax, USC and PRSI paid to the Exchequer for 2019 was €31.6 billion.
Ruth Kennedy, Revenue’s Project Manager for PAYE Modernisation, said the scraping of the P60 is the biggest change to the “pay as you earn” system since the 1960s.
Ms Kennedy said the changes will ensure people pay the right tax at the right time and get the full benefit of their entitlements throughout the year.
She also said the changes to the system means that people will be less likely to pay emergency tax if they change job, because employers will be able to access real time tax credits.
The changes will not be more expensive for employers and 89% of surveyed employers said that the new measures make it easier for them, Ms Kennedy added.
Announcing headline results today, Revenue said it collected total net receipts of €73.9 billion in 2019.
This included €58.4 billion in taxes and duties for the Exchequer and €15.5 billion on behalf of other Departments, agencies and EU member States.
Along with increased Exchequer receipts, Revenue also reported continued very high levels of timely, voluntary compliance.
It said this reflected the fact that the vast majority of taxpayers do the right thing and pay the right amount of tax, on time.
Revenue Chairman Niall Cody said that Revenue is very conscious of the need to support taxpayers to be voluntarily compliant by providing quality service in a timely, cost effective way.
“We acknowledge and appreciate the engagement of taxpayers, and that of tax practitioners and agents, in the very strong compliance that was a feature of the year just gone,” Mr Cody added.
On Brexit, Mr Cody said that Revenue’s Brexit preparedness and contingency planning is strongly focused on supporting and helping businesses to plan and prepare for the UK leaving the European Union.
Revenue appointed 586 staff to Brexit-related roles last year.
“We had significant engagement with businesses that trade with the UK, writing to over 103,000 businesses with Brexit preparatory advice, and contacting almost 29,000 business via telephone,” Mr Cody said.
“As a result of these engagement programmes, there was a significant increase in customs registrations with over 24,100 businesses acquiring an Economic Operator and Identification (EORI) number in 2019,” he added.
A EORI number is the minimum requirement for businesses to be able to move goods to, from or through the UK after Brexit.
During 2019, Revenue also completed over 567,000 compliance interventions, which yielded €547.6m.
It also seized 259 unlicensed gaming machines, settled 127 tax avoidance cases yielding €29m and secured 15 criminal convictions for serious tax evasion and fraud.
It published 214 tax settlements in the List of Tax Defaulters and Mr Cody said Revenue continues to target and disrupt all forms of “shadow economy and illegal activity”.
Last year Revenue seized over 13 million cigarettes worth €8.5m and 3,229 kilos of drugs with an estimated value of over €23.5m.
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