Property tax services / Ireland / FAQs


  • In what circumstances do I need to file an Irish tax return?
  • You will have a filing requirement if you are in receipt of any income that falls outside the PAYE system, for example rental income from either domestic or international sources. In addition, you must file an Irish tax return if you:

    • Are self employed
    • Are a chargeable person*
    • Are a proprietary director with more than 15% of company’s shareholding
    • Open a foreign bank account during the year
    • Exercise share options
    • Acquire shares under Revenue approved share participation scheme
    • Invest in an off-shore fund
    • Make capital gain from the sale of an asset
    • Receive an inheritance or gift and use more than 80% of your lifetime group threshold

    The amount you earn and from what sources will determine if you have to file a Form 11, Form 12, Form CG1 or Form IT38.

    *A chargeable person is someone who is in receipt of income liable to tax under PAYE system and is also in receipt of gross non-PAYE income of €50,000 or more from other sources, such as trading or rental income etc.

    Even your gross income is less than €50,000 you also will be regarded as chargeable person if you net income (after deduction and allowances) is more than €5,000 net. Also note that if your gross income has been reduced to nil or to a negligible amount because of deductions, losses, allowances and other reliefs you will be still regarded as a chargeable person.

  • Who should file a Form 11 tax return?
  • A Form 11 will be required for any individual who is deemed to be a chargeable person. Self-assessment customers are required to file Form 11 (or the shortened version Form 11E) which is mandatory for individuals with significant income from non-PAYE sources.

    In general, most PAYE workers are not required to file a Form 11, but are required to do in certain circumstances where the non-PAYE income received is more than €50,000 gross per annum or greater than €5,000 net per annum.

    Company directors who own more than 15% of a company (i.e. proprietary directors) will have to file a Form 11, even if the majority of their income comes from the PAYE system. You will also be regarded as a chargeable person if you open a foreign bank account, acquire a foreign life policy or have a material interest in an offshore fund or exercise share options.

  • When is the deadline for filing a Form 11 with Revenue?
  • The deadline is October 31st in the year following the tax year to which the return relates (i.e. for the 2016 tax year, the return is due on 31 October 2017).  An extension of approximately two weeks is granted for online filing via Revenue's Online System (ROS).
  • When do I need to file a Form 12 tax return?
  • A Form 12 tax return is completed by those whose primary source of income comes from PAYE income. In general, most PAYE workers do not have to complete a Form 12 as they do not meet the criteria required to file a tax return.

    Revenue may also randomly select PAYE workers and issue a Form 12 for completion regardless of their income threshold.

    People with income of up to €5,000 net income or €50,000 gross income per annum from non-PAYE sources should also complete a Form 12. If the non-PAYE income is above this amount, a Form 11 tax return will have to be submitted.

  • What happens if I do not make a tax return?
  • Failing to comply with tax laws can lead to late filing penalties of either 5% or 10% and interest accruing on any outstanding tax liabilities. The severity of the penalty will depend on a number of factors, such as the amount of tax owed, the time delay between the tax return being submitted and the actual due date of submission.
  • I’m recently married and want to know when my Irish tax credits change?
  • When a couple first marries they continue to be taxed as two single individuals under the Irish tax system. If the tax paid by both individuals is higher at the end of the year than if they were taxed as a married couple, a tax refund will be due. An Irish tax refund would occur in this instance where one spouse was on a different tax rate than the other and there were unused tax credits as a result of the new union.
  • What is joint assessment / aggregation for a married couple in Ireland?
  • The most common form of taxing married couples in Ireland is joint assessment and is generally the most beneficial financially. One spouse will assume responsibility for the joint tax liability and is generally referred to as the ‘assessable spouse’. The other spouse is referred to as the ‘non-assessable spouse’.

    The Assessable Spouse:

    1. Will have their combined income assessed for Irish tax purposes.
    2. Receives standard tax rate banks and combined tax credits.
    3. Is required to file a joint Irish tax return and include all details pertaining to the couple’s combined income.
  • Can a married couple split their tax credits?
  • Yes, the married couple can elect to have their tax relief and tax credits split between them, but it should be noted that employment expenses and PAYE tax credits are not eligible for transfer.
  • Can a married couple continue to be taxed individually after they marry?
  • Yes, a married couple can choose to be taxed separately and file separate Irish tax returns if required. This is known as ‘separate assessment’.

    Under the this method following credits are equally divided between spouses:

    • Married Personal tax credit
    • Age tax credit
    • Blind tax credit
    • Incapacitated Child tax credit

    Where there are unused credits or standard rate bands (other than the Employee tax credit and Employment expenses or the increase to the standard rate band) this can be transferred to the other spouse in the following tax year.

  • My accountant includes the rental income I receive from my overseas property on my resident tax return but I don’t file any return overseas. Is this ok?
  • This is a common situation that we are seeing more and more of lately. From your resident country's point of view this is perfectly fine but there are two situations here which should be noted:

    • Firstly, when you include your foreign rental income with your annual resident tax return, there are often a number of deductions which are not included as each tax system has its own rules and regulations. Unless the person preparing your resident return is familiar with the foreign tax system and speaks the language, they will not know what costs can be written-off. This is also the most inefficient tax method for declaring your income as, in addition to the above you will also be subject to income tax which in many cases can be above 40%.
    • Secondly, while the above situation will meet your tax obligations in your resident country, you may not meet your tax obligations in the overseas country, which can leave you exposed to the possibility of fines, penalties and interest being imposed by the foreign tax office.

    If you receive rental income abroad, your first obligation is to the tax authorities where the income was received. The main objective with any tax return is to reduce your taxable income by as much as possible. Once the taxable income is determined, tax is paid based on the income tax rate applicable to non-residents (if different than the resident income tax rate).

    If a tax liability is due, a payment is made to the tax office. It is at this point that the Double Taxation Agreement (if available) would come into force which would ensure that you do not pay tax twice on the same income.

    Declaring income in the overseas country first is the most tax-efficient way of ensuring your taxes are in order. PTI can provide more advice on this if you’re unsure of your obligations. We can help you stay tax compliant across multiple jurisdictions.

  • What is Separate Treatment for a married couple?
  • Separate treatment or Single Treatment is not to be confused with Separate Assessment. Under separate treatment each spouse is considered an individual and are taxed under the same method as a single tax payer.

    Under this method each spouse:

    1. Has an obligation to file a personal Irish tax return.
    2. Is assessed on his/her own income.
    3. Is treated as a single person and therefore receives the equivalent tax credits and rate bands as a single tax payer.
    4. Has no right to claim relief for payments made by the other spouse.

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