As remote working becomes more popular, employees are no longer obliged to work at their employer’s premises or indeed in the same country as the employer’s premises. This presents a number of opportunities and challenges for employers.

In the second of this global mobility series, we focus on the payroll tax compliance obligations for foreign employers with employees working in Ireland under a foreign contract of employment (inbound workers).

This can occur where:

  1. an employee relocates to Ireland, or
  2. an employer sends an employee to Ireland for a short period to fulfil part of a contract e.g. as part of a construction or installation project.

The basic rule is that all foreign employers must register as an employer in Ireland and operate Irish payroll taxes on any salary attributable to employment duties carried out in Ireland by their employee. This applies even if the employer has no business premises in Ireland or the employee is working from home in Ireland. It applies irrespective of the tax residence status of the employee.

There are a number of exceptions to this rule, which come as a welcome release for foreign employers:

  1. Business visits of up to 30 workdays in a year

    A foreign employer need not operate Irish payroll taxes on the salary of an employee who is employed under a foreign contract of employment and carries out the duties of that employment in Ireland for no more than 30 workdays in aggregate in any year.If the employee exceeds the 30 workday threshold and an obligation to operate Irish payroll taxes exists, the employer must operate Irish payroll taxes from the employee’s first workday in Ireland.

  1. Business visits greater than 30 workdays and not more than 60 workdays per year

    A foreign employer can rely on this exception where an employee who is employed under a foreign contract of employment visits Ireland and is a resident of a country with which Ireland has a Double Taxation Agreement. In addition, the Double Taxation Agreement between Ireland and the employee’s country of residence must relieve the employment income from the charge to Irish tax. Not all Double Taxation Agreements are the same and foreign employers wishing to rely on this exception should examine the wording of the relevant Agreement carefully to establish if their employee’s employment income is relieved from the charge to Irish tax.Where the employment income of the employee is not relieved from the charge to Irish tax under the Double Taxation Agreement or where the workdays in Ireland exceed 60 and there is no PAYE dispensation in place, the employer must operate Irish payroll taxes from the employee’s first workday in Ireland.

  1. Business visits greater than 60 workdays and not more than 183 days per year

    The conditions for this exception are the same as those for business visits between 30 and 60 workdays. However in addition, a foreign employer must apply to the Irish Revenue authorities for a dispensation from the requirement to operate Irish payroll taxes on the employee’s salary. There are a number of conditions to be satisfied before the Revenue authorities will grant a foreign employer the dispensation:

    (i) The foreign employer must register as an employer in Ireland;

    (ii) The foreign employer must apply in writing to Irish Revenue for the dispensation giving the employer’s full name, its address, its Irish employer’s registration number and confirmation that the relevant Double Taxation Agreement relieves the employment income from the charge to Irish tax.

    The application for a dispensation must be made within 30 days of the foreign employee starting to carry out their employment duties in Ireland. An application can cover more than one employee but a new application must be made each year.

    Where an application for a dispensation is not sought within 30 days of the employee taking up duties in Ireland, Irish payroll taxes must be operated on any salary paid to the foreign employee from the date the employee takes up duties in Ireland.

    If Revenue refuse to grant a dispensation, Irish payroll taxes should be operated on salary in respect of all workdays spent in Ireland in the year.

This article has dealt with the Irish payroll tax compliance obligations for foreign employers with an employee who is engaged under a foreign contract of employment working in Ireland. Where a foreign employer must operate Irish payroll taxes on an employee’s salary, Irish social security contributions (PRSI) are also due unless there is a valid certificate of coverage or exemption in place.

In addition, depending on the number of employees that the employer has in Ireland and the type of duties they carry out, the presence of an employee in Ireland may create a “permanent establishment” of the employer in Ireland. If an employer has a branch or permanent establishment in Ireland, it may be obliged to pay Irish corporation tax on the profits of that branch. For employers in the construction sector, there could be a requirement to register for Value-Added Tax and or relevant contracts tax (RCT).

For more information, please contact Siobhán O’Hea, Partner in our Tax Services’ Department.

Investors in Diversity Bronze

Crowleys DFK is proud to be awarded with the Bronze Investors in Diversity Mark from the Irish Centre for Diversity. This is Ireland’s only Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Mark.

In recent years we have committed to advancing our EDI journey, embracing it as a top priority in everything we do, from hiring to developing talent to client engagement and internal communications.

Commenting on the achievement of the Bronze Investors in Diversity EDI Mark, Vincent Teo, Partner and EDI Lead, said:

“We are on a very exciting EDI journey and achieving the Bronze Investors in Diversity EDI Mark is a great step forward. This award recognises the strong foundation we have built for embedding Diversity and Inclusion in the firm and demonstrates our full commitment to an equitable and inclusive workplace to our employees and our clients. We are proud to add the Mark to our name as an Investor in Diversity.”

We know we are on a journey but attaining the Bronze Accreditation Mark is a great recognition of the progress we’ve made and the momentum we’ve built.

Crowleys DFK is delighted to announce that Aware has been selected by our employees as its Charity Partner for 2023-2024.

Aware is the national organisation providing free support, education and information services to those impacted by anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and related mood conditions.

Aware undertakes to create a society where people affected by stress, depression, bipolar disorder and mood related conditions are understood, supported, free from stigma, and are encouraged to access appropriate therapies.

Commenting on the announcement, James O’Connor, Managing Partner, said:

“We are delighted to have Aware as our Charity Partner for 2023 & 2024. The work that Aware does has never been more important. We are looking forward to working with this great charity to help raise much needed funds and raise awareness of mental health issues.

We believe that this partnership will also help us further embed mental wellbeing into our corporate culture and build on what we have already achieved in terms of our awareness initiatives, manager training and the supports available to our employees. Reducing the stigma associated with mental health in the workplace is a key goal for the firm.”

Stephen Butterly, Head of Fundraising & Business Development at Aware said:

“We are delighted to have been selected as charity partner of Crowleys DFK for the next two years. Aware exist to support people impacted by depression and bipolar disorder all across Ireland, and the support of organisations like Crowleys DFK is vital to ensuring that we can be there for people when they need us, 365 days a year. We look forward to getting to know the teams in Dublin and Cork, and to working together on initiatives over the coming years.”

In the coming weeks, Crowleys DFK will work with Aware to develop a fundraising calendar for this two-year partnership.

Please keep an eye on our website and our social media feeds (LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram) to follow our journey supporting Aware throughout 2023-2024.

Pictured L-R: James O’Connor (Managing Partner, Crowleys DFK), Claire Shiels (Corporate Fundraiser, LauraLynn) and Natalie Kelly (Partner, Crowleys DFK)

In early 2020, we announced LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice as our Charity Partner. Not long after, members of our CSR Team visited the hospice and came back inspired and full of ideas on how we could help raise funds and awareness for this amazing charity… but then everything changed.

With all our fundraising plans impossible due to the lockdown reality we were all in, we had to find new ways to support LauraLynn and the children and families that relied on them.

This kickstarted our virtual fundraising initiatives. From our Virtual Walk Across the US and Canada, Wear Your Christmas Face Mask and Christmas Gifting campaigns, a lot (!) of Step Challenges, our Donate as your Earn campaign and various raffles, the employees at Crowleys DFK dug deep and put their hearts into each and every campaign.

“It has been a pleasure to be involved with our Firm’s campaigns. Knowing how difficult the last few years would have been on fundraising for LauraLynn, it has been an honour to help out where I can.”

Elaine Murphy, Assistant Manager, Audit and Assurance

 “I feel very proud of the Firm’s fundraising initiatives supporting LauraLynn over the last few years and being able to participate in these initiatives means a lot to me personally knowing that the funds raised are making a difference to the children and their families.”

Paula McCann, Human Resources

While all these initiatives raised some vital funds for the Charity during what was a very challenging few years, we are in no doubt that we got a lot more back from the partnership. Not only were we continually inspired and moved by our online talks with the incredible staff and care givers at LauraLynn, but our initiatives also kept us connected during a time when we all had to be apart.

“I have enjoyed participating over the past few years as not only do you know you are helping a good cause, but it has given us the opportunity to interact with our colleagues during a time we were unable to meet face to face.”

Emma Dunne, Manager, Corporate Compliance

 “It has been a great way to connect with my colleagues, many of whom I hadn’t met in person in 2 years. Ultimately, we have all benefited hugely from both a mental & physical health perspective by getting involved with a fantastic and very deserving charity.”

Harry O’Sullivan, Partner, Audit & Assurance

Our final fundraising campaign, Week of Celebrating LauraLynn, took place in late November and pushed the total funds raised over the 3 years (of what initially meant to be a 1 year partnership) to €45,045.

“I knew very little about LauraLynn and their work before we began supporting them as our Charity Partner. The past three years has really made me aware of the incredible commitment and passion that volunteers give to so many worthwhile causes. LauraLynn are doing incredible work and it’s been fantastic to see so many of my work colleagues and friends take part in our initiatives.”

James O’Connor, Managing Partner

On 7th December 2022, Crowleys DFK returned to LauraLynn for another onsite visit. While some things had changed since our first visit (outdoor meeting pods, and the new Memorial Tree and Garden), the most important things did not…the care and dedication from each of the wonderful staff we met and the pure sense of peace and warmth coming from every corner of the hospice.

“As a Corporate Partner, LauraLynn could not have asked for more. The team at Crowleys DFK demonstrated creativity in staff and office fundraising initiatives, enthusiastically signed up for challenges and events, and helped us out with volunteering. They were invested in understanding the work we do with children and families, and helping raise awareness of LauraLynn, its services and supports, and its funding needs. Crowleys DFK is a company and a team that is committed to making an impact in its charity work, and undertakes it with energy, commitment and heart. Working with them over the past 3 years has been a pleasure, and their contribution has made a big difference for the children and families in our care.”

Claire Shiels, Corporate Fundraiser, LauraLynn Ireland’s Children’s Hospice.

It has been an honour and pleasure to have supported LauraLynn for the last 3 years. LauraLynn has and will always remain very close to all our hearts.

Pictured L-R: James O’Connor (Managing Partner, Crowleys DFK), Paula McCann (Project Lead for the KeepWell Mark, Crowleys DFK), Sophie Crosbie (Regional Director, Ibec) & Sophie Moran (Programme Manager of The KeepWell Mark, Ibec)

We are delighted to announce that we have been reaccredited with the prestigious Ibec KeepWell MarkTM; an evidence-based accreditation and award that recognises Irish employers for investing in workplace health and wellbeing.

In 2020, Crowleys DFK became the first indigenous accountancy firm to be accredited with The KeepWell MarkTM. The robust accreditation process for the award enabled us to benchmark our workplace wellbeing activity on eight key areas – leadership, absence management, smoke free, physical activity, health and safety, mental health, healthy eating and intoxicants – and provided us with a roadmap to further success and continuous improvement.

Commenting on our reaccreditation, Paula McCann, Project Lead for The KeepWell MarkTM said:

“It’s fantastic to be reaccredited with The KeepWell MarkTM. Our reaccreditation journey was made easier thanks to our leadership team, who lead by example in their continued support for promoting and prioritising wellbeing across the firm.”

Since 2020, we built on our already strong commitment workplace wellbeing practices and introduced a Hybrid Working Policy, Flexible Working Hours, Right to Disconnect Policy, and Early Finish Friday Initiative. Annual Employee Workplace Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Training was added to our annual programme of health and wellbeing initiatives and events.

Earlier this year we also launched our Learning & Development Programme. The aim of the programme is to create a culture and environment for employees and the firm to learn and grow. It supports our revised Competency and Career Paths Development Framework which was launched at the same time. By knowing the current and future capability needs of the firm, we can create a learning culture that ensures employees have the knowledge, skills and experience to fulfil individual and organisational needs and ambitions.

To ensure the validity of our practices, The KeepWell MarkTM Assessor conducted a thorough audit of our wellbeing practices, spoke with key stakeholders across the firm and held focus groups with a sample group of employees and management.

The Assessor noted:

“A consistent theme from the focus group was that staff regard Crowleys DFK as a good employer and acknowledge the efforts the company is making in promoting wellbeing and facilitating a work life balance. Attaining reaccreditation demonstrates Crowleys DFK’s ongoing commitment to promoting and embedding a wellbeing ethos, and that the company is forward-thinking in cascading wellbeing practices.”

Sophie Moran, Programme Manager of The KeepWell MarkTM in Ibec commented:

“We’re delighted to once again award Crowleys DFK with The KeepWell MarkTM accreditation. The consistent effort they have made in supporting the health and wellbeing of their employees is to be highly commended, and we hope their commitment and efforts will inspire many other organisations to approach wellbeing as a strategic priority both now and in the future.”

Our wellbeing journey does not end with reaccreditation. Our focus now turns to working towards the next stage of our KeepWell MarkTM journey. We will continue to make improvements in all areas of wellbeing, following best practices and using feedback from our employees.

If you are interested in working with a firm that has a core focus on wellbeing, please check out our careers.

Crowleys DFK Win Best Use of LinkedIn at Cork Digital Marketing Awards

Pictured L-R: Eibhlin Kennelly (Senior Marketing Executive), Alison Bourke (Digital Marketing Manager) & Kim McCarthy (Director of Practice Development)

Crowleys DFK are delighted to be awarded for Best Use of LinkedIn for Business at the 2022 Cork Digital Marketing Awards.

Organised by Cork Chamber, the awards recognise digital innovations and achievements by Cork businesses over the past 12 months and demonstrate the valuable contributions of digital marketing to business growth. Entries were judged by members of the public, through an independent and confidential judging and allocation system.

Crowleys DFK received this prestigious award based on “our understanding of our audience”.

Over the past number of years, the firm’s Practice Development Team has developed a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. A key component of this strategy is to highlight our core values and the people behind Crowleys DFK.  This has resonated with existing and potential clients and potential hires as it highlights the importance, we place on our people and in building a supportive and sustainable workplace regardless of whether we are in the office or working from home.

Our efforts have resulted in the number of people visiting our website via LinkedIn tripling, while followers gained has doubled in 2022.

Kim McCarthy, Director of Practice Development commented:

“It’s a fantastic achievement to be acknowledged by Cork Chamber with this award, especially in such a competitive category.

At Crowleys DFK, we have long recognised the importance of digital marketing in strengthening our brand and growing our business. The Team has worked very hard to showcase what Crowleys DFK is all about, by producing engaging content for our audience.

I am absolutely delighted for our Digital Marketing Manager, Alison Bourke and all the Team that this work has been recognised. We are all very proud of this award.”

Sinead Kennedy hosted the awards night on Friday 21st October in Carrigaline Court Hotel. Crowleys DFK were also a finalist for Best Use of Digital Marketing for the Greater Good.

You can follow our LinkedIn page here!

We are delighted to announce some exciting promotions, highlighting the continued strong growth across the firm. 

Following her appointment to Assistant Manager in 2021, Grace Boto has been promoted to Manager in Risk Consulting. Grace has been instrumental in supporting the growth of the Department, while leading numerous internal audit projects for our substantial portfolio of clients in the public sector and central government. Her promotion further strengthens this core business service and ensures that the Department is well placed to continue to grow.   



Emma Dunne has been promoted to Manager in Corporate Compliance. She has been with the firm since 2014. Emma has played a central role in growing a team of experienced professionals who help clients fulfill their annual compliance obligations and assist them in navigating complex corporate compliance issues.  



Aga Pankau | Assistant Manager | Payroll Services


Agnieszka Pankau has been promoted to Assistant Manager in Payroll Services. She joined the firm as a Payroll Executive in 2020 bringing with her over 10 years’ experience. A highly experienced payroll professional, Agnieszka has an excellent understanding of payroll systems, employer obligations and employee entitlements. She provides reliable payroll services to clients in industries ranging from retail, technology, and transport to the public sector.   

Andrew Thompson | Assistant Manager | Audit & Assurance


Andrew Thompson has been promoted to Assistant Manager in Audit & Assurance. He joined Crowleys DFK in 2019 as a Senior Accountant. An experienced and qualified Chartered Accountant, Andrew works closely with clients operating in sectors such as not-for-profit, SME, retail and financial services, in preparing their financial statements, ensuring compliance with Company Law, Irish GAAP (FRS 102) requirements and IFRS (as adopted by the EU). 


Commenting on the promotions, Managing Partner, James O’Connor said:  

“These promotions underline the hard work and dedication of our employees. I know each one of them will continue to be a tremendous asset to the firm as we continue to provide excellent client services while remaining focused on our commitment to our people.  

To demonstrate our dedication to providing career progression opportunities for our employees, we recently launched our revised Competency and Career Paths Development Framework and Learning & Development Programme.  The aim is to offer multiple growth and career opportunities that align with employees’ strengths and interests 

We strongly believe that investing in our employees is an investment in our future, and these latest promotions are a clear indicator of that. I wish to congratulate every one of them on their well-deserved promotions and wish them continued success in their new roles.” 

If you are interested in developing your career with Crowleys DFK, please visit our Careers page. 


Sustainable Leader

Natalie Kelly, Partner in our Audit & Assurance Department, featured in The Irish Times today discussing our sustainability initiatives.

Tax-payers who pay third level fees on their own behalf or on behalf of another person will be happy to know that they can claim tax relief.

Tax relief at the standard rate is available in respect of certain third-level tuition fees paid to approved colleges. Revenue publishes a list each year of both private and public colleges approved for tax relief. The relief is given by way of a tax credit equal to the fees paid multiplied by 20% (the standard rate of tax). A credit for third level fees cannot result in an income tax refund.

What is an Approved College?

Revenue have provided guidance on what constitutes an approved college. This is a college or higher education institute in the state which provides approved courses (definition below) or an institute in the UK or another EU Member state which is maintained by recurrent grants from public funds of any EU Member State. The college in either the Irish State, the UK or in an EU Member State must be a duly accredited university or institution of that country.

What is an Approved Course?

Revenue have also provided guidance on what constitutes an approved college course. A full-time or part-time undergraduate course must be at least two academic years. A postgraduate course leading to a postgraduate award based on a thesis or on the results of an examination or both, which is between one to four years and requires the student to have a prior degree or an equivalent qualification.

Who can claim & how much can be claimed?

An individual can only claim the relief if they themselves incurred the cost of the fees. Relief is calculated on aggregated fees paid subject to a maximum of €7,000 per person, per course, per academic year where the first €3,000 (full-time) or €1,500 (part-time) is deducted.  The general effect of this is that claimants who are claiming for more than one student will get full tax relief for 2nd and subsequent children in their claim.

Relief does not extend to payments such as registration fees, administration fees or student accommodation.

If in receipt of any grant or payment towards the fees, this must be deducted from the claim being made when claiming the relief.

How to claim tuition fees?

There is no specific form required to claim relief for tuition fees paid for third level education courses. An individual can use PAYE services in myAccount to apply for relief for tuition fees by completing the Form 12 or if income tax registered can claim this through their yearly tax return.

Should you require any further information or assistance in claiming the tax relief, please contact us.

Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme

Update 20 October 2022:

Under the Finance Bill 2022 published today, the TBESS will be extended to include Case 2 trades, i.e. professional firms such as doctors, accountants, solicitors and dentists and new businesses will also be eligible for the scheme. The Government has also decided that where a business operates from more than one location, the cap will be increased from €10,000 to a maximum of €30,000 a month.


27 September 2022:

As part of Budget 2023, Minister for Finance, Pascal Donohoe, announced the introduction of a Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme to assist businesses with their energy cost over the winter months.

This new scheme will be open to businesses carrying on Case I trades, are tax compliant and have experienced a significant increase in their natural gas and electricity costs.

The scheme will be administered by the Revenue Commissioners and will operate on a self-assessment basis. Businesses will be required to register for the scheme and to make claims within the required time limits.

The scheme will operate by comparing the average unit price for the relevant bill period in 2022 with the average unit price in the corresponding reference period in 2021. If the increase in average unit price is more than 50% then the threshold would be passed and the business will be eligible for support under the scheme.

Once eligibility criteria are met, the support will be calculated on the basis of 40% of the amount of the increase in the bill amount.

A monthly cap of €10,000 per trade will apply, as well as an overall cap on the total amount which a business can claim.

The scheme’s payments will be backdated to September and run until at least February.

If you require any assistance with the new Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme, please contact Carol Hartnett, Manager in our Accounting & Financial Advisory Department.

Read our Budget 2023 Highlights and Budget 2023 Analysis.