Close Relative Loans – New Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) Reporting Requirements

With effect from 1 January 2024, a new mandatory Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) reporting obligation is imposed on the recipients of certain loans from close relatives. This applies irrespective of whether any tax is due or not and is applicable to both new loans made from 1 January as well as existing loans.

This new requirement aims to provide Revenue with greater visibility of loans made between close relatives where the loans are either interest free or are provided for below market interest rates.

Who is a Close Relative?

A close relative is a person within either the Group A or Group B CAT tax free threshold category which includes:

  • a parent of the person,
  • the spouse/ civil partner of a parent of the person,
  • a lineal ancestor of the person,
  • a lineal descendant of the person,
  • a brother or sister of the person,
  • an aunt or uncle of the person, or
  • an aunt or uncle of the spouse/ civil partner of a parent of the person.

There are certain “look through” provisions that must be applied to loans made by or to private companies, including where the shares in the company are held via a trust, to determine if the loan is ultimately being made to a recipient by a close relative. The holding of any shares in a private company is sufficient for the look through provisions to apply.

What Loans must be Reported?

A loan is any loan, advance or form of credit and need not be in writing. The recipient of a loan will be required to file a CAT return where:

  • A loan has been made directly or indirectly between close relatives,
  • No interest has been paid on the loan within 6 months of the end of the calendar year, and
  • The total balance outstanding on the loan exceeds €335,000 on at least 1 day in a calendar.

All specified loans must be aggregated so if a person has more than one loan from different close relatives the amount outstanding on each loan in the relevant period must be added together for the purposes of determining if the threshold amount to €335,000 has been exceeded or not.

What Information must be Reported?

The CAT return must include the following information in respect of reportable loan balances:

  • The name, address and tax reference number of the person who made the loan,
  • The balance outstanding on the loan, and
  • Any other information which the Revenue Commissioners may reasonably require.

Case Study

A father and mother provide an interest-free loan of €400,000 to their son on the 31 March 2024. The son made no repayments on the loan in 2024.

On the receipt of an interest free loan of €400,000, the son is deemed to receive an annual gift of the free use of this money on the 31 December 2024. Irish Revenue value the annual gift at the highest rate of return the funds would generate if they were invested on deposit. Based on current interest rates applicable to a standard demand deposit account, one of the highest rates of return for a deposit account is 1.5%. As such, the value of the annual gift of notional interest is approximately €6,000 per year. After applying the annual small gift exemption of €3,000 per parent (€6,000 in total), the son is exempt from paying CAT on the notional annual gift in respect of this loan.

However, as the balance of the loan on 31 December 2024 exceeds the tax-free threshold of €335,000, the son is still required to file a CAT return under the new reporting provisions irrespective of the fact that no CAT is payable. The CAT return must be filed with Revenue no later than 31 October 2025.

Should you require any assistance in this area, please contact us.

The R&D tax credit was introduced to incentivise large multinationals to locate an R&D unit here and to encourage Irish companies to invest in R&D activities.

Where a company meets the criteria to qualify for the R&D credit, it will be entitled to claim a tax credit equivalent to 30% of eligible expenditure incurred by it on qualifying R&D activities. As the claimant should also be entitled to claim a tax deduction at the standard rate of corporation of 12.5% on the same expenditure, it should result in an effective corporation tax benefit of 42.5%.

Changes from 2024

For accounting periods commencing from 1 January 2024, new rules have been introduced in Budget 2024. The main changes include the following:

  • The R&D credit is increased from 25% to 30%
  • The first payment instalment has been increased from €25,000 to €50,000
  • The company must now provide pre-notification of intention to make an R&D tax credit claim

Is my company eligible to claim the R&D credit?

In order to qualify for the R&D tax credit the following must apply:

  • The applicant must be a company
  • The company must be within the charge to Irish tax
  • The company must undertake qualifying R&D activities either within Ireland or the EEA

The expenditure on which the company is making the claim must be wholly and exclusively incurred in the carrying on by it of qualifying R&D activities. As per Revenue guidance, it is crucial that claimants distinguish the term “carrying on” from “for the purposes of” or “in connection with”. Indirect costs such as recruitment fees, insurance and travel costs, which are not wholly and exclusively incurred in the carrying on of the R&D activity do not qualify as relevant expenditure.

Typically, expenses which qualify for the R&D credit include materials, salary costs, subcontracted R&D and plant and machinery.

What are qualifying activities for the purposes of the R&D credit?

Qualifying activities must:

  1. Be systematic, investigative or experimental activities;
  2. Be in a field of science or technology;
  3. Involve one or more of the following categories of R&D:
    • Basic research
    • Applied research
    • Experimental development
  4. Seek to achieve scientific or technological advancement; and
  5. Involve the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty.

Essentially, the R&D activities being carried out must address an area of technological or scientific uncertainty where the outcome is unclear from the outset.

Claiming the R&D Tax Credit

Under the new R&D system which was introduced in Budget 2023, for periods commencing on 1 January 2023, a company will have an option to request either payment of their R&D tax credit or for it to be offset against other tax liabilities which will provide greater flexibility to the claimant.

Where a company opts to have the credit refunded, it will be refunded as follows:

  • The first €25,000 (for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023) or €50,000 (for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2024) of an R&D claim will now be payable in full in year 1.
  • In year 2, the second instalment will equal three-fifths of the remaining balance.
  • The third and final instalment in year 3 will in effect be the remaining balance.

A company will have the option to specify whether the R&D corporation tax credit is to be offset against the company’s tax liabilities or is to be paid to the company. Under the new regime, the option is there to offset against any tax liability, such as PAYE Employer liabilities or VAT liabilities.

In addition to the above, the current limits on the payable element of the credit will be removed as part of the new system.


With effect from 1 January 2024, companies who wish to claim the R&D tax credit and it is either their first tax credit claim or it has been more than 3 years since their last claim, there is now a requirement to notify Revenue of their intention to make the claim. This must be done 90 days prior to making the claim.

The company must do this in writing and the information required is as follows:

  • Name, address and corporation tax number of the company;
  • Description of the research and development activities carried out by the company;
  • Number of employees carrying on research and development activities; and
  • Expenditure incurred by the company on research and development activities, which has been or is to be met directly or indirectly by grant assistance.

It is important that companies review their activities to determine if they qualify for the tax credit as the credit can prove to be a very valuable source of funding.

If you have any queries about the R&D tax credit, please contact us.

Knowledge Development Box Update

The Knowledge Development Box was introduced by Finance Act 2015, for those companies whose accounting periods commence on or after 1 January 2016. This legislation will allow small and medium sized companies engaged in research and development activities which led to the creation of the patent, copyrighted software or intellectual property (IP) equivalent to a patentable invention to reduce the tax paid on profits arising from these qualifying assets.

Updates to the legislation were enacted in September 2023 and from October 2023 the profits arising from patents, copyrighted software or IP equivalent to a patentable invention are now taxed at an effective rate of 10% rather than a previous effective rate of 6.25%.

Although this is not as favourable as it once was, if the profits arising from qualifying assets are significant, there could still be significant tax savings for companies.

Qualifying Assets

For the purposes of KBD, a qualifying asset would include the following assets that arose from R&D activities:

  • A computer programme
  • An invention protected by a patent
  • IP for small companies

Qualifying Income

Any income generated from the above qualifying assets will qualify for the relief. The income generally would include:

  • Royalty income
  • Licensing fees
  • Portion of sales price that is attributable to qualifying assets

Operation of Relief

The relief operates by allowing a tax deduction of 20% (from October 2023) of the qualifying profits from the R&D activities which results in an effective tax rate of these profits of 10%. In order to calculate the qualifying profits figure, there is a formula to use as follows:

QE + UE  x  QA

QE – Qualifying expenditure
UE – Uplift expenditure
OE – Overall expenditure
PQA – Profits from qualifying assets

Qualifying expenditure includes costs that have been borne by the company, wholly and exclusively in carrying out R&D activities which result in the creation, improvement or development of the qualifying assets.

Overall expenditure is the overall expenditure the company has incurred on R&D on the qualifying assets. The main difference between qualifying expenditure and overall expenditure is that outsourced costs and acquisition costs incurred by the company in relation to qualifying assets can be included here.

An additional “uplift expenditure” is allowed to increase the qualifying expenditure on the qualifying asset. The uplift expenditure is the lower of:

  • 30% of the qualifying expenditure; or
  • the aggregate of the acquisition costs and group outsourcing costs.

As can be seen from the above, the formula seeks to restrict purchases costs of IP and group outsourcing – this makes it more beneficial to Irish companies who do all the majority of the development work in house rather than multinationals who outsource elements to group companies.

Claims for the KBD must be made within 24 months of the period end.

For further information on the above article or any other issue surrounding the Knowledge Development Box, please contact us.

Family Partnerships – Tax Efficient Estate Planning Structure for the Benefit of Family Members

Family partnerships have become a tax efficient estate planning structure that allows parents to gift assets to their children while still retaining control, through their function as managing partner, of the investment of those assets.

The transfer of assets to the partnership is subject to tax for both the parents (Capital Gains Tax – CGT) and the children (Capital Acquisitions Tax – CAT). Stamp Duty also needs to be considered. However, the tax may be minimised, where assets of current low value, but with an expectation that they will grow over time, are transferred.

By transferring assets into the partnership, any future gains on those assets can be shared among family members. The ability to strategically distribute gains can lead to substantial tax advantages when considering the long-term growth of family assets. Family partnerships serve as an effective vehicle for succession planning, ensuring a smooth transition of assets and wealth to the next generation while potentially minimizing inheritance tax liabilities.

The partners are liable to tax on income/capital gains arising from the partnership. One of the most notable tax advantages offered in this structure is the ability to distribute income among family members in a tax-efficient manner. By strategically structuring the partnership, income can be allocated to family members who fall into lower tax brackets, effectively reducing the overall tax liability.

A partnership agreement should be prepared setting out the terms of the partnership, typically each partner’s contributed capital determines their partnership share. This is typically 90% for the children and 10% for the parents. The Agreement appoints a managing partner. By agreement between the partners, the managing partner decides on the investment strategy for the funds and the distribution policy of the partnership. By having one or both parents as managing partner, they retain control of the assets.

The partnership can be either a limited or general partnership. In a Limited Partnership, the liability for all bar at least one partner is limited to the amount they have contributed. Therefore their liability to debts is capped. A General Partnership is less administratively burdensome but all partners are liable for the debts of the partnership without limit.

Family partnerships are a useful vehicle for preserving wealth, optimising taxes, and ensuring a smooth transition of assets within a family unit.

Please contact us if you have any queries in relation to Family Partnerships.

CGT Retirement Relief

Retirement Relief provides relief from CGT on the disposal of trading assets or shares in trading companies. To qualify for this relief, the main conditions are that the individual must be aged 55 or over and must be disposing of or transferring qualifying business assets. In addition, the individual must have been a working director of the company for 10 years and a fulltime working director for at least 5 of the years prior to the transfer.

The latter condition can be a stumbling block for many individuals seeking to claim this relief. For example, an individual may be a director of more than one company and therefore may not meet the full-time working director requirement.

The Finance Bill 2023 introduced changes on the restrictions that apply on retirement relief. These changes will come into effect from 1 January 2025.

Disposals to Children

At present, if the individual disposing of the qualifying assets is aged between 55 and 65 years of age and the disposal is to a child, full relief may be claimed.  From 66 onwards the relief is restricted to €3 million. The changes will now restrict relief available for individuals between 55 and 69 to €10 million. From 70 onwards the relief will be restricted to €3 million.

Disposals to Persons other than a Child

Under the current rules, there is full relief on disposals of qualifying assets up to a value of €750,000 where the disposal is made between ages of 55 and 65. From 66 onwards the cap is reduced to €500,000. The new rules will extend the €750,000 relief up to the age of 69. Similarly the €500,000 cap will be from the age 70 and onwards.

The table below summarises the new rules:

Disposal to: Current Rules: Changes – effective 1 January 2025:
  • Unrestricted relief up to 65 years
  • From 66 years onwards relief restricted to €3m
  • Up to 69 years relief restricted to €10m
  • From 70 years onwards relief restricted to €3m
Person other than a child
  • Full relief on disposal of qualifying assets of up to €750k up to the age of 65
  • From 66 years onwards the cap is reduced to €500k
  • €750k is extended to 69 years
  • From 70 years onwards cap is reduced to €500k

Please contact us if you have any queries in relation to the changes to CGT Retirement Relief for Individuals.

Share Options: New PAYE Withholding Requirements from 1 January 2024 – How does this Impact Employees?The shift of share options from the Irish self-assessment system to PAYE withholding from 1 January 2024 is a significant change arising from Finance (No. 2) Bill 2023. Prior to this, employees were required to report and remit taxes within 30 days of exercising an option on Form RTSO1.  Additionally, they were required to file an income tax return for the relevant year.

The changes set out in the Finance Bill outline that under the new system, employers are now required to report and make withholdings under the PAYE system on any gains arising after 1 January 2024 on the exercise, assignment or release of share options by employees.

What do employees need to be aware of?

  • The self-assessment regime continues to apply to gains arising on or before 31 December 2023, as does the obligation to register for Relevant Tax on Share Options (RTSO).
  • Share option gains is an area of focus for Revenue, therefore employees should ensure that their tax filings (Form RTSO1 and Income Tax returns) and payments in relation to relevant tax on share option exercises are up to date.
  • Failure to submit an income tax return in any year will result in a surcharge being applied by Irish Revenue. The surcharge is as follows:
    • 5% of the tax due up to a maximum of €12,695 where the income tax return is made within 2 months of the return filing date, or
    • 10% of the tax due up to a maximum of €63,485 where the return is made more than 2 months after the return filing date.

How can Crowleys DFK help?

Our tax team can support employees with preparing and filing income tax returns and RTSO1 returns in respect of share options exercised. Please contact us for assistance.

Preliminary Tax Obligations for Income Tax & Corporation Tax

Individuals who file income tax returns and companies who file corporation tax returns have an obligation to pay preliminary tax:

1. Individuals

Preliminary tax is your estimate of the Income Tax, PRSI and USC that you expect to pay for a tax year. You must pay this by 31 October of the tax year in question.

The amount of preliminary tax for a year must be equal to, or more than, the lowest amount of the following:

  • 100% of the tax due for the immediately previous tax year
  • 90% of the tax due for the current tax year

It is necessary that you make a sufficient preliminary tax payment based on the above rules, as we have seen Revenue impose interest on underpayments.

As income tax returns are filed a year in arrears, i.e. your 2023 tax return will be due in October 2024, it is important to note that if you do not make a preliminary tax payment for the year in question, interest at a rate of 0.0219% will be incurred from the date that the payment was due.

For example, your 2023 tax return is due for filing on 31 October 2024. Your preliminary tax payment would have been due for payment on 31 October 2023. If you did not make the payment on 31 October 2023, Revenue may impose interest from 31 October 2023 when you file your return in 2024.

2. Companies

Irish resident companies and non-resident companies must pay Corporation Tax on taxable profits if:

  • a resident company trades in Ireland
  • a non-resident company trades in Ireland through a branch or agency
  • from 1 January 2022, a non-resident company is in receipt of profits or gains in respect of rental property in Ireland.

The rules of when a company should make their preliminary tax payment depends on whether they are classified as a Small Company or Large Company.

Small Companies

A small company is a company whose CT liability is not above €200,000 in the previous accounting period.

Small companies can base their preliminary tax for an accounting period on:

  • 100% of their CT liability for the previous accounting period
  • 90% of their CT liability for the current period (and there is provision for a top up payment to be made).

This must be paid on the 23rd of the eleventh month after the accounting period ended. For example, if the company’s year end is 31 December 2024, preliminary tax is due by 23 November 2024.

Large Companies

Large companies can pay their preliminary CT in two instalments when their accounting period is longer than seven months. The first instalment is due on the 23rd of the sixth month of the accounting period. The amount due is either:

  • 50% of the CT liability for the previous accounting period
  • 45% of the CT liability for the current accounting period.

The second instalment is due on the 23rd of the eleventh month. This will bring the preliminary tax up to 90% of the final tax due for the current accounting period.

For example, if the company’s year end is 31 December 2024, and they are a large company, the first instalment of preliminary tax is due on the 23rd of June and the 2nd instalment is due on the 23rd of November.

If preliminary tax isn’t paid by the above dates, interest is due at a daily rate of 0.0219% on late payments or payments that are not made in full. The interest is calculated by multiplying together the:

  • amount of tax underpaid
  • number of days the tax is late
  • interest rate.

If you have any queries about your preliminary tax obligations, please contact us.

Infrastructure Guidelines – Outline of Changes to the Public Spending Code

From January 1st 2024, changes have been made to the Public Spending Code (PSC) concerning infrastructural and large-scale capital projects. The new “Infrastructure Guidelines”, which have replaced the PSC requirements for capital expenditure as previously outlined in Public Spending Code: A Guide to Evaluating, Planning and Managing Public Investment, December 2019, apply to all Government departments, local authorities, the HSE, public bodies, and any other body in receipt of public funding. The new “Infrastructure Guidelines” describe a new project lifecycle, with a series of stages to be completed prior to implementing a project. Here we will cover the key areas you should be aware of, while our Expert Team is available to provide further explanation and assistance.

Key Players in the new Guidelines

Addressed mainly to stages in project lifecycle relating to evaluation, planning and management of public investment projects, the “Infrastructure Guidelines” create new responsibilities for key individuals involved in these areas. Three individuals or positions are of particular importance, these being the Accounting Officer (AO), the Approving Authority (AA), and the Sponsoring Agency (SA).

The AO’s responsibilities are considerable here. It falls to the AO to ensure that their Department/Office/Body and any other relevant agency under their remit are compliant with these guidelines. Additionally, the AO is responsible for managing the budgets of the individual projects and the capital budget for their area overall.

Ultimately the AO is responsible for the project and the “Infrastructure Guidelines” provide a wide range of specific responsibilities for the AO to fulfill, such as monitoring the project as it is implemented and Assessing the Final Business Case. Alongside the AO in fulfilling these responsibilities is the AA, referring to the Department funding the project. Both the AO and AA should be aware of the wide-ranging responsibilities set out in the “Infrastructure Guidelines”.

The SA may be a government department, local authority, state agency, higher education institute, cultural institution or other state body and its responsibilities lie in evaluating, planning and managing public investment projects. Again the “Infrastructure Guidelines” set out key tasks that must be fulfilled.

Stages in Project Lifecycle

The core of the new “Infrastructure Guidelines” relates to the new stages of the project lifecycle which have been established and which all projects must follow. The new guidelines focus on three preliminary stages in the lifecycle which occur prior to implementation, these being:

  1. Strategic Assessment & Preliminary Business Case
  2. Pre-tender – Project Design, Planning and Procurement Strategy
  3. Post Tender – Final Business Case

It should be noted that the guidelines provide a simplified version of this process for projects with an estimated capital cost of less than €20m. For these projects, the following two approval stages must be fulfilled prior to implementation:

  • Preliminary Business Case
  • Post Tender – Final Business Case

The “Infrastructure Guidelines” emphasise that these stages are “incremental”. This means that a project is not locked in merely from having passed the first or second stage. Should a project at, for example, the third approval stage, be deemed to be no longer worthwhile for whatever reason, the project can be set down.

Extensive guidelines for following these phases have been made available by the Department of Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform. Below are the key areas relevant parties should consider:

1. Strategic Assessment & Preliminary Business Case

This “Strategic Assessment” refers to the process of determining and defining the rationale for a project and ensuring that it is in line with government policy. This assessment should be submitted to the Approving Authority which will then, if acceptable, move the project to the Preliminary Business Case.

At this stage, the Sponsoring Agency must develop a Business Case which sets out, for instance, the investment rationale and objectives of the project. It should include a description of the short-list of potential options to deliver objectives set out, assessment of affordability within existing resources, assessment of delivery risk, and several other areas. The purpose of the Preliminary Business Case, then, is to provide the AO and AA with information regarding the viability and desirability of public spending proposals. It also creates a framework for assessing  a project’s costs, benefits, affordability, deliverability, risks and sensitivities.

2. Pre-tender – Project Design, Planning and Procurement Strategy

The purpose of this stage is to develop the options set out in the Preliminary Business Case, with the end goal of developing a Detailed Business Case which will set out procurement strategy and project execution plan. This is a process of reviewing and confirming assumptions; approval from the AO and AA here moves a project to Tender. The critical issue to be considered in the Design and Planning Stage is ensuring that output requirements are given strong definition to avoid amendments later in the project.

3. Post Tender – Final Business Case

The development of the Final Business Case represents the final stage in the approval process for a project. Again the purpose here is to subject a project to critical scrutiny, using understanding developed relating to costs, benefits, risks, and delivery and applying this. The Final Business Case will be the document which will be used by the Approving Authority to determine whether a project is to progress to the award of contracts. It should be noted that this occurs after tendering. However, completion of the tendering process does not represent the award of a contract.

Major Projects

As noted above, for projects costing below €20 million, the above process has been simplified, requiring a Preliminary Business Case and a Final Business Case. For projects costing above €200 million, considered as “major projects” in the new guidelines, there are additional requirements in the project lifecycle.

Specifically, all “major projects” must, at the Preliminary Business Case stage, pass through an External Assurance Process. Furthermore, at this same stage, the Preliminary Business Case must be submitted to and reviewed by the Major Projects Advisory Group. Finally, Government consideration must be given to the project at both the Preliminary Business Case and Final Business Case stages.


Vincent Teo | Partner & Head of Public Sector & Government Services

Vincent Teo
Partner & Head of Public Sector & Government Services

Dr. Conor Dowling | Research & Policy Executive | Risk Consulting

Dr. Conor Dowling
Research & Policy Executive
Risk Consulting

Central Government Accounting Standards – What You Need to Know

From January 1st, new Central Government Accounting Standards (CGAS) will see significant reform of financial reporting for all Government Departments and Offices of Government. These new standards, being based on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) generally favoured by the European Commission, aim to modernise financial reporting in Ireland along lines proposed by successive IMF and OECD reports.

The CGAS will change how public sector Vote accounts are to be prepared, requiring that financial statements also include information prepared on an accruals basis in the Statement of Financial Position. This article will run through the key changes imposed by the CGAS and explain the principles behind these.


The CGAS coming into effect from January 1st are envisioned as a stage in a wider process of reform of financial reporting in Ireland. For the moment, the CGAS and their requirements apply to the following bodies:

  • All Departments and Offices of Government
  • The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission
  • The National Training Fund
  • The Social Insurance Fund

For these bodies, the CGAS imposes requirements as to how their Statements of Financial Position are presented. Specifically, they are now required to account for all of the following in their Statements:

  • Property, Plant and Equipment
  • Intangible Assets
  • Impairment of Non-Cash Generating Assets
  • Impairment of Cash Generating Assets
  • Service Concession Arrangements
  • Inventory
  • Leases
  • Provisions, Contingent Liabilities, Contingent Assets
  • Short-Term Employee Benefits

For each of these areas, a relevant CGAS detailing the exact requirements has been prepared by the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform. In addition, each of the CGAS has been provided with a manual, or Central Government Accounting Manual (CGAM). These manuals provide guidance on how the CGAS should be implemented and are a support for Finance Officers working to bring their organisation into line with the CGAS.

Government documents relating to the CGAS have emphasised that all relevant bodies must ensure that the principle of materiality is observed in their financial reporting. As an accounting principle, materiality requires that financial statements include all information and items that relevant decision makers, such as investors, might consider to impact their activity. In other words, an organisation’s economic activity can be considered to be material if it might be of interest to any and all bodies which would view that organisation’s financial statements.

In principle, then, the CGAS are to replace a cash-based system of financial reporting with reporting carried out on an accruals basis. Under the CGAS, an organisation must record economic activity regardless of whether cash was exchanged or involved in that activity. For example, under the CGAS, contingent liabilities such as guarantees, where no cash exchange has yet occurred, have to be reported.

Transitions and Enforcement

As noted, the CGAS are being adopted as part of a modernisation of Irish financial reporting, with the aim of bringing Ireland into line with the majority of OECD and EU countries. Ultimately, this reform project will formalise accrual accounting financial reporting in Ireland. Given that this reform is to secure the international credibility of financial reporting in Ireland, Central Government guidance has emphasised the importance of compliance with the CGAS.

Where a relevant body is unable to comply fully with any of the CGAS, sanction for a temporary derogation should be secured from the Government Accounting Unit in the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform. This application should include a timeline for how the body will build its compliance with whatever elements of the CGAS it cannot currently meet. This sanction will have to be renewed on an annual basis; sanction received in 2024 will not apply in 2025, and so on. Where a Department or Office is non-compliant, this must be stated in their Statement of Accounting Policies and Principles in the Appropriation Accounts, as should whether any temporary derogation has been received.

It should be noted that as government reform of financial reporting is an ongoing project, future CGAS with new requirements are imminent. Continued monitoring of this area is recommended to ensure key reforms are not missed.


Vincent Teo | Partner & Head of Public Sector & Government Services

Vincent Teo
Partner & Head of Public Sector & Government Services

Dr. Conor Dowling | Research & Policy Executive | Risk Consulting

Dr. Conor Dowling
Research & Policy Executive
Risk Consulting


Share Options - PAYE Withholding Requirements

The shift of share options from the Irish self-assessment system to PAYE withholding from 1 January 2024 is a significant change arising from Finance (No. 2) Bill 2023. Prior to this, employees were required to report and remit taxes within 30 days of exercising an option on Form RTSO1.  Additionally, they were required to file an income tax return for the relevant year.

The changes set out in the Finance Bill outline that under the new system, employers are now required to report and make withholdings under the PAYE system on any gains arising after 1 January 2024 on the exercise, assignment or release of share options by employees.

While employees are certain to welcome this change, companies have been given a limited time frame to implement additional procedures to ensure they are compliant with the new obligations.

What should employers do to prepare for the upcoming change in employer reporting obligations?

  • It is advisable that employers communicate this change in the tax treatment to their employees. Companies should also update their share option plan documentation in light of this change.
  • Employers will need to review the share option plan documentation in the context of funding the liabilities. This is because employees will need to be able to fund the tax liability collected through the PAYE system. A number of shares (received from the exercise) may need to be sold under a ‘sell to cover mechanism’ to ensure the necessary funds are available. This is particularly important for companies that allow previous employees to exercise their share option after their employment has terminated.
  • Employers should also ensure accurate records are maintained on an ongoing basis for all share option grants. With regards to mobile employees, employers will also need to monitor both Irish and worldwide workdays during the grant to vest period. This is required to calculate the Irish taxes due on the date of the exercise of the options. Furthermore, a process must be in place to determine whether the gain is subject to PRSI or exempt.
  • Employers will need to ensure that the process for reporting the gains arising from the exercise of share options is completed within the required timeframe. Gains arising from the exercise of share options are regarded as notional payments. Therefore, they must be reported on or before the exercise of the option.

Employer Annual Share Reporting

Employers are still obliged to file an RSS1 return by 31 March following the calendar tax year to report the grant, exercise, assignment, or release of an option.

If you require assistance with the annual share reporting return for share options, please contact us.