Whether you are a Sole Trader or a Limited Company, there are important dates that you need to remember. These include statutory tax return filing dates from the Irish Revenue Commissioner, and Annual Return filing dates from the Companies Registration Office (CRO) if you are a Limited Company.
Most of your statutory deadlines will recur annually, like the Income Tax Return and the Annual Return. But some can be more frequent, like bi-monthly VAT returns or monthly Employer Payroll Returns. Some of these dates are also specific to your business and may require some calculation to find your exact deadline date.
In this guide, you will learn the different deadline dates that businesses in Ireland should be aware of. We will also provide some tips and advice on how to stay on top of your deadlines, what you need to prepare for each deadline, and what happens if you miss one.
Key accounting deadlines
|Filing type||Applicable to:||Timing|
|Annual Return||Limited Company||First – 6 months after the company’s incorporation date
Subsequently, every 12 months
|Corporation Tax Return||Limited Company||9 months after the company’s financial year-end|
|Preliminary Tax||Limited Company and Sole Traders||For companies, 31 days before the end of your accounting period, and before the 23rd of that month.
For Sole Traders, see Form 11 deadline
|Personal Income Tax Return – Form 11||Directors and Sole Traders||Annually, 31st October for paper returns or mid-November for online returns|
|VAT Returns||Limited Company and Sole Traders||Usually bi-monthly|
|Value Added Tax – Return On Trading Details (ROTD)||Limited Company and Sole Traders||23 days after your financial year-end|
|Employer Tax – Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Return||Limited Company and Sole Trader Employers||23rd day of the month|
1. Annual Return Deadline (ARD) for Limited Companies
When is the Annual Return Deadline?
This deadline is different for every Limited Company as is it based on the date of your company’s incorporation.
- The first Annual Return is filed 6 months after your company’s date of incorporation.
- All subsequent Annual Returns are filed every 12 months.
How to file?
Annual Returns are filed online using the official Government website: https://core.cro.ie. You can also outsource your Annual Return requirements to a professional firm, like Accountant Online.
What are the consequences of missing your Annual Return Deadline?
- A €100 late filing fee will be applied as soon as your return is late
- Penalties of €3 per day will apply up to a maximum of €1200
- You may have to prepare and file audited accounts for 2 financial years. This can be costly since you’ll have to hire an auditor.
- The CRO also has the authority to shut down your company (called involuntary strike-off) and this will also result in the directors of the company being disqualified from being a director in Ireland for 5 years.
When is the tax return deadline?
Corporation Tax (Form CT1) Deadline
The deadline for this is usually 9 months after your financial year-end date. Your financial year-end date is chosen by the directors when the company files its second Annual Return with the CRO. An accountant will usually help you pick the most suitable financial year-end, so you can rely on them to offer support.
For example, many of our clients have a year-end date in December making their Corporation Tax Return due in September the following year.
What are the consequences of missing your tax return?
Preliminary Tax deadline
Companies must pay preliminary tax either 31 days before their accounting year-end or no later than the 23rd of that month, whichever is earlier.
For example, if your accounting year-end is December 31st, your Preliminary Corporation Tax will be due by November 23rd.
Sole Traders are also required to pay Preliminary Tax which is a combination of the Income Tax, PRSI, and USC that you expect to pay for the tax year.
There are specific formulas your accountant can use to calculate your Preliminary Tax bill and if you are unsure of how to calculate it, feel free to reach out to our Client Services Team and we can discuss your options.
Income Tax Deadline (Form 11)
Paper Form 11 returns must be made by October 31st, while the deadline for returns made through the Revenue Online System (ROS) is usually in mid-November.
Late filing of tax return
It’s important that you file and pay the above taxes to Revenue on time. If you pay or file your Income Tax returns late, you may face fines and penalties that are based on a percentage of your underpaid tax. For instance, you may have to pay interest as well as a surcharge of up to 10% of your tax liability. Late filing can also impact your ability to claim certain tax reliefs the next year.
When to file VAT Returns?
If your business is registered for VAT, you need to file VAT returns accordingly. The default VAT periods are bi-monthly and VAT returns should be filed and paid to Revenue 23 days after the VAT period.
For example, if a VAT period is January and February, the VAT return date would be March 23rd.
You must also file a Return of Trading Details (ROTD). This is a summary of your VAT returns for the year. The due date for this is 23 days after your financial year-end. For example, if your year-end is December 31st, the ROTD is required by January 23rd.
What are the consequences of missing VAT Returns?
- Paying interest on VAT due
- A delay in receiving tax refunds from Revenue if your ROTD filing is late
- A record of non-compliant behaviour might be recorded against your company
- Penalties of €4,000 for not registering or registering incorrectly for VAT
Lastly, it’s important to note a special VAT mechanism known as the Reverse Charge VAT. In this scenario, the responsibility of reporting VAT shifts from the seller to the buyer of goods or services. This is particularly relevant for businesses engaged in cross-border transactions within the EU. Just like regular VAT, the Reverse Charge VAT needs to be accurately reported in your VAT returns to ensure compliance and avoid penalties. This underscores the importance of timely and accurate VAT filing.
When are employers’ taxes due?
If you’re a Sole Trader or Limited Company that employs staff, you are required to deduct taxes from your employee’s gross pay and on or before you make a payment to your employees, you must report the pay and deductions to Revenue.
Following that, you must file and pay monthly tax returns by the 23rd day of the following month.
For example, Employer Taxes for January should be paid by February 23rd.
Sole Traders in Ireland may also have to pay Relevant Contracts Tax (RCT) if they are a principal contractor that operates in the construction, forestry and meat-processing sectors.
What are the consequences of missing Employer Returns?
- The employer will be charged interest on any overdue payment at the following rates for each day or part of a day for which payment is overdue.
What if I can’t pay my tax liability?
If you’re struggling to pay your taxes on time, don’t worry, there is help available from Revenue.
For example, if you miss a statutory deadline, you can apply for a Phased Payment Arrangement (PPA) which allows you to pay your tax debts in instalments.
A tax agent, such as Accountant Online, can apply for this on your behalf so feel free to reach out to us if you’re concerned about meeting your tax deadlines. We’re always happy to advise you on your options.
Get in touch with Accountant Online for more support
Being organised and knowing what deadlines are coming up for your business can make managing them much easier. Keep this guide handy as an overview of your deadlines and follow our tips to help you meet them on time.
If you have any other questions about your specific circumstances, talk to a member of our Client Services team today- we’re always happy to advise you on your compliance obligations and help you find the services that best suit your business needs.
Tom is a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA) and Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA) and is Accounting Team Manager at Accountant Online. Areas of expertise include Accounting, Compliance, Taxation relating to small business and company directors.