Deadlines for self-assessed tax returns

Self-assessed taxpayers should make their “pay and file” tax return by 31 October 2018, if they are making a paper return. People using the Revenue Online System (ROS) have until Wednesday 14 November 2018 to make their return.

You should pay and file on time to avoid surcharges, interest and penalties, and reduce your risk of a tax audit. Under the pay and file system, you must do the following:

  • Make your tax return for the 2017 tax year, including a self-assessment of your tax due for that year
  • Pay the balance of any tax due for 2017
  • Pay Preliminary Tax for the current tax year – 2018.

Visit revenue.ie for more information, including a guide to self-assessing your income tax.

Read more about using ROS to make your tax return.

 

Public holidays and time off

Monday 29 October 2018 is a public holiday. If you normally work on a Monday, you are entitled to either:

  • A paid day off on the public holiday
  • A paid day off within a month of the public holiday
  • An additional day’s pay
  • An additional day’s annual leave

If you do not normally work on a Monday, then you are entitled to one-fifth of your normal weekly wage for that day.

Part-time employees qualify for public holiday entitlement if they have worked at least 40 hours during the 5 weeks ending on the day before a public holiday.

Read more about your public holiday entitlements.

Political activity at polling stations

If you are voting tomorrow, remember that political activity is strictly prohibited at polling stations on polling day.

You cannot display or distribute campaign materials, or canvass in any form.

The prohibition also applies in the grounds of the polling station and within 50 metres of the entrance. It will be in effect while polling is open and for half an hour before and afterwards, meaning from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm on Friday, 26 October 2018.

Read more about presidential elections and voting in a referendum.

Polling cards and voter identification

If you are registered to vote in the presidential election and referendum on 26 October 2018, you should have received a polling card at your home address .

Your polling card states your elector number and the name of the polling station where you are to vote. It will also have a formal statement explaining what the election and referendum are about.

If you haven’t received a polling card by 26 October, you can still vote at your local polling station as long as you are registered to vote. You can check this on checktheregister.ie.

You should bring a valid form of personal identification, such as your passport, driving licence, student card with photo etc., when you go to vote. Your polling card is not accepted as a valid form of ID. There is a full list on referendum.ie.

You can read more about voting in a referendum and about presidential  elections.

The Referendum Commission has published information about the referendum.

Voters with disabilities

There are several arrangements in place to enable people with certain disabilities to exercise their voting rights. Read about these arrangements in our document on facilities for voters with disabilities.

If you are blind or vision impaired, you can use a tactile ballot paper template to vote independently in the presidential election on 26 October 2018. You can use a separate ballot paper template to vote in the referendum on the same day. The templates will be available in all polling stations.

Find out more about these templates on ncbi.ie.

Consultation on a new National Digital Strategy

The Government has launched a public consultation to inform the development of a new National Digital Strategy. The consultation allows people to identify the priorities and issues they want addressed in the Strategy.

An information note (pdf) and a Questions and Answers Document (pdf) about the consultation are available.

You can make a submission by completing the consultation survey on taoiseach.gov.ie.

The consultation closes on 23 November 2018.

Know Your Rights: National Car Test (NCT)

Question

My car is due an NCT soon. Have the NCT rules changed recently?

Answer

Yes, recent changes to the National Car Test include how defects are classified and how vintage vehicles are treated.

All cars over 4 years old must take the NCT. If your car is liable for testing, it is an offence to drive your car without displaying a National Car Testing Service (NCTS) disc.

How regularly your car is tested depends on its age. The test must be repeated:

  • Every 2 years, if your car is over 4 years and less than 10 years old
  • Every year, if your car is over 10 years, but less than 30 years old
  • Every 2 years, if your car is between 30 and 39 years old and you are not using it for commercial purposes (this used to be every year)

Since 13 August 2018, defects identified during the NCT are classified as minor, major or dangerous.

Minor: the vehicle has passed the test with minor faults. These faults must be repaired and the car must be re-inspected by the NCTS before you can get an NCT certificate.

Major: (previously fail refusal): the vehicle has failed the test. You must get it repaired and have it re-inspected by the NCTS within 30 days. If it passes re-inspection, you will get an NCT certificate.

Dangerous: (previously fail dangerous): the vehicle has failed due to a dangerous defect that poses a direct or immediate risk to road safety. The NCTS will put a ‘failed dangerous’ sticker on it. It is illegal to drive a vehicle with a dangerous defect.

Know Your Rights: Grants for solar panels

Question

I heard that there is a new grant scheme for installing solar panels in your home. How does the scheme work and do I qualify?

Answer

The Solar PV scheme gives grants to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and a battery energy storage system at your home. This means you can generate and use renewable electricity in your home and reduce your electricity costs. The Solar PV scheme is a pilot scheme administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

To qualify for a grant you must:

  • Be the owner of a home built and occupied before 2011 (or a home constructed after 2011 that was built to the 2008 Building Regulations)
  • Use new materials and products that were not already covered under another grant programme
  • Use a registered contractor from the SEAI’s Renewable Installers Register for Solar PV
  • Have the electrical work completed by a Safe Electric Ireland electrician
  • Apply to be connected to the electricity distribution system using the ESB Networks NC6 form (pdf)
  • Have a Building Energy Rating (BER) carried out after the work is completed
  • Agree to participate in SEAI research about the scheme

The grant covers materials and labour, unless you are a contractor doing the work in your own home. In this case only the cost of the materials is covered.

When the SEAI payment system opens (in October 2018) you can claim your grant online and it will be paid directly into your bank account.