What's New

Overpayments of tax for 2020

Your Preliminary End of Year Statement from Revenue will be available in Revenue’s myAccount from 15 January 2021. It tells you whether your tax position is balanced or if you have underpaid or overpaid tax for 2020.

If you were on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) or the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) during 2020 and have a tax underpayment, you can get more information about how you can repay.  

Ireland is moving to full level 5 restrictions until 31 January

The Government has announced that Ireland will move to full level 5 restrictions from 31 December 2020 until 31 January 2021.

At level 5, you should stay at home except to exercise within 5 kilometres of your home. There should be no gatherings other than small numbers at funerals and weddings.

You can see a full summary of the changes on gov.ie.

Changes from 31 December

ActivityGuidance
Visitors to your home or gardenNo visitors except for essential family reasons or people in your support bubble
Domestic travelStay at home except for travel for work, education or other essential purposes, or to take exercise within 5km of home
RetailEssential retail only from close of business on 31 December
Primary and secondary schoolsRe-open on 11 January
WorkWork from home unless working in essential health, social care or other essential service that cannot be done from home
WeddingsMaximum of 25 guests up to and including 2 January; maximum of 6 guests from 3 January
FuneralsMaximum of 10 mourners

Ireland is moving to level 5 restrictions from 24 December

Due to the rise in COVID-19 infections, the Government has moved Ireland to level 5 restrictions from midnight on 24 December 2020 until 12 January 2021. Some transitional arrangements apply over Christmas and there are some specific adjustments to level 5 restrictions.

A double rate of the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) will be paid for two weeks to businesses that are forced to close as a direct result of Government restrictions on 26 December and commercial rates relief will apply for affected areas during the first 3 months of 2021.

The current restrictions on travel from Britain to Ireland will stay in place until at least 31 December. You can read more about level 5 restrictions on gov.ie.

Transitional arrangements for Christmas

From 3pm on 24 December (Christmas Eve):

  • Restaurants and pubs operating as restaurants will close
  • Hotels may provide food and bar services to guests only after that point

Up to and including 26 December (Saint Stephen’s Day):

  • Visits from up to 2 other households will be permitted

Up to and including 31 December (New Year’s Eve):

  • Visits from one other household will be permitted

Travel outside your county is allowed up to and including 26 December (Saint Stephen’s Day). After 26 December, people who are away from home can return to their place of residence.

From 1 January 2021 no visitors are allowed in private homes/gardens (except for essential family reasons such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, or as part of a support bubble).

Weddings, funerals and religious services

Christmas religious services may take place, but will move online after 25 December when places of worship may remain open for private prayer

Up to and including 2 January 2021 weddings can have up to 25 guests and from 3 January, weddings can have up to 6 guests. At level 5, up to 10 mourners can attend funerals.

Specific adjustments to Level 5

  • Non-essential retail can stay open. The retail sector has been requested to defer sales in January.
  • Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can remain open for individual training only
  • Hotels may only open for essential non-social and non-tourist purposes except for guests who already have a booking and are due to check in up to and including 26 December
  • You must remain within your county (as opposed to within 5km of your home) apart from travel for work, education or other essential purposes
  • Non-contact training in pods of up to 15 may take place outdoors
  • No matches/events should take place except for professional and elite sports and horse racing and greyhound racing behind closed doors

Supports over the Christmas period

The nationwide network of Citizens Information Centres will close on Wednesday 23 December 2020 at 1pm and reopen on Monday 4 January 2021 at 9am.

The Citizens Information Phone Service will operate reduced hours over Christmas.

Day Date Opening hours Comment
Wed 23/12/20 9- 5 Reduced hours
Thurs 24/12/20 Closed Christmas Eve
Fri 25/12/20 Closed Christmas Day
Mon 28/12/20 Closed St. Stephens Day
Tues 29/12/20 9 – 5 Reduced hours
Wed 30/12/20 9 – 5 Reduced hours
Thurs 31/12/20 9 – 5 Reduced hours
Fri 1/01/21 Closed New Years’ Day
Mon 4/01/21 9 – 8 Normal hours resume

If you need emergency support over the Christmas period you can contact a range of voluntary services.

Service CallOpening hours Email
Samaritans
If you are in distress or struggling to cope
116 123
24 hours (any time, day or night)
jo@samaritans.ie
Pieta House

If you are suicidal or engaging in self-harm
1800 247 247
24 hours (any time, day or night)
info@pieta.ie
Rape Crisis Centre

If you need support with a crisis
1800 778 888
24 hours (any time, day or night)
info@rcc.ie
Women’s Aid

If you are affected by domestic violence
1800 341 900
24 hours (any time, day or night)
info@womensaid.ie
Men’s Aid

If you are affected by domestic violence
01 5543811 Open 10-4 on 28, 29 and 30 December
Closed from 24 December to 27 December and 31 December to 3 January
hello@mensaid.ie
Childline

Support for everyone up to the age of 18 in Ireland
1800 666 666
Free Text 50101

24 hours (any time, day or night)
 
50808

If you are experiencing a crisis and are unable to cope


Text HELLO to 50808


24 hours (any time, day or night)


The HSE has a full list of online, phone and text mental health services.

Know your rights: Vehicle registration tax

I imported a car into Ireland last week but I couldn’t get an NCTS appointment until January 2021. Will my VRT be based on when I brought the car into Ireland or the date that it goes to the VRT centre?

While allNational Car Testing (NCT) Centres are open, they are operating at a reduced capacity because of COVID-19 and are experiencing high levels of demand. You will not be charged a penalty for a late registration if your registration appointment is within 30 days of bringing your car into Ireland.

If you imported a vehicle into Ireland before 31 December 2020 and can’t get an appointment for an inspection before 1 January 2021, the rate of Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) you pay will be calculated based on the new payment rates for 2021.

From 1 January 2021, new VRT rates will apply based on the CO2 emissions of passenger cars. This is a new EU emissions test called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The current 11 band table for VRT will be replaced with a 20 band table based on a new rates structure. 

The new VRT rates will range from 7% for the lowest CO2 emissions to 37% for the highest. In addition, you have to pay a Nitrogen Oxide (NOX) levy based on the NOX emissions of your car.

You can read more about the process of importing your vehicle into Ireland on citizensinformation.ie. For more information about upcoming changes to the way VRT is calculated, you can contact the Revenue Commissioners’ Central Vehicle Office on 01-7383619.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

A limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: How to deal with scams

I clicked on a link in a text message that turned out to be a scam. What should I do next?

Scams target people of all ages and backgrounds. Scams are about tricking you into parting with your money and are becoming more and more sophisticated and difficult to spot. During the busy Christmas season, fraud and other scams are increasing.

If you suspect you’ve been scammed you should act immediately:

  • Stop all contact with the scammer
  • Do not send any more payments
  • If you paid by credit or debit card, tell your bank or card provider immediately
  • Report the incident to your local Garda station –scamming is a criminal matter
  • Gather any records you have about the scam (emails or other communications)
  • Protect your devices by resetting your passwords and update your anti-virus software
  • Report the incident to consumer protection agencies such as the CPCC, for advice and to help stop other people being caught in the same scam

You may be able to get your money back depending on what happened and how you paid the scammer.

You may get your money back if you:

  • Notice money has been taken from your account without your authorisation, and you contact your bank immediately.  In most circumstances, your bank must refund you for an unauthorised payment.
  • Bought something from a scammer with your debit card, credit card or PayPal. You can ask your bank or credit provider to reverse the transaction through a process known as a chargeback.

It’s unlikely you will get your money back if you:

  • Paid by bank transfer. It can be harder to get money back, but the sooner you contact your bank the better.
  • Paid by money transfer services such as MoneyGram, PayPoint or Western Union.
  • Paid by vouchers or gift card

To protect yourself in future, you should not share your personal information if you don’t know who you are dealing with.  Trust your instinct and always ask yourself ‘is it safe?’

You can read more about how to protect yourself from scams on citizensinformation.ie. We also have information on new scam warnings.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

A limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: Rental protections during COVID-19

I lost my job because of COVID-19 and cannot pay my rent. Will I be evicted from my home?

No. If you are at risk of losing your rented accommodation because you cannot pay your rent due to COVID-19, you cannot be evicted and your rent cannot be increased until 11 January 2021 (under the Residential Tenancies and Valuation Act 2020). It is expected that these protections will be extended until 12 April 2021, but legislation is needed for this.

To benefit from the rent freeze and eviction ban, you must be at risk of losing your tenancy because of COVID-19 and you must be getting either:

  • Enhanced COVID-19 Illness Benefit or
  • Any social welfare payment or State support to help with loss of earnings caused by COVID-19 (including Rent Supplement, Supplementary Welfare Allowance and the wage subsidy schemes)

If you meet these requirements, you must fill in and sign a Self-Declaration Form and send it to both the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) and to your landlord. You should keep evidence of having sent the form. Then you can benefit from these protections. If you are already facing rent arrears, you should follow the RTB’s 8-step process to keep your tenancy.

You could also speak to your landlord and tell them that you are struggling to pay your rent. They may agree to reduce your rent until your situation improves. You should not stop paying rent completely. If you cannot pay the full amount of rent due, speak to your landlord or agent before you start paying a reduced amount.

Read more about renting during COVID-19 .


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

A limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Ireland is moving to level 3 from Tuesday 1 December

The Government has announced that Ireland will move to level 3 of the Plan for living with COVID-19, from Tuesday 1 December.

From 4 December, restrictions will be relaxed further with restaurants and gastropubs allowed to open for indoor dining. And, from 18 December, you will be allowed to have up to 2 other households to your home. People are also being asked to wear face coverings in crowded outdoor environments.

The Government has also published information about how to celebrate Christmas safely.

You can read a quick guide to Christmas changes on gov.ie.

ActivityFrom 1 DecemberFrom 4 DecemberFrom 18 December
Visitors to your homeNo visitors, apart from people in your support bubbleNo visitors, apart from people in your support bubble2 other households
Places of worship50 max50 max50 max
Museums, galleries and cinemasOpenOpenOpen
RestaurantsClosedOpenOpen
Pubs operating as restaurantsClosedOpenOpen
Wet pubsDelivery and takeawayDelivery and take-awayDelivery and takeaway
RetailOpenOpenOpen
Travel outside your countyNoNoYes

Know your rights: Shopping online

I bought presents online during the Black Friday sales. Can I get a refund if I’m not happy with them when they arrive?

When you buy online from a seller based in Ireland or elsewhere in the EU, you have strong protections under consumer law. This is because you do not enter the contract in person and you cannot check the products before you buy.

Your rights are the same whether the item was bought at full price or on sale.

What are my cancellation rights?

You have 14 calendar days to change your mind without having to give a reason. This is known as the ‘cooling-off period’.

If you bought a product online your 14 day ‘cooling-off period’ starts when you get the product.

Does my right to cancel apply to all online purchases?

The cooling-off period does not apply to certain purchases. Examples are leisure services such as hotel bookings, car rental or concert tickets or if the product was made especially for you.

How do I cancel?

Before the end of your ‘cooling-off period’, let the seller know in writing that you want to cancel. You can do this by email or post, or by using the cancellation form provided by the seller.

You do not have to give a reason for cancellation, but you may have to pay for the cost of returning the goods.

When will I get my refund?

You must be refunded within 14 days of cancellation, including standard delivery costs. The seller may not process the refund until they have proof that you sent the goods back.

Brexit and buying online from a UK business

If you are buying online from a UK trader, your consumer rights remain the same during the transition period (until 31 December 2020). You should keep in mind that after the transition period those rights may change. You can find out more about shopping online on citizensinformation.ie.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

A limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS)

I’ve had to close my business to the public during the latest COVID restrictions. Can I get any support?

There are a number of supports for business during COVID-19 restrictions. Under the new COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), there is a cash payment for qualifying businesses.

Sole traders, partnerships and companies can apply for the CRSS. You must have a valid tax clearance certificate and have met your VAT obligations.

Generally, this scheme applies when Level 3 or higher restrictions are in place in line with the Plan for Living with COVID-19.

To qualify, your business premises must be either closed to customers or substantially restricted in operating due to COVID-19 restrictions. You must intend to reopen once COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and your turnover for the restricted period must be disrupted by 75% compared to 2019 levels.

To apply, you make a claim to Revenue under the CRSS for a cash payment known as an Advance Credit for Trading Expenses (ACTE).

This ACTE payment is equal to 10% of your average weekly turnover in 2019 up to €20,000 and 5% thereafter, with a maximum weekly payment of €5,000. If your business was set up between 26 December 2019 and 12 October 2020, the claim will be based on your actual weekly average turnover.

There is a 2-step process to make your claim:

  1. You must register for the CRSS through Revenue’s Online Service (ROS).
  2. You must complete a CRSS claim for a claim period/s within 8 weeks of the date the claim period starts (that is the date the restrictions start).

The claim period is the period during which the qualifying COVID-19 restrictions are in place.

The current maximum claim period runs from 13 October 2020 (the date the scheme was announced) to 1 December 2020. The date you can start your claim from depends on the level of restrictions that were in place in your location during October 2020.

You can get more help from Revenue’s National Employer Helpdesk through the myEnquiries system or by calling the National Employer helpline Tel: 01 738 3638 (Monday to Friday, from 9.00am to 5.00pm).

You can get information about supports for business during COVID-19 on citizensinformation.ie.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

A limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.