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PAYE: Employer’s obligation to Register Employees

On 13th June 2014 the Revenue Office released a Tax Briefing with regard to new responsibilities for employers in relation to the PAYE system. Employers are now obligated by law to maintain and keep a Register of Employees and may at any time be requested to produce a hard or soft copy of the register.

The Register of Employees details

The Register of Employees must contain certain details of each employee beginning from the tax year 2012 and cover all subsequent years. Details that must be included in the register for each employee are:

  • the name,
  • address and
  • Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) of each employee;
  • the date of commencement of employment of each employee;
  • and where relevant, the date of cessation of employment of each employee.

The brief also states that employers must keep and maintain the Register of Employees (or a copy of it) either at the normal place of employment of each employee or at the main place of business of the employer. In the event of an employer having more than one place of business, the Register of Employees may be kept in one location where the records are held may be accepted as that employer’s main place of business for the purposes of being the place of retention of that employer’s Register of Employees.

Producing the Register of Employees

Revenue officers carry out pre-arranged and unannounced visits to businesses to ensure that such businesses comply with their tax and duty obligations (including obligations on employers to register with Revenue for the purposes of the PAYE system and to keep and maintain, for PAYE purposes, a Register of Employees). Such visits may be random, may be part of a “sectoral review” of specific types of businesses or may stem from complaints to Revenue as regards an employer’s failure to operate the PAYE system (or to operate the PAYE system correctly).

Employers may be requested to produce an extract of their Register of Employees within a specified time period. There is a statutory obligation on employers to produce either their Register of Employees or an extract of same, upon request from a Revenue Officer, within a specified time period.

Penalties

Where an employer is obliged, but fails, to keep and maintain a Register of Employees at the normal place of employment of each employee or at that employer’s main place of business, Section 987 Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides that that employer shall be liable to a penalty of €4,000. In addition to the penalty of €4,000, where that employer is a company, the secretary of that company is liable to a penalty of €3,000.

In some instances, an employer may, for the purposes of payroll, human resources or fulfilling a non-tax related statutory obligation, hold a record or register of all employees (and former employees). Such a record or register will suffice as a Register of Employees for PAYE purposes provided that it includes the relevant details outlined above.

If you need any advice, contact FMB by calling 01 645 2002 or emailing enquiry@fmb.ie.

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