Guidelines for Tax Clearance
- What is a Tax Clearance Certificate?
- Purpose of the Tax Clearance Scheme
- When is TCC required?
- Applying for a TCC
- Verifying that an applicant is in possession of a current TCC
- Applicants covered under the Standards in Public Office Act (SIPO) 2001
- Issuing a TCC
- Rescission of a TCC
- Appealing the refusal to issue a TCC
- Application Forms
1. What is a Tax Clearance Certificate?
A Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) is confirmation from Revenue that an applicant's tax affairs are in order at the date of issue of the certificate. In some instances a certificate may be issued to a customer who has tax arrears provided such arrears are covered by an instalment arrangement that has been agreed with Revenue.
2. Purpose of the Tax Clearance Scheme
The purpose of the Tax Clearance Scheme is to ensure that applicants who derive an economic benefit from:
- a licence/permit to conduct certain activities in the State, and/or
- receipt of contracts/grants, subsidies and other payments from the State
are in compliance with their tax obligations.
Apart from situations where an applicant is legally required to produce a TCC in order to meet legal obligations; Revenue is also obliged to issue a certificate, where requested, to any customer whose tax affairs are in order.
3. When is a TCC required?
A current TCC is required as follows:
- Public Sector Contracts
A condition of obtaining a public sector contract of a value of €10,000 or more, (inclusive of VAT), within any 12 months period, is that the contractor is required to produce a TCC or demonstrate a satisfactory level of tax compliance . Such contracts can involve the purchase, hiring, leasing of goods, services or property by public authorities. Examples of the types of goods/services covered in such contracts are plant hire, cleaning or security, consultancies for management, legal or design services.
The tax clearance requirement applies even where the provision of goods or services is not the subject of a formal written contract. A satisfactory level of subcontractor tax compliance is demonstrated where the eRCT withholding rates are either 0% or 20%. Where a 35% rate has been determined for a subcontractor, they have not demonstrated a satisfactory level of compliance.
- Grant Payments
Payment of grants, subsidies and similar type payments, by Government Departments and public authorities, of a value of €10,000 or more, within any 12 month period is subject to the applicant holding a current TCC.
- Licences and certain schemes
A current TCC is required, by law, for the operation of the types of business situations listed in the following table:
|Reason for Tax Clearance||Legal basis for Tax Clearance|
|Liquor licence (wholesale/retail)||S49 FA 1909-1910 plus S1094 TCA '97|
|Liquor licence for Cultural Institutions||S62 National Cultural Institutions Act 1997 plus S1094 TCA '97|
|Liquor licence for the National Concert Hall||S2 Intoxicating Liquor (National Concert Hall) Act 1983 plus S1094 TCA '97|
|Liquor licence for the National Conference Centre||S1 (9) Intoxicating Liquor (National Conference Centre) Act 2010 plus S1094 TCA '97|
|Bookmakers licence||S7 (3) Betting Act 1931 plus S1094 TCA '97|
|Gaming licence||S19 Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 plus S1094 TCA '97|
|Auctioneers or House Agents licence (including auction permits)||S8, 9 & 10 Auctioneers and House Agents Act 1947 plus S1094 TCA '97|
|Hydrocarbon oil and LPG licences||S101 FA 1999 plus S1094 TCA '97|
|Money Lenders licence||Consumer Credit Act 1995 plus S1094 TCA '97|
|Mortgage or Credit Intermediaries authorisation||Consumer Credit Act 1995 plus S1094 TCA '97|
|Road Transport licence (Merchandise)||EU (Merchandise Road Transport) Regulation 1991-1999|
|Road Transport licence (Passengers)||EU (Road Passenger Transport) Regulations 1991-1999|
|Refugee Legal Service Private Practitioners Panel||Circular F49/29/84 (on the basis that this is a contract) plus S1095 TCA '97|
|Payments under the FAS Employment Subsidy/Training Scheme and PRSI Exemption Scheme||Circular F49/13/87 (grant) plus S1095 TCA '97|
|Disposal of land to Local Authorities (not Compulsory Purchase Order)||Circular F49/29/84 (contract) plus S1095 TCA '97|
|Local Authority loans scheme (Shared ownership)||Housing Regulations, 1980 (Amendment) Regulations 1992|
|Permits for Waste Collection activities (including slurry spreading)||Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations 2001|
|Employers employing Non-nationalsEmployers seeking to employ non-nationals||DOPE requirement – condition imposed for grant of permit|
|Licences for small public service vehicles e.g. Taxis and hackneys||Section 37 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2003|
|Private Security Services (includes Directors in case of a Corporate Body and partners in the case of Partnership)||Section 24 of the Private Security Services Act 2004|
- Capital Gains Tax Clearance
Section 980 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, obliges the purchaser of certain assets to withhold 15% of the purchase price of that asset from the vendor and remit it to Revenue as Capital Gains Tax, unless the vendor holds a TCC or a CG50A. This section applies to assets over €500,000 in value (from 2003 onwards) and, usually, though not exclusively, arises in context of land/property sales.
The CG50A capital gains tax clearance certificate is applied for on a CG50 application form (see Application Forms). While it is still possible to use the CG50 procedure the following can also be accepted by the purchaser (in lieu of the CG50) as sufficient authority to make the payment for the asset without deduction of the 15%
- A current tax clearance certificate issued under the normal tax clearance schemes,
- A certificate of authorisation (C2 cert.), or
- A tax clearance certificate issued specifically for the purposes of section 980 (deduction from consideration on disposal of certain assets)
Where a charitable body is not in possession of a CHY number a TCC is required when applying for a public sector grant, subsidy or similar type payment. An applicant that has a Charity (CHY) Number does not require a TCC. Their CHY number must be quoted to the public body awarding the payment and that public body may require further confirmation. A charity applying for an excise licence must have a TCC.
A CHY Number is applied for through the:
Office of the Revenue Commissioners,
St. Conlon’s Road,
For further information please telephone (LoCall) 1890 254565, Fax 067-32916 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A list of charities granted tax exemption and their CHY Number is available at the following link: Charity Listing (PDF, 2.30 MB)
- Criminal Justice Legal Aid Panel
Under the Criminal Justice (Legal Aid) (Tax Clearance Certificates) Regulations, 1999 where a solicitor is a PAYE employee and is applying for tax clearance for the purposes of the Criminal Justice Legal Aid Panel a TCC may be issued to him/her.
Before a TCC can issue to a PAYE employee the employer’s tax affairs must be in order (where the employer is a partnership, the partnership must also be tax compliant). The updated Criminal Justice Legal Aid panels start on 1st December each year. Solicitors can now apply online using ROS or myAccount.
4. Applying for a TCC
You are advised to make early contact with Revenue in order for any issues to be resolved well in advance of any deadlines for renewal of TCC.
Applications can be made online for Tax Clearance using ROS or myAccount.
Please note that the applicant does not need to be a ROS customer to avail of this service. However an agent applying for a TCC on behalf of an applicant must do so through ROS.
In order to verify tax clearance to a third party example a public sector body, the public sector body will need to be provided with the Tax Registration Number/PPSN and the Tax Clearance Access Code. This can be found on the Tax Clearance Result Screen.
A non-resident applicant should apply for a TCC where tax clearance is required in connection with:
- a Public Sector Contract (formal or otherwise), where the value of any goods or services supplied or to be supplied amounts to €10,000 (including VAT) or more, in any 12-month period.
- a Public Sector grant, subsidy or similar type payment of €10,000 or more. Examples of such payments are housing, industrial, forestry and farming development grants/subsidies.
- an application for renewal of an Excise Licence and/or certain other licences (including authorisation required under the Consumer Credit Act 1995, the Criminal Justice Legal Aid (Tax Clearance) Regulations 1999 and the Taxi Regulation Act 2003)
There are three categories of non-resident applicants:
- Non-resident applicants who are registered for Irish tax and who do not have a permanent established (PE) place of business in the State must apply for tax clearance through ROS or myAccount.
- Non-resident applicants who are registered for Irish tax and also have a permanent established (PE) place of business in the State must apply for tax clearance through ROS or myAccount.
- Non-resident applicants who neither have an Irish tax registration nor a permanent established (PE) place of business in the State [i.e. foreign traders] must apply for tax clearance to Non-Residents Unit, Collector-General's Office, Sarsfield House, Francis Street, Limerick or by e-mail to email@example.com
With reference to the last category, non-resident applicants should, before applying for a TCC, check their tax status with Non-Residents Tax Clearance Unit, Sarsfield House, Limerick - see above email address - as in certain circumstances a non-resident applicant who does not have an Irish tax registration may be legally obliged to register and account for Irish tax.
Non-resident applicants applying in connection with an excise licence renewal are normally registered for Income Tax only – the majority of these cases will be bookmakers who would not have an office in the State but would have a stand on a racecourse. This is considered their place of business and so they are obliged to register for Income Tax.
5. Verifying that an applicant is in possession of a current TCC
Revenue has an online verification facility to allow third party access to the applicant’s tax cleared status. The facility is available in ROS or via the Government Networks and can only be accessed with the permission of the applicant who holds the tax clearance certificate. The applicant gives permission to confirm the tax-cleared status by quoting the Tax reference Number/PPSN and the Tax Clearance Access Code, which are on the certificate. This allows the third party/contracting authority to access the information via ROS or via the Government Networks to confirm the position.
6. Applicants covered under the Standards in Public Office Act (SIPO) 2001
The Standards in Public Office Act (SIPO) 2001 introduced a tax clearance requirement for members of the Dail and Seanad, senior public officials and candidates for appointments to the judiciary from 10 December 2001.
It should be noted that, because of the different legal requirement, a specific TCC is required - a TCC issued under other tax clearance provisions is not valid for the purposes of the Standards in Public Office Act.
- Circumstances where a TCC is required for SIPOs
A person elected to either House of the Oireachtas or nominated to be a member of the Seanad is required to furnish a TCC to the Standards in Public Office Commission, within nine months of the election/nomination date. The Certificate has to have been issued not more than nine months before or after that date. The TCC has to have been issued not more than nine months before or after the election/nomination date. (These provisions also extend to a person who is appointed Attorney General, if that person is not already a member of the Dail or Seanad).
- Judicial appointments
The Judicial Appointments Advisory Board cannot recommend a person to the Minister for Justice and Equality for appointment to judicial office unless that person has furnished to the Board a TCC issued not more that eighteen months prior to the recommendation.
The Government cannot advise the President to appoint to judicial office a person who was not the holder of judicial office on the date of the advice and who was not recommended to the Minister in relation to that appointment by the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board unless that person has furnished to the Secretary to the Government a TCC issued not more than eighteen months previously.
- Senior office appointees
A person appointed to senior office must, within nine months of the appointment, furnish a TCC to the Standards in Public Office Commission. The Certificate has to have been issued not more than nine months before or after the appointment.
In this context a senior office is a designated directorship or position in:
- A local authority,
- A health board,
- A body, organisation or group established under any enactment but excluding company law (i.e. excluding ordinary commercial companies),
- A company where the majority of the shares are held by the Government or a Minister,
- A public body (which includes Government Departments),
- Any other body appointed by the Government or a Minister to be a public body where
the remuneration for the post is not less than the lowest remuneration of a
As well as providing a TCC in each case, a statutory declaration must also be made to the Standards in Public Office Commission (or to the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board or to the Secretary to the Government, as appropriate) confirming that the persons tax affairs are in order – see paragraph on Statutory Declaration for SIPOs below.
- Criteria for granting a TCC for SIPOs
Where an applicant is or was a member of a partnership, a TCC can only be issued if, for the period of the applicant's membership, the partnership was also in compliance with its tax obligations.
Where a person pays Income Tax liabilities under the PAYE system and the local Revenue District has requested completion of a return of income (Form 12) for a particular tax year, this return must be submitted before a TCC can be issued.
- How to apply for a TCC for SIPOs
There is a specific application form - TC (SIPO) for tax clearance under the Standards in Public Office Act. The form is available from:
- TC (SIPO) (PDF, 33KB)
- The SIPO Unit, Office of the Collector-General, Sarsfield House, Francis Street, Limerick phone LoCall 1890 203070), by fax 061-401009 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Copies of the form are also available from the Judicial Appointments Board or the Standards in Public Office Commission.
A SIPO application has to be made on an original form (or at least have an original signature on a copied form.
- Statutory Declaration for SIPOs
- While not strictly a matter for Revenue, for the sake of completeness it should be mentioned that, as well as a TCC, a Statutory Declaration also has to be provided to the Standards in Public Office Commission (or to the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board or to the Secretary to the Government, as appropriate).
- This Statutory Declaration is to the effect that, at the time of making the declaration, the person is, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, in compliance with his or her tax obligations. The actual wording for the Statutory Declaration is available from the Standards in Public Office Commission (or the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board or the Secretary to the Government, as appropriate). For further information please contact the appropriate body.
- The Declaration must be made:
- In the case of politicians, not more than one month before or one month after the election date (or the date of nomination to the Seanad) and furnished to the Standards in Public Office Commission not more than nine months after that date,
- In the case of judicial appointments, not more than one month before the recommendation for appointment and furnished to the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board prior to the recommendation,
- In the case of senior office appointees, not more than one month before or one month after the appointment date and furnished to the Standards in Public Office Commission not more than nine months after that date.
7. Issuing a TCC
The application is processed in real time and a result is given to the applicant on screen. The result screen can be printed using the print button on the screen. The result is also sent to the applicant’s ROS or MyEnquiries inbox. A TCC will remain valid once the applicant is in compliance with their Revenue obligations. The application will expire in the case of a grant application after 1 year and in the case of all other applications within 4 years of the application. The TCC result will then become "Expired" and the applicant will have to submit a new application.
8. Rescission of a TCC
The TCC will be re-assessed on a regular basis by the eTC system. Where an applicant is no longer compliant with their Revenue obligations the TCC can be rescinded (withdrawn). The applicant will receive notification of the rescission to their ROS or MyEnquiries inbox. Once the applicant has addressed all the outstanding issues they may re-apply for a TCC.
9. Appealing where a TCC is refused
An applicant can appeal against the refusal of a TCC. In such cases an application to have an appeal heard by the Appeals Commissioners must be lodged with the Tax Appeals Commission within 30 days of the notification of a refusal. The application must state
- the matter or matters with which the applicant is aggrieved, and
- the grounds in detail of the appeal in respect of each such matter, and
- any amount due to be paid, which is not in dispute, must have been paid. However "no right of appeal shall exist in relation to any amount of tax or interest due under the Acts".
10. Application Forms
The only applicants not processed through the eTC system are:
- Non e-enabled applicants
- Non-registered, non-resident applicants
- Non-registered Voluntary Bodies/Charities
- SIPO applications
Applicants 1 – 3 above should complete a TC1 form (PDF, 142KB) and submit it to their local district for processing.
SIPO applications should follow the directions contained at 6. Applicants covered under the Standards in Public Office Act (SIPO) 2001.