Mary Healy is senior representations manager, and Lorraine Sheegar is tax manager, at Irish Tax Institute

Energy support

The temporary business energy support scheme (TBESS) was introduced to assist businesses that experienced significant increases in their electricity and natural gas bills, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The period for which claims could be made ended on 31 July 2023, but qualifying businesses have until 30 September 2023 to make a claim for the calendar months of September 2022 to July 2023.

Revenue has TBESS guidelines, an online calculator, and videos on how to make a claim via a portal. Businesses will need all electricity and natural gas bills for the reference period of 1 September 2021 to July 2022 and for the claim periods from September 2022 to date. They will also have to provide their bank account details and will be required to make a declaration that the qualifying conditions of the scheme are satisfied. Energy bills from 1 September 2022 will be compared with bills from the corresponding reference period to determine eligibility and amount due.

Revenue is aware of a number of incomplete registrations and claims for TBESS, and is completing a programme of direct contact with businesses with partial registrations and/or partial claims.

As of early September, 30,475 businesses have registered for TBESS and 56,126 claims have been approved, with a value of €129.04m.

Revenue has published a new temporary solidarity contribution tax and duty manual

Windfall tax

Last October, Council regulation (EU) 2022/1854 provided for the introduction of a temporary solidarity contribution by EU member states. Effectively a windfall tax, it imposes a levy on the surplus taxable profits of companies in the oil, gas, coal and refinery sectors.

The regulation was implemented in Ireland in the Energy (Windfall Gains in the Energy Sector) (Temporary Solidarity Contribution) Act 2023, which was signed into law in July, and commenced from 2 August 2023.

Part 24B of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides relevant definitions of ‘taxable profits’, and associated provisions, and should be read in conjunction with the act. Revenue published a new temporary solidarity contribution tax and duty manual at the end of July, to provide guidance on the application to windfall gains made in 2022 and 2023 by the fossil fuel production and refining sector.

Companies within scope of the temporary solidarity contribution for 2022 were required to register with Revenue by 30 August 2023. The 2022 contribution and related return must be made by 23 September 2023. Revenue has more information.

Residential zoned land tax will apply at 3% of the market value

Land tax

Residential zoned land tax (RZLT) is a component of the government’s Housing for All plan to increase new housing supply, and is intended to activate land that is serviced and zoned for residential or mixed use.

RZLT will apply from 2024 to land in scope at a rate of 3% of the market value, and local authorities are in the process of identifying and publishing maps of land that will meet the criteria, to allow landowners to appeal a local authority’s decision or request a change of zoning. Final maps will be published on 1 December 2023.

Homeowners will not have to pay RZLT if they own a dwelling that appears on the local authorities’ RZLT maps, where the property is subject to the local property tax. However, if a homeowner owns such a dwelling, they will have to register for RZLT with Revenue where the attached land/gardens/yards are larger than one acre.

RZLT will be first due on 1 February 2024 and payable in May 2024 for land which was suitable for residential development on 1 January 2022 (because it was both zoned and serviced on that date). Where land becomes both zoned and serviced after 1 January 2022, tax will be chargeable in the third year after the year in which it comes within the scope of RZLT.

Revenue is currently developing a facility to enable landowners liable to the tax to register for and return RZLT.

The vacant homes tax is intended to increase the supply of residential properties

Vacant homes tax

The vacant homes tax (VHT) is also intended to increase the supply of residential properties. Revenue has published guidance on the new tax, as the due date for the first VHT returns is 7 November 2023.

A residential property will be within the scope of the vacant homes tax if it has been in use as a dwelling for less than 30 days in a chargeable period of 1 November to 31 October. It is charged in addition to local property tax (LPT) and calculated as three times the base LPT rate. The base rates for properties in each LPT valuation band are available on the Revenue website.

There is guidance for non-resident landlords transitioning to the new regime

Non-resident landlords

The non-resident landlord withholding tax (NLWT) regime came into operation on 1 July 2023 to address common areas of confusion around tax payments, as this AB article explains.

Revenue’s NLWT webpage has further guidance and a detailed tax and duty manual.

To facilitate the transition to the new regime, Revenue has provided a workaround to allow non-resident landlords to submit a tax return for 2022 if they do not currently have a collection agent (and the tenant did not withhold and remit tax on the rent). This applies solely to the income tax return for 2022 and is detailed in paragraph 4.1 of the Income Tax Return 2022: ROS Form 11 tax and duty manual.

Collection agents who are content to remain tax-assessable for a landlord’s rental income, and file tax returns and make payments in that capacity, can continue to do so. They do not have to operate the NLWT.

A new defective concrete products levy applies at a rate of 5%

Defective concrete

The Finance Act 2022 provided for a new defective concrete products levy to fund a redress scheme for homeowners affected by defective concrete products used in the building of their homes. This applies at a rate of 5% of the market value of the concrete products within the scope of the levy at the point of the first supply of those products within the state on or after 1 September 2023.

Revenue’s defective concrete products levy tax and duty manual provides guidance and examples on the application of this levy.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, no responsibility for loss or distress occasioned to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of the material contained in this article can be accepted by the Irish Tax Institute, the designer, authors, contributors or publishers. Professional advice should always be sought for your particular circumstances before acting on any tax issue.