We know how crucial it is to follow tax rules and report taxes correctly. Meeting the annual director returns deadline is vital to adhere to tax regulations and avoid the consequences of a missed tax deadline

By following this checklist, company directors can take proactive steps to organise their financial information, grasp the process of calculating tax liability, and determine the steps involved with completing their annual director’s return.

We provide a general overview of the steps to make filing your director’s return as smooth as possible, and we always recommend you contact us if you want professional support from a tax return accountant during this process.

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1) Determine who needs to file a directors return

Directors who own more than 15% of the share capital of an Irish Limited Company (AKA proprietary directors) need to file a directors income tax return. This is the case even if you do not take money from the company – directors with no income are required to file nil returns for the company.

The director’s tax return declares a director’s personal income, including income from their company (salary and dividends), rental or foreign income.

In general, non-proprietary directors are exempt from filing director returns in Ireland. If you need help filing your tax returns, talk to our Client Services about getting a quote for our accountancy services.

What is a proprietary director?

A proprietary director is a director of a company who either directly or indirectly owns or can control more than 15% of the company’s regular shares. If you fall into this category, you’ll need to file a self-assessment return in your capacity as a director. This ensures that your tax obligations are properly addressed.

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2) Mark the deadline date in your calendar - including the extension of pay & file deadline for ROS customers

All Irish resident and non-resident proprietary directors are legally required to submit a director’s tax return by the 31st of October each year.

This can be extended to mid-November if you use Revenue’s Online System (ROS) to pay and file the tax return.

Revenue generally extends the pay & file deadline to mid-November, meaning businesses have additional days to make the appropriate tax return and payment online.

The only downside is that you must ensure you can file and pay on or before this date. The extension only applies if you can complete both at the same time.

Filing director’s returns in your first year after incorporation

You don’t have to file a director’s return in your first year as a company director. Your return is based on the previous year’s income earned as a director.

Instead, you will file your first return in October of your first full year as a company director.

For example, if you incorporate your company in February 2023, you should file your first director’s return in October 2024.

3) Ensure you have a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN)

Both resident and non-resident directors must have a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) when filing director’s returns. Your PPSN is a unique reference number that helps you access Ireland’s social welfare benefits, public services and information.

Directors should apply for a PPSN from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. A PPSN will allow non-resident directors to submit their director’s tax returns.

4) Gather the information required for a director's tax return on ROS

Personal information

  • Name, Date of Birth and PPS number of directors

Income sources

  • PAYE or Pension Income
  • Social Welfare Income
  • Trade/Profession/Vocation Income
  • Rental Income and Expenses
  • Other Income Sources

Tax-related details

  • Capital Allowances
  • Losses (carried forward and current)
  • Health Expenses
  • Pension Payments
  • Capital Gains
  • Tax Credit Claims

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5) File director returns on ROS

Directors must calculate their tax liability and submit the necessary tax return form to the Revenue.

If you are a self-assessed taxpayer registered for Revenue Online Service (ROS), you can access a pre-populated Form 11. This form includes some of the information Revenue already has on file for you, which speeds up the process.

Once you’ve entered and checked all the necessary details on Revenue, the system will take care of calculating your income tax liability or refund automatically. It’s one less thing for you to worry about.

Directors tax return with income

Proprietary directors must file tax returns if they received any income over the last year. For example, when you file your 2023 tax return, you will be reporting on your 2022 income. 

Types of income included on a tax return include salary (from the company and/or other employment), dividends, rental income, capital gains and foreign income.

Directors tax return with no income

Sometimes, the director’s return is called Form 11 Income Tax Return, which can be misleading if you haven’t had any income from the business. However, even if you have received no income over the last year, directors must still file director’s tax returns. These are sometimes called Nil returns.

You may be liable to surcharges and interest if you are late or file your return incorrectly. This also applies to Nil returns, which means you may have to pay penalties even if you don’t owe any tax. 

It’s not uncommon for new company directors to forget to file director’s returns, so ensure you know all your important company deadlines when setting up a company in Ireland.

To steer clear of any penalties, it is essential to be cognisant of the income tax return deadline. Make it a priority to find out the specific deadline each year and to prepare your documents well in advance to facilitate a smooth filing process.

6) Pay Income Tax and Preliminary Tax

In Ireland, Preliminary Tax estimates the tax you anticipate owing for the next tax year. 

In the initial year of your business, your tax payment seems higher because you must cover both taxes in full. Nonetheless, the Revenue securely holds the Preliminary Tax component as a provision and will be used to offset your income tax obligations for the subsequent year.

Remember that Preliminary Tax is an ongoing yearly commitment. It plays a crucial role in effectively managing your tax duties and plays a part in maintaining the financial stability of your business operations.

Outsource to a professional accountant - hiring a tax agent to help file tax returns

A tax agent can help you file your tax returns by using their own ROS digital certificate and ROS password to access your account. They do not have access to your personal ROS login details.

Having a tax agent means they will act on your behalf with Revenue.

Your tax agent can carry out the following functions:

  1.  Access your Revenue records
  2. Submit tax returns on your behalf
  3. Receive correspondence from Revenue about any returns submitted

To do this, we must complete an Authorisation Form known as an Agent Link. Our clients can sign Agent Links digitally through our exclusive client profile area. It is a digital process, and we take care of everything quickly and efficiently.

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Talk to us about your needs

With Kinore, you’ll be able to navigate tax regulations with the help of a qualified accountant. You can depend on us to decipher complexities, uncover potential tax deductions, and tailor financial strategies to meet your unique requirements. Our support lets you focus on your core pursuits while ensuring your tax obligations are completed seamlessly.

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Our client services team are always happy to talk to you about what's best for your needs

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