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Irish Revenue Looking At Changes To Residency Rules

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

28 November 2003


It emerged on Wednesday that the Irish Revenue Commission is planning to implement new proposals that will tighten Ireland’s residency laws for purposes of taxation, after the government admitted it had little idea how many individuals were claiming non-resident status.

Currently, the rules state that an individual must spend less than 183 days in the country to claim non-residency, and less than 280 in aggregate over a two year period. However, the Revenue proposals would mean the taxpayer has to spend a minimum of six months outside or Ireland to qualify.

The issue caused something of a political furore after Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy revealed that he was unsure of exactly how may people were claiming non-residency; a fact quickly seized upon by Labour Party Finance spokeswoman Joan Burton.

“Clearly this is the reason why so many well-known ‘celebrities’ and visitors to race courses can be technically off-shore, for tax purposes, but attend every race meeting and social occasion that they choose. Not only may they spend up to 280 days and nights in Ireland over two years, but if they come to Ireland for the day on an executive jet, provided they have left by midnight it doesn’t affect their non-residency status”, Burton observed, adding that:

“Many States, including the U.K., have more complex requirements to become a non-resident- for instance requiring people to be non-resident over a 4-5 year period. U.S. requirements relating to residency are partly based on citizenship.”


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