The Irish Revenue have introduced ‘FORCE MAJEURE’ circumstances to cover new situations where individuals are not allowed travel between countries to work due to COVID-19.
Force Majeure means ‘unforeseeable circumstances’.
We know that normally the residence test is based on fact – counting the number of days in Ireland to be deemed resident:
- 183 days in a calendar year
- 280 days over a two-year period – looking back at the previous year and combining the current year and previous year.
Revenue now state: ‘Existing guidance states that where an individual is prevented from leaving the State on his or her intended day of departure due to extraordinary natural occurrences or an exceptional third party failure or action – none of which could reasonably have been foreseen and avoided – the individual will be NOT be regarded as being present in the State for the tax residence purposes for the day after the intended day of departure provided the individual is unavoidably present in the State on that day due only to ‘force majeure’ circumstances.
Where a departure from the State is prevented due to COVID-19, Revenue will consider this ‘force majeure’ for the purpose of establishing an individual’s tax residence position. ‘
Simply put, if you have to remain in Ireland due to Covid-19, those days are not ‘Irish days’ if say you were meant to be in Brussels, Paris, London etc. but had to work remotely from Ireland instead.
FOREIGN EMPLOYMENT – OPERATION OF PAYE
Revenue will not seek to enforce Irish payroll obligations for foreign employers in genuine cases where an employee was working abroad for a foreign entity prior to COVID-19, but relocates temporarily to Ireland during the COVID-19 period and performs duties for his or her foreign employer while in Ireland.
EMPLOYER PROVIDING EQUIPMENT WHILE YOU ARE WORKING AT HOME:
Benefit-in kind will NOT arise where your employer provides laptop, printer, scanners, office furniture etc. for you to set up working space at home.