Cross-Border workers call for changes to personal tax liability rules

New organisation wants Government to address anomalies affecting workers resident in the Republic

The recently established Cross Border Workers Coalition aims to put pressure on the Irish Government to make changes to personal tax liability rules. Photograph: Alan Betson

The recently established Cross Border Workers Coalition aims to put pressure on the Irish Government to make changes to personal tax liability rules. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Workers who need to conduct business out of hours face drives of 100 or more kilometres due to a quirk in the Irish taxation system, a campaigner for change has said.

Conor Dowds is a senior manager at tech firm Allstate in Derry but lives near Ballybofey in Co Donegal. Anyone resident in the State who works there must pay Irish tax on that effort, even if it is only for a fraction of a day.

To avoid a hefty bill, Mr Dowds is forced to drive 40 minutes into the office in Northern Ireland to conduct business which may only take 10 or 20 minutes to resolve.

He said: “I travel 100 kilometres a day in and out of the office. If I need to do something outside of hours I have to get in the car and make that journey to do it.”

Allstate was established in Northern Ireland in 1998 to provide high-quality software development services and business solutions. It is Northern Ireland’s largest IT company, with 2,300+ employees across three sites in Belfast, Derry and Strabane in Co Tyrone. Significant numbers of workers at its sites commute from the Irish Republic.

Mr Dowds added: “Flexibility is becoming more important with companies that provide services outside of hours. The working world is changing and has changed and the need for greater flexibility is increasing. That is the same across industries.”

During the pandemic Allstate employees were forced to work from home. The Revenue Commissioners temporarily waived tax liability but those affected are pressing for longer-lasting changes to personal tax liability rules.

The recently established Cross Border Workers Coalition aims to put pressure on the Irish Government to make changes to personal tax liability rules for employees resident in the Republic who work in Northern Ireland.

The organisation has said there is a real fear among thousands of employees that, if this burden is not dealt with now, the opportunity for a pragmatic solution to be found will have been lost. – PA