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A Quick Guide to Preliminary Tax in Ireland

Preliminary tax is a crucial component of managing your business finances in Ireland. It's a prepayment of your expected income tax for the current tax year. For businesses operating in Ireland, understanding and effectively managing preliminary tax is essential to avoid penalties and ensure smooth financial operations. In this quick guide, we will explore what preliminary tax is, how it works, and key considerations for your business in Ireland.
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What is Preliminary Tax?

Preliminary tax is a prepayment of your income tax and is typically paid by individuals, sole traders, and companies. It serves as a contribution towards your expected income tax liability for the current tax year. By paying preliminary tax, you spread the cost of your income tax throughout the year, making it easier to manage your tax obligations.

Who Needs to Pay Preliminary Tax?

If you’re a self-employed individual, a sole trader, or a company director in Ireland, you are generally required to pay preliminary tax. Additionally, anyone with non-PAYE income, such as rental income or investment income, may also have a preliminary tax liability.

Calculating Preliminary Tax:

Preliminary tax is usually calculated based on one of the following methods:

  • Actual Liability Method: You calculate your preliminary tax based on your actual income for the previous tax year.
  • Estimated Method: You estimate your income for the current tax year and calculate preliminary tax based on this estimate.
  • Amount Equal to Last Year (AELY): This method is suitable for those with stable or increasing income. You pay the same amount as your previous year’s income tax liability in preliminary tax.
  • Seasonal Method: If your income varies throughout the year, you can pay preliminary tax in line with your income patterns.

Key Considerations:

  • Deadlines: Preliminary tax for individuals is generally due by October 31st of the tax year. For companies, it’s due within 9 months of the end of the accounting period. Missing these deadlines can result in penalties and interest charges.
  • Balancing Payment: After the end of the tax year, you must calculate your actual tax liability and pay any outstanding balance. This payment is called a “balancing payment.”
  • Use of Tax Advisors: Many individuals and businesses seek the assistance of tax advisors or accounting firms to ensure accurate calculations, timely submissions, and compliance with tax regulations.
  • Changes in Income: If your income changes significantly during the year, it’s essential to adjust your preliminary tax payments accordingly. This can be done through Revenue’s Online Service (ROS).
  • Penalties: Late or insufficient preliminary tax payments can result in penalties and interest charges. It’s crucial to stay informed about your tax obligations and meet them promptly.

How TAS Consulting Limited Can Help:

At TAS Consulting Limited, we specialize in providing tax and accounting services to businesses and individuals in Ireland. Our experienced team can assist you with preliminary tax calculations, submissions, and ensuring compliance with tax regulations. We can help you develop a customized strategy for managing your tax obligations effectively and efficiently.


Preliminary tax is a fundamental aspect of the Irish tax system, and understanding how it works is essential for individuals and businesses to avoid penalties and financial stress. By working with experts like TAS Consulting Limited, you can ensure that your preliminary tax obligations are met accurately and on time, allowing you to focus on growing your business and achieving your financial goals.


If you have any queries, or would like specific advice, then please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.

call us on +353 (0)1 442 8230, 00353 851477625 or email