Revenue’s new eTax Clearance since 1st January 2016 – Frequently Asked Questions

The system of paper Tax Clearance Certs will expire on 30th June 2016. Revenue has been writing to Tax Clearance Certificate holders advising them to apply for the new eTax Clearance Certificates.  In response to this we answered your frequently asked questions to assist you in getting your new eTax Clearance Certificate.

The application and processing for eTax Clearance applications is in electronic format since 1st January 2016. In order to apply for tax clearance applicants must have an active tax registration, e.g. be an active PAYE customer, or have an Income Tax, Partnership or Corporation Tax registration.

How do I apply for a tax clearance certificate?

In general, PAYE customers will apply through myAccount, while business customers will apply through Revenue Online Service (ROS) (although there are some exceptions to this). If you have not used these services before you can register for myAccount or for ROS.


I have a paper certificate and the public sector body (PSB) I deal with is asking me for a TCAN. What is a TCAN?

TCAN stands for Tax Clearance Access Number. The TCAN is a part of the eTax clearance process, and is not connected with the former paper tax clearance system. Verification of eTax Clearance by Public Sector Bodies (PSBs) is in electronic format. Applicants who are issued an eTax Clearance Certificate will receive a Tax Clearance Access Number, which along with their PPSN/Reference number they give to a third party (e.g. a PSB) to enable that third party to verify their tax clearance.

I have a paper certificate due to expire in early 2016, when do I need to re-apply?

Holders of a paper tax clearance certificate should apply for eTax Clearance just prior to the expiry date on their paper certificate passing. Once having applied for eTax Clearance, holders will not have to re-apply unless their eTax Clearance Certificate is rescinded by Revenue due to non-compliance with their tax obligations.

Revenue is issuing reminders to holders of paper tax clearance certificates in advance of the expiry dates. These reminders are sent to the ROS inbox of those with active ROS registrations and are posted to those who don’t have an active ROS registration.

Where is my eTax Clearance Certificate?

An eTax Clearance Certificate is in electronic format. You can View/Print/Save the certificate by selecting ‘Manage Tax Clearance’ from the services in ROS or myAccount. An eTax Clearance certificate shows your name, your tax reference number and your TCAN.

Holders of eTax Clearance certificates shall provide the tax reference number and tax clearance access number to any person who is required to verify the validity of the tax clearance certificate using those numbers. Holders of eTax Clearance can printout a copy of their certificate for third parties or they can save it as a pdf and email it if preferred.

Where is the expiry date on my certificate?

One of the key changes from paper tax clearance to eTax Clearance is that an eTax Clearance certificate will be reviewed, and can be rescinded (or withdrawn) where a taxpayer is found to be non-compliant with their obligations.

Given that a tax clearance certificate can be rescinded (withdrawn) then there are no expiry dates; which is a significant change from the former paper based tax clearance system. Previously tax clearance certificates were issued for periods up to 12 months, and could not be withdrawn even when the taxpayer became non-compliant within that 12-month period. With electronic tax clearance, real-time ongoing review means that a taxpayer’s clearance certificate can be rescinded if his or her tax affairs are not kept in order.

When applying as a company do I need to enter all my directors/shareholders?

No. Only directors and shareholders who own greater than 50% of the shareholding are considered connected parties. Company applications for eTax Clearance must have at least one director, and any shareholder who owns more than 50% of the company.

I am not a company but the application process is asking me to enter a company director?

If your case is recorded as a company on Revenue records the tax clearance application process will require details of directors/shareholders. We have noticed that a number of unincorporated bodies are recorded incorrectly as companies. If this has occurred you should contact your District to have the case record amended to reflect that your organisation is an unincorporated body. Once recorded with the correct status, then the tax clearance application system will not seek information on directors, etc.

I am applying for tax clearance for a partnership, what does Revenue review for that application?

Tax clearance is assessed/given to the applicant. If the applicant is a partnership, then the clearance application is assessed on the basis of the partnership and the connected parties to that partnership (which includes the individual partners, etc.).

If the applicant is an individual partner, then the clearance application is assessed on the basis of that individual partner and his/her connected parties which will include the partnership (for the period s/he was connected to the partnership).

If everything is compliant then tax clearance is issued. If a partnership is refused clearance the refusal reasons will be listed. If the refusal is due to a connected partner, then that connected partner is referenced so the partnership will know which partner they need to follow-up with. However, the detail of the reason why tax clearance is refused for that partner is not specified.

I am applying for a grant but my grant is not on the list?

From 1/3/16, there is an option for an "other" category.

When will I be re-assessed?

Currently, applicants will be automatically re-assessed by the eTax Clearance system on the 6-month anniversary of the date of their application; i.e. all applicants have their own date of re-assessment.

In addition, Revenue Officers may manually reassess any applicant at any time as a part of Revenue’s compliance monitoring activities.

How do I know if, or when, my tax clearance is withdrawn (rescinded)?

If your tax clearance is withdrawn (rescinded), a notice is sent to you to notify you that your tax clearance certificate is withdrawn, and the reasons why it was withdrawn. The notice of rescission/withdrawal is sent to either your (i) ROS inbox or (ii) MyEnquiries inbox in myAccount; depending on how you originally applied for tax clearance.

Additionally, you will be sent an email to advise you that a notice of rescission has been sent to your ROS or MyEnquiries inbox.

If an agent applied for tax clearance on your behalf, then the notice and email will be sent to their ROS inbox.

How does a third party such as a PSB verify the validity of an eTax Clearance Certificate?

The verification of eTax Clearance is in electronic format. Revenue have provided 2 verification systems for third party users to be able to verify an eTax Clearance Certificate: -

  1. a verification system on ROS allows third parties to verify a single case or a list of cases by uploading/downloading a bulk file; and
  2. a webservice provided on the Government Networks. PSBs can create a systematic and automated verification process linked into their payments systems to verify the validity of an eTax Clearance Certificate.

Third parties will check the Tax Reference Number and the Tax Clearance Access Number of a contractor, supplier, grant applicant, etc., on the verification system, and will be updated about the current tax clearance status of that supplier, contractor, grant applicant, etc.

Contact Dylan Byrne Director for queries on the eTax Clearance Certificate or in relation our tax and accounhting services.

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