Royal Canal Financial Control Services

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Retail Update September 2016

Excise License September 2016 Renewals

All Beer, Wine & Spirit licenses are for renewal 30th September 2016 regardless of when bought. This year Revenue changed Tax Clearance to electronic, it should state on your renewal if you currently have tax clearance.

Remember to take a copy and display the licence where the alcohol is being sold.

If you have any questions or need to check in with us on the checklist prior to submitting please do not hesitate to contact us.

New Employees

Revenue have now removed the Form12A –  from 12th September 2016 the Revenue Commissioners require that first time employees use the myAccount service in order to register for tax credits with them. Until they register with Revenue they will be deducted emergency tax on their payslips, up to and including the highest tax rate (currently 40%).

We will be pointing your new staff to our dedicated page which can be found here


Payzone have recently emailed us at our clients”at” email address with the following information:

Cessation of Vodafone €5 Top Ups

Payzone have informed that as and from 30th September 2016 that the top up amount for €5 will not be available and will no longer appear on the tills. If a customer has bought the €5 before the change, they will still be able to use the voucher for €5 previously printed.

Information on Credits & Trouble Shooting

Details can be found in the guide emailed in, which you can access here

(this email address can be used to forward or set up with your suppliers to email us your e-invoices so we can access and print them for your accounts)


It is going to take a number of years to find out what will really happen after Britain voted to leave the EU on 23rd June 2016. As this is the first time Article 50 is being used it is going to take time and the outcome will be a mix and match to suit the EU & Britain.

What can you do in the meantime, is by planning and taking advantage of the strong Euro to Sterling value, we believe by buying from Northern Ireland and/or the UK, you should increase your margin and therefore your bottom line in your stores.

A summary of the exchange rates from the Central Bank are summarised below.

  • 23rd September 2015   0.72970
  • 23rd June 2016 0.76595
  • 31st August 2016 0.84806
  • 23rd September 2016 0.86435

This means that if you bought GBP£1,000 worth of goods today it would cost €1,157 but one year ago the same GBP£1,000 would cost €1,370. Saving in currency, this in other words means you have currently stronger buying power.

NERA Audits & Employment Law

We would like to remind all our retailers that it is your own responsibility to ensure you are fully compliant for NERA & Revenue, some questions to ask yourself…

  • Do I keep an Employee Register?
  • Do I keep rosters for 3 years?
  • Do I have record of staff taking breaks, if do not use clock card system, am I using NERA’s OWT form?
  • Do I keep copies of GNIB cards for staff that need one….. Also do I know what GNIB stamp they have and how this links to number of hours they can work?
  • Have I a handbook and policies in place?
  • Do I have record of staff training from sale of cigarettes/alcohol to training behind the deli?
  • Are staff taking breaks and holidays in accordance with legislation?

Although the above list is not exhaustive, if you have answered “no” or even answered “What are they on about!”, then you need to review your records and procedures straight away.

But do not worry, we here at Royal Canal Financial Control Services can assist and give advice to you on how to get and stay compliant.

We also have our Royal Canal Network firm CB Associates who fully specialise in this area that we very highly recommend.

Company Records – Storage Solution

We are currently  closing up our old Raharney office, and we have been using this as a storage and sorting office to send boxes to our external storage partners.

If we have not been in touch or you wish to review the service again please visit our website page here

End of the Laser Card Today

28 February 2014

As you may already be aware, the laser card service is being switched off at midnight today. Any attempt to process a laser card after today will be returned with a terminal error.

While the number of laser cards still in use is relatively small, it is important that all staff are aware of this change in order to assist and advise customers on the change.

Details were announced on recent merchant statements, and in the national press.

Further details are available from the Irish Payment Services Organisation here

Pick n Mix Scam

8th October 2013

This scam we like to call Pick N Mix. After scanning the products at the tills, the customer asks for another product behind the counter, such as lotto tickets. While the retail assistant’s back is turned the customer includes extra items on the counter, such as nearby confectionery.

This is a low value loss which adds up and reduces your bottom line.

• Policy of placing all scanned products into grocery bag before going to select additional items.
• Where grocery bag is not used, staff should be trained to count items before finalising the transaction. This should tally with the product count on the till.
• CCTV over till area.

Employment Schemes & Employment Tax Schemes

Last Updated: 6th July 2013

Please find below a list of the most relevant employment schemes and employment tax schemes. For further details please click on the scheme title, which will direct you to or the government body responsible for the scheme, in order to ensure you are reading the most current regulations pertaining to each scheme.

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (Self-Employed)
The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme encourages people getting certain social welfare payments to become self-employed.

Employee Retention Scheme
The purpose of this scheme is to encourage employers to keep on employees who get sick or injured which may impact on their ability to carry out their normal duties.

Community Employment Scheme
Designed to help people who are long-term unemployed and other disadvantaged people to get back to work by offering part-time and temporary placements in jobs based within local communities.

Jobs Plus
Provides cash incentives to employers to take on long term unemployed to fill job positions.

FAS Work Placement Scheme
Allows an employer take on a participant on work placement for a maximum of nine months, while the participant retains their social welfare entitlements.

Job Bridge
Allows an employer take on an intern on work placement for a period of 6 – 9 months, while the participant retains their social welfare entitlements. Participant is also paid a weekly allowance of €50 by Social Welfare.

Pathways To Work
The strategy document of the government for a new approach to getting unemployed persons back to the work force, as part of the National Employment and Entitlements Service.

Broadcasting Licences

The following are a list of the main licences and licence organisations that exist in retail (click on title for relevant external site):

Irish Music Rights Organisation Limited (IMRO)
An annual licence fee is payable to IMRO where music and other recorded material is broadcast in a public area including any work area. IMRO is a not-for-profit organisation which distributes the licence fee income among the performers, song writers and publishers.

Phonographic Performance Ireland (PPI)
A PPI licence is required where music and other recorded material is broadcast in a public area including any work area. This fee is payable to the producer of the broadcast, e.g. record company. An IMRO licence must normally be accompanied by a PPI licence except where there is no record company, e.g. concerts and pub performances.

TV Licence
Under the Broadcasting Act 2009 a television set is “any electronic apparatus capable of receiving and exhibiting television broadcasting services broadcast for general reception (whether or not its use for that purpose is dependent on the use of anything else in conjunction with it) and any software or assembly comprising such apparatus and other apparatus.”

National lottery commercial monitors/digital signs are exempt from the Broadcasting Act as they have no TV tuners installed. Franchisors in retail are introducing electronic advertising solutions where it is the responsibility of the retailer to purchase the equipment for the display. Care should be taken that a commercial monitor is purchased for this purpose in order to not fall foul of the requirement to purchase a TV licence.

Invoices By Email

26th May 2012

As a result of the increased popularity of suppliers issuing invoices by email we have streamlined our processes in order to be most efficient and minimise user intervention.

Going forward each client under our Financial Accounting and Control Service will have their dedicated email address within the domain. All other clients of our Royal Canal Bookkeeping service can also avail of this service should they wish to do so.

There are two distinct options with this service.

Option 1 – Invoices forwarded directly by suppliers
You need to contact the email suppliers with your new address. We will print off the invoices for you and process them within your bookkeeping records. We can auto-forward any supplier invoices you require copies of, or manually forward any specific invoice requests.

Your own inbox is no longer cluttered with supplier invoices.

Option 2 – Invoices forwarded directly by you
You may continue to forward invoices directly to us or print them off as you presently do. However, we find that this is time consuming for you, and queries arise when an email is missed for forwarding/printing.

You may set up an auto-forwarder where you use a mail client such as Microsoft Outlook, and possibly some mail service providers where you log in though the internet (however some such as Yahoo only provide this through their premium service).

Instructions for forwarding emails automatically are available here on the following external sites. Of course, if you want to use this option and need assistance setting up email forwarding do not hesitate to ask:

Microsoft Outlook
Google Mail (Gmail)

To avoid spam issues your tailored address will initially be issued by letter.

Accelerated Capital Allowances – Energey Efficient Equipment

26 May 2012

Most equipment purchased can be written off for tax purposes over an eight year period, equivalent to a 12.5% allowance per annum. In order to promote energy efficient equipment, accelerated capital allowances allow 100% of the cost to be written off in the year of purchase.

In order to qualify for this allowance the equipment must be on the approved list on the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland website. More details are available here.

If you have purchased equipment which qualifies for accelerated capital allowances, please ensure you let us know so that we can claim the full 100% tax deduction in the year of purchase.

Increase in Standard VAT Rate – 1 January 2012

2 January 2012

We wish to remind you of the VAT rate change which is to be applied from 1st January 2012.

Budget 2012 increased the standard rate of VAT to 23% from January 2012. This increase applies to all goods and services liable to the standard rate including alcohol and non-alcoholic minerals, transport fuels, vehicles, consumer goods, hiring/leasing, confectionery as well as many services.

All VAT registered businesses should ensure that from 1 January 2012 all sales at the standard rate are charged to VAT at 23%. If you have a computerised sales system you may need to contact your IT support if you do not know how to amend the system. If you do not amend the VAT charged on your sales from 1 January 2012, the Revenue Commissioners are entitled to hold you liable to account for the additional VAT which should have been collected.

For ongoing contracts, the date of the invoice is the determinant of the VAT rate to be charged, where all invoices from 1 January 2012 should be charged at 23%. For further information for specific invoicing arrangements please see the Revenue website.

Please feel free to contact us with any queries you may have on this.

Related Articles
Budget 2012

Recirculation of Euro Bank Notes [ATM Regulations]

22nd November 2011

Decision ECB/2010/14 requires retailers that fill ATMs to be responsible for the authenticity and fitness of the bank notes for circularisation. In order to comply with the legislation, retailers must operate a bank note handling machine which:

• Physically separates suspect bank notes from genuine ones without user intervention.
• Does not require any user intervention in order to determine when a bank note is suspect or not.

We have recently been informed that there are a few difficulties with some aspects of the new machine counting function such as notes with curled edged not being recognised.

For further details on this topic and for advice on which type of machine you should be using, we advise that you contact your local bank branch.

Retail Intelligence reports Christmas Food spend to drop by 5.5%

8th November 2011

Retail Intelligence’s survey reports that the majority of respondents will have less money to spend this Christmas as a result of the economic downturn and the effect this is having on their personal debt situation. They will tend to look to the larger discount stores for their Christmas food needs.

Smaller retailers should carefully consider their need for Christmas stock in the run up to the festive season.

To read the full article by Retail Intelligence please click here.