Archive February 2019
The momentum for Corporate Ireland to prepare for Brexit is finally gaining traction.
Hard or soft exit is not particularly relevant at this point. For now, corporate Ireland should have a schedule of events noting person responsible for reviewing/implementing, and deadline for completion. Some of the areas are outlined below.
- Auditor registration status – in event of a no deal Brexit Auditors based in the UK will no longer meet the eligibility criteria for approval as EU statutory auditors. This means they will no longer be:
(a) entitled to hold audit appointments for Irish companies;
(b) sign audit reports; and
(c) eligible for inclusion on the Irish audit register.
This is something that should be put on your company’s Risk Register. Failure to have an appropriate Auditor in place in time will impact on the signing,
adoption, and filing of Financial Statements.
- Brexit NI – do not forget Northern Ireland will be included in the UK Brexit from the European Union. This seems to be a common problem for a number of companies probably because both jurisdictions are on one island.
- Data Protection – once the UK leaves the EU it will become a “third country” and must be treated as one would any other non-EU state. This will have an immediate impact on the transfer of data between Ireland, and the UK, e.g. companies with inter-company loans, payroll operations, access to group intranets, transfer of public data, etc.
There will be no “transition” period for data protection, it will be effective immediately.
- Director residency – in the event the UK leaves EU without a deal in place companies which have only UK resident director(s) will be required to comply with S.137 Companies Act 2014, i.e. they must have either:
(a) director resident within the EEA; or
(b) bond with appropriate insurers for minimum of two years; or
(c) exemption on the grounds the company has a “real and continuous link with one or more economic activities being carried on in the State”.
This means that companies currently relying on a director resident in the UK (as resident within the EEA) will have to re-consider its options.
- Legislation – the Government started debate on the Omnibus Bill on 25.02.2019. The Bill covers a variety of areas including health (reimbursement & medical care), finance (taxation), transport (sea & bus travel), legal (extradition & immigration).
- Licences – companies must review all licences, accreditations, authorisations, etc, to ensure they remain in force or, are applied for, to ensure compliance following Brexit.
- Revenue – consider logistics of import, export, movement of goods on the island of Ireland. Levying, collecting and payment appropriate customs duties, VAT, taxes, etc. Payroll could be a hidden bump, e.g. staff working in Ireland subject to UK contract or, staff working in Ireland but, payroll managed in UK/NI.
While ultimately the shape of Brexit may still be unknown, what is known is that Corporate Ireland can no longer adopt a wait and see approach. Action must be taken – now.
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