Revenue has updated Chapter 23 of its Pension Manual to provide guidance on the tax treatment of distributions from an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF)/Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF) from a Qualified Fund Manager (QFM) to a non-resident taxpayer.

In summary, Revenue considers such distributions to be taxable and subject to PAYE withholdings by the QFM, regardless of the residence position of the taxpayer. It does not consider distributions from an ARF/AMRF to be payments of pension and as such, it will not allow non-resident taxpayers to claim an exemption from Irish tax on the distributions in cases where pension income is taxable solely in their country of residence under the terms of a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) that Ireland has with that country. As such, Revenue will not grant a PAYE Exclusion Order to the QFM to enable payment of the distributions without deduction of tax.

Notwithstanding the above, Revenue had previously allowed on an administrative basis the tax deducted from an ARF distribution to be refunded where the taxpayer could demonstrate that the distribution had been taxed in the DTA country in which they were resident. With effect from 22 December 2017, this approach will not be allowed by Revenue. Instead, the tax treatment of an ARF distribution will be traced to the underlying income, gains or capital, which it represents. If such income, gains or capital is specifically exempt from Irish tax under the terms of the DTA, then any Irish tax withheld through the PAYE system should be refundable to the taxpayer.

As such, while it may be possible to claim a refund of tax withheld on an ARF distribution, this will require more detailed analysis by non-resident taxpayers who will be required to demonstrate the source of the distribution and how an exemption should be available in the context of a DTA.  


If you have any questions in relation to the above, or if you would like to discuss this topic further, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Mazars employment tax team below:

Frank Greene

Tax Partner

(01) 449 6415

Ken Killoran

Tax Director

(01) 449 4451

John Kelly

Tax Manager

(01) 449 4495


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In providing tailored solutions to the individual needs of our clients, Mazars tax examine and offer a comprehensive range of tax services to national and international clients with a particular emphasis on helping them to structure their businesses and financial affairs tax efficiently.

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