Frequently Asked Questions


Here are some of the questions we are often asked by new clients.

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You may need an accountant to assist you with preparation and submission of your accounts and tax returns. Hiring an experienced accountant may help you reduce your tax bill, give you the comfort of knowing that your legal requirements are met, and save you time that could be spent on growing your business.

how else can AN accountant help me?

There are many other reasons you might want a good accountant, such as helping you to register for VAT and PAYE, provision of company secretarial services to help you setup your new company, and to advise you of which tax credits and deductions you may be entitled to.

Your accountant can also help you with many of the financial aspects of your business, such as budgeting, providing payroll management services, deciding on an accounting system to use, advise you on specific decisions (such as whether or not to make a particular investment) and help you to understand how your business is performing.

are your fees very expensive?

No, we always aim to provide an efficient service and excellent value. The exact price of our services will depend on the amount of time spent working on a given client; we are always happy to have an up-front consultation to discuss your particular situation and the expected fee. We can also offer monthly payment options if required.

is it difficult to switch accountants?

Not at all; changing accountants is a simple process that can usually be completed relatively quickly. Once you let your current accountant know that you will be moving, we will write to them to get “professional clearance”. This is simply to confirm that there are no reasons why we shouldn’t accept the appointment, and to obtain any relevant information we require.

WHAT information do i need to give my accountant?

The information we need will depend on your individual requirements, but as a rule of thumb, proof of income and expenses (such as bank statements, cheque stubs, invoices and sales books), will be required for submission of tax returns. Also, all clients must provide proof of identity (e.g. passport or driver’s license) and proof of address (e.g. utility bill) to comply with anti-money laundering legislation.

taxes - who pays?

Broadly speaking, individuals pay income tax, PRSI (social insurance) and USC (universal social charge), based on the level of income they earn, with companies paying corporation tax, also based on the level of income they earn.

Also there is VAT (value-added tax), which is added to the price of the goods and services which we buy everyday, as well as capital taxes (which may for example be levied on the earnings we make from the sale of property, or gifts/inheritances which we may receive). An accountant can advise you on the tax credits and deductions you are entitled to claim, in order to legitimately reduce your tax bill.

do i qualify for exemption from paying income tax?

You may be entitled to income tax exemptions for certain types of income (e.g. compensation payments from your employer, profits from lotteries, interest from certain types of savings certs, artist income up to €40,000) or you may be entitled to reliefs based on your personal circumstances (For example, are you over 65? Do you have dependent children? Is your income below a certain threshold? Have you made qualifying pension contributions or started your own business after a period of unemployment?)

The above list is not exhaustive, and our team can be relied upon for advice that meets your particular needs.

SHould i form a company?

The two most common types of business are:

  • Sole Trader: One person in business operating on their own. As far as the law is concerned, the owner and the business are the same, and if the business fails, the owner is personally responsible for settling all debts that the business owes.

  • Limited company: Legally, the business has a separate existence from the owner(s). Any profits belong to the owners, but the owners have “limited liability”, meaning that if the business fails, the most that the owner can lose is the money they have invested into the business.

There are pros and cons to either route, and we can help you come to the best decision for your particular situation.

will i need to register for vat?

You must register for VAT if your turnover is above certain thresholds:

  • If 90% of your sales income comes from the sale of goods and you earn more than €75,000 per year, or

  • If 10% (or more) of your sales income comes from the sale of services, and you earn more than €37,500 per year, or

  • If you sell more than €35,000 of goods to private customers in other EU countries in a calendar year, or

  • If it becomes likely that you will exceed any of the above thresholds within a 12 month period, or if you engagement in certain specific types of transactions (about which our team can advise you).


A guide to the circumstances where a company can qualify for audit exemption, under the Companies Act 2014, is set out on the website of the Companies Registration Office (CRO).

where is your firm based?

Thomas Clare & Co. Accountants is based in Dunleer, Co. Louth (approximately 45 minutes from Dublin city centre, and approximately halfway between Drogheda and Dundalk). We can be contacted by email at or by telephone on 041-6851777.