Cross Border Workers Coalition meets with Irish Finance Minister Donohoe

The Cross Border Workers Coalition, a group campaigning to change remote working tax rules in the Republic of Ireland, has met with Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe TD this week.

In the virtual meeting, Coalition Co-Chairs Aidan O’Kane, Conor Dowds, and Paul Quinn engaged with the Minister on the Republic of Ireland’s tax laws which can deny home-working opportunities to thousands of cross-border workers. The group were encouraged by the Minister’s response that his department’s advisory body, the Tax Strategy Group, will publish a report addressing the issue later this year, with the Minister continuing to engage with the Coalition ahead of its release.

Established in March 2020, the Coalition is an alliance of individual employees who live in the border regions of the Republic of Ireland but work in Northern Ireland. Restrictive personal tax rules mean that, if cross-border workers work-from-home at all, they can face a ‘double tax’ on their income. Finance Minister Donohoe has temporarily waived these rules until January 2022 and responded positively to the Coalition’s ask that the current temporary amendments are made permanent.

Earlier this month, when asked about this issue during a meeting of the Shared Island Dialogue by Coalition Co-Chair Aidan O’Kane, An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar TD, said this is an issue the Government is hoping to “work out” before Budget 2022 in October this year. The Coalition are optimistic that, following this positive engagement with senior Irish Government Ministers, a long-term, pragmatic solution can be found.

Conor Dowds, Co-Chair of the Cross Border Workers Coalition, said: “It was good to engage with Minister Donohoe yesterday who, during the meeting, acknowledged the importance of the issue and committed to thoroughly consider options to address it while engaging with us further. The Minister recognised our concern that, left unchanged, current tax legislation threatens to impose an unfair tax penalty to thousands of cross-border workers seeking to work-from-home. We appreciated his constructive engagement with us and look forward to the publication of the Tax Strategy Group’s report on our issue.”

“Alongside the recent positive contribution of An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar TD, yesterday’s meeting with Minister Donohoe represents a turning point in our campaign to change these outdated remote working tax rules. We were very thankful for the Minister’s time and look forward to further interaction with him and his department to bring forward a long-term solution to this issue.”

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