Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Requested Tax Details


UCC VAT Number IE0006286E


UCC's Charitable Status no. - CHY1691


UCC Tax Clearance Certificate


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What is Professional Services Withholding Tax?


Professional Services Withholding Tax is a 20% withholding tax that applies to payments made in respect of professional services provided to the University.  It applies to both foreign and international suppliers.  This tax can be reclaimed by the supplier directly from Revenue.  For further information please see:




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What is a Tax Clearance Certificate?


A Tax Clearance Certificate is confirmation from Revenue that a person's/entity's tax affairs are in order at the date of issue of the certificate.  A condition of obtaining a public sector contract of a value of €10,000 or more, (inclusive of VAT), within any 12 months period, is that the contractor is required to produce a TCC or demonstrate a satisfactory level of tax compliance. Anybody doing business with UCC will require a tax clearance certificate if we are paying them €10,000 or more in any 12 month period.  

The new eTax Clearance system was introduced for all business, PAYE and applicants registered for Irish Tax, from 7 December 2015.  Applicants can now apply online for an electronic tax clearance certificate.  eTax Clearance Certicates are processed in real time and customers who are tax compliant receive a Tax Clearance Access Number, which along with their PPSN/Reference number they give to a third party to verify their tax clearance details. Tax clearance will be regularly reviewed and if a customer becomes non-compliant, their electronic tax clearance certificate can be rescinded (withdrawn).

Non-resident applicants who neither have an Irish tax registration nor a permanent established (PE) place of business in the State [i.e. foreign traders] must apply for tax clearance to Non-Residents Unit, Collector-General's Office, Sarsfield House, Francis Street, Limerick or by e-mail to

For further information please see:


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What is Relevant Contracts Tax?


RCT applies to payments made by a principal contractor to a subcontractor under a relevant contract (this is a contract to carry out, or supply labour for the performance of relevant operations in the construction, forestry or meat processing industry). RCT applies to both resident and non-resident contractors operating in the construction, forestry or meat processing industry.  In the case of UCC, construction is the main area of interest.

The VAT Reverse Charge affects contractors involved in the provision of construction services that are subject to RCT which means that the invoices come into UCC without a VAT charge on them but UCC are obliged to self levy the VAT at the correct rate and pay it directly to Revenue.

For further information please see:



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What is Late Payment in Commerical Transactions Regulations 2012 (previously Prompt Payment Interest)



Under the Late Payment in Commercial Transactions Regulations 2012 (effective on16 March 2013).suppliers have an entitlement to (i) interest if payment for commercial transactions is late and (ii) an automatic entitlement to compensation if interest is due. These regulations apply to business transactions in the EU only.

 It will be an implied term of every contract that interest is payable if debts are not paid on time. The Terms and Conditions of Trade with UCC state that payment terms are 30 days from receipt of the invoice for payment unless otherwise specified by the supplier. A payment is regarded as late when 30 days have elapsed from the date of receipt of the invoice in UCC.  It is imperative that invoices received directly from suppliers are date stamped with the date of receipt, without this date stamp a receipt date of 5 days after the invoice date is used in the interest calculations. Obviously if there is a bone fide reason for the payment being made late i.e. the invoice being in dispute etc. then interest will not paid over. Accounts Payable must be advised in all such cases.  The interest rate is now 8% plus the ECB rate at 01 January and 01 July every year.

The Regulations also provide that it shall be an implied term of every commercial transaction that where late payment interest becomes payable, the supplier shall be automatically entitled, in addition to the late payment interest, to the amount specified in the schedule below as compensation towards the relevant recovery costs incurred by the supplier as a consequence of late payment.

Not exceeding EUR1,000

EUR 40

Exceeding EUR1,000 but not exceeding EUR10,000

EUR 70

Exceeding EUR10,000

EUR 100

Please note that Late Payment Interest and Compensation will be charged to the same charge code as the invoice to which it applies.

For further information please see:




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IS UCC VAT Exempt?


UCC is not VAT exempt.  Suppliers invoicing UCC must charge VAT on their invoices and in most cases the VAT is treated as a charge to the department or research project. 


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What are the VAT implications when purchasing goods / services outside of Ireland?



Supplies of goods from other EU Member States

The supply of goods by a VAT-registered trader in one Member State to a VAT-registered trader in another Member State is referred to as an ‘intra-Community acquisition’

VAT is not payable on such acquisitions at the point of entry to the State but is, instead, accounted for under a system of postponed accounting. The accountable person is required to account for VAT on any intra-Community acquisition at the appropriate Irish VAT rate for the period in which the goods were acquired. 

If UCC purchases goods / services from another EU member state, and quote the UCC VAT number, then the invoice will come in from the supplier without a VAT charge.  UCC are then obliged to charge the Irish VAT applicable to the goods / services and pay this directly to Revenue.  The VAT will be charged to the same code as the original invoice and therefore must be considered from a budgetary perspective when purchasing the goods / services initially.

For further information please see:


On importation of goods into Ireland from countries outside the European Union, customs entry formalities must be completed by the importer or his/her agent.  Importers or their agents may clear consignments at import and pay any charges (customs duty, VAT, excise duty) due through an approved Deferred Payment account, bank draft, money order or bank guaranteed cheque to effect release of the goods. All necessary documents required to clear the goods through customs i.e. invoice, certificate of origin, import licence, etc. must be available on request.

VAT is charged at the point of importation at the same rate that applies to similar goods sold in this country. The value of the goods for the purpose of calculating the amount of VAT payable at import is their value for customs purposes, described above, increased by the amount of any duty or other tax (but not including VAT).

Customs Duty is normally calculated as a percentage of the value. The percentage varies depending on the type of goods and the country of origin. Customs Duty is charged on the price paid for the goods including local sales taxes plus shipping, packaging and insurance costs.

There may also be an administration fee charged by the agent. 

If UCC purchases goods / services from outside the EU, the invoice will come in from the supplier without a VAT charge.  The goods will be held by customs until the VAT and duty are paid by UCC.  The VAT, duty and any administration charge related to the importation of the good / service will be charged to the same code as the original invoice and therefore must be considered from a budgetary perspective when purchasing the goods / services initially.

For further information please see:


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Payment to Individuals – Employee Versus Self Employed?


Due to the level of risk and potential tax liabilities for UCC if an individual’s status is incorrectly determined this policy document sets out some of the main criteria which are used to help determine the status of an individual in UCC as employed or self-employed.

While it is accepted that in most cases it may be clear at the outset whether an individual is employed or self-employed, it may not always be that obvious.

In general an employee will be liable to tax (PAYE/PRSI/USC & PRD where applicable) and all payments made to that individual should be processed through the payroll. Any expenses incurred wholly exclusively and necessarily in respect of that employment will be reimbursed in line with UCC employee expense policy.

A self-employed individual will be paid without the deduction of income taxes, (PAYE/PRSI/USC & PRD where applicable) and it is the responsibility of this individual to declare any payments received to Revenue in their tax return, if appropriate. PSWT or RCT may however be withheld from payments made to self-employed individuals depending on the nature of the services being provided to UCC.

It is important to be aware that based on the terms of any engagement a person may be considered an employee even though they might hold themselves out as being self-employed.

When considering whether an individual is self-employed or not, it is important that the job as a whole is looked at, including working conditions and the reality of the relationship, when considering the relevant guidelines.

Regardless of how the parties may describe themselves all the possible factors (including written, oral and implied details) that bear on the relationship between the parties must be examined, given their proper weight and a judgment made on their overall effect.

To try to provide some clarity as to whether an individual is employed or self-employed, the Employment Status Group has published a Code of Practice for determining Employment or Self-employment status of Individuals.  The main criteria outlined in this code of practice and further information on determining the status of an individual is available at:



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Payments to Individuals – Guest Speakers, Honorariums, Visiting Lecturers and Vouchers?



Please  note the following:

  1. 1.       It is no longer permitted to pay an honorarium to anyone.

2.    It is no longer permitted to pay vouchers to UCC staff - full-time or part-time, guest speakers, visiting lecturers or UCC students.


For further information on payments to Guest Speakers, Honorariums or Vouchers please see the following:,Honorariums-and-Vouchers-Policy.pdf

For further information on payments to Visiting Lecturers please see the following:


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How to Code an Invoice?


The UCC coding structure consists of 3 parts:


Account Code – A four digit number that indicates what you are buying.  When selecting the account code you should consider if Professional Services Withholding Tax or Relevant Contracts Tax is applicable as the code selected will determine how the item is accounted for from a tax perspective.  An up-to-date live version of the account codes may be found via the Agresso system Reports/Management Reports/Cost Centre Reports/Chart of Account List  


Cost Centre – A four digit number that indicates where the item is being charged to.


Project Code – There are 4 options available:

  • NA – Departmental
  • R***** - Research Project
  • A***** - Activity or special project within a department
  • C***** - Capital Project


It is important that invoices are coded to the correct account code.

The codes provide information on university spend and they also impact the accounting and tax treatment of invoices.

Incorrect use of account codes will impact the tax treatment and cause delays in payment.

For further information please see the following:



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How can I make a Once off payment?


It is permitted not to use Agresso in circumstances where the supplier/payee is used on a once off basis, is not providing a professional service and the payment is for less than €1,000. In these circumstances the invoice, detailing the payee bank details, should be signed, coded and forwarded to the Accounts Payable office for payment. Payment will be made to the supplier by electronic funds transfer only.

Where the supplier/payee does not provide an invoice a Sundry Payment Request Form must be completed and the hardcopy returned to Accounts Payable. 

In cases where there are multiple payees, e.g. fee refunds / prizes / scholarships / bursaries, then an excel spreadsheet template must be completed

These forms and further information on sundry payments is available at the following:


In certain circumstances, the Procurement Office will allow the use of their UCC credit card to pay for the booking of travel and accommodation and large items of equipment.  For further on this please contact


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How do I set up a Supplier on Agresso?


To find a supplier ID on the Agresso system, navigate to the Reports area and expand Global Reports/Purchasing Reports and double click to open the report ‘Is the supplier on Agresso?’

If the supplier is on Agresso but parked then you should contact with the supplier name and id requesting the supplier to be unparked.

Once you’ve checked Agresso to ensure the supplier isn’t already on the system you must then complete the Supplier Request Form (QF62) and return to with any necessary supporting documentation.

Once the form is approved by Procurement, they will issue a supplier set-up form to the new supplier via e-mail.  This form must be returned to with the necessary documentation and once it has been checked and approved the supplier will be set up on Agresso.

For further procurement related information please see the following:


The Supplier Request Form (QF62) is available at the following:


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