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A group representing employees who reside here but work south of the border are calling on the Irish Government to update legislation involving restrictive personal tax rules that currently makes it difficult for cross border workers with the potential of them being taxed in both jurisdictions.

The Cross Border Workers Coalition is backed by Emma Mullen-Marmion, CEO of Newry Chamber of Commerce who is on the Coalition's Steering Group.

The group represents employees who reside in the Republic of Ireland but are largely prohibited from remote working (or working from home) due to restrictive personal tax rules which impact cross border workers who work in Northern Ireland on a daily basis.

Both governments recommendations to work from home if possible has thrown up extra difficulties for cross border workers who could potentially be taxed twice on their earnings. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Both governments recommendations to work from home if possible has thrown up extra difficulties for cross border workers who could potentially be taxed twice on their earnings. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Set up in early 2020, the Coalition believes the opportunity is now right to make the legislative change for the benefit of thousands of cross border workers right across the ‘necklace’ region of the Republic of Ireland to allow them to work in the country that they reside without being exposed to a personal tax liability.

Reacting to the publication of the National Remote Work Strategy from the Republic of Ireland Government, Aidan O’Kane, Co-Chair, Cross Border Workers Coalition said “The Cross Border Workers Coalition (CBWC) welcomes the Irish Government’s commitment to introducing legislation which will give employees the right to request remote working on a permanent basis after the Covid-19 pandemic. Since our inception, we have campaigned tirelessly on the basis that current tax legislation on cross-border workers is outdated and does not reflect current working practices.

“We agree with the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar TD, that there “can be huge benefits” to remote working provisions, including “more flexibility, less commuting, more time for family and friends”. However, as we stated in our correspondence to the Minister, cross-border tax legislation must be changed to accommodate new remote working practices to ensure that cross-border workers are not left behind.”

Mr O'Kane continued “As a group we are committed to ensuring that cross-border workers domiciled in the Republic of Ireland, but working in Northern Ireland, are not subject to ‘double taxation’. Before the next budget, the Tax Strategy Group – an advisory group to the Finance Minister – will review the treatment of remote working. We now call on Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe TD for clarity as to how cross-border income tax legislation will be considered in this review.”

“This move by the Irish Government shows their commitment to accommodate remote working practices for employees across Ireland. Upon this, we re-affirm our call to the Government to update current legislation and provide a permanent solution for disadvantaged cross-border workers."

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