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Revenue ramps up Brexit planning with small businesses

Some 92,000 small businesses across Ireland are being contacted by officials from Revenue regarding preparations for Britain’s impending departure from the European Union (EU).

Revenue is distributing letters, as well as making widespread phone calls, outlining the necessary steps small firms must take to be ready for any type of Brexit scenario.

Lynda Slattery, head of Revenue’s Brexit Policy Unit, warned that some small businesses that it’s not as simple as signing up for an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

In fact, recent Revenue figures suggest that a third (33%) of wholesale and retail firms who trade with or buy supplies ad-hoc from the UK have not yet applied for an EORI number.

Ms Slattery has encouraged small business owners and self-employed professionals to undertake their own impact assessments to pinpoint ways in which the UK’s exit from the EU will impact upon their businesses and supply chains.

Businesses should also be mindful of who will undertake their customs declarations and take time to understand how import duties will affect their imported commodities.

The increased Brexit planning from Revenue officials will be conducted across an eight-week period. Ms Slattery insisted that although officials will be contacting 92,000 businesses during this time, it does not mean that all of these firms are ill-prepared for the UK’s EU departure.

“The 92,000 is the figure identified who had some level of trade with the UK in 2018,” said Slattery.

“Some are registered, some are not. We’re not taking any chances and are contacting everyone. We’ve written to them all and will be ringing them all.”

Ms Slattery also reiterated that despite the question marks hanging over the way in which the UK plans to leave the EU, Revenue is operating on the basis that the UK will depart on 31st October.

She also moved to reassure small firms that Revenue is offering absolute certainty that customs formalities will be applicable from 31st October in the event of Britain’s exit from the EU.

Date published 7 Aug 2019 | Last updated 3 Mar 2021

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