A. Preliminary tax is, in essence, an estimate of the tax you will owe on your next tax return.
In order to fulfil your preliminary tax obligations in respect of the 2018 income tax year, a payment should be made along with the filing of your 2017 Income tax return in October 2018.
You have three options when deciding what level of preliminary tax you should pay in October 2018 which are as follows:
Based upon 100% of your 2017 tax charge.
Based upon 90% of your 2018 tax charge (this will need to be an estimate at the time of filing the return).
105% of your final tax charge for the pre-preceding tax year (2016). This option is only available where preliminary tax is paid by monthly direct debit.
If you fail to pay preliminary tax or underpay the preliminary tax Revenue may charge interest on this late payment. This interest is calculated at 0.0219% per day (circa 8% per annum).
In the past Revenue were slow to apply interest to underpaid preliminary tax, especially where the amounts involved were quite low. There has been a marked increase in recent times, however, of Revenue enforcing these powers and applying the interest charges.
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