17 December 2015
Quintas Quarterly Newsletter
Christmas Wishes
Man on the Moon v Man in the Mirror
2015 - A Business Year in Review
National Minimum Wage - Rate Increase 1st January 2016
A Day In The Life of a Tax Advisor at Tax Deadline Time
Tax Exemption - Voucher or Benefit
Is it a good time to buy commodities?
Recent News
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Quintas Quarterly Newsletter

Christmas Wishes
by Tim McCarthy, Managing Partner

Dear Reader

Welcome to the final newsletter from Quintas for 2015.

On behalf of all the Partners and Staff at Quintas, we would like to wish you and your family

a Very Merry Christmas & Prosperous New Year

We sincerely thank you for your business in 2015 and we look foward to working with you again in 2016.

Tim McCarthy
Managing Partner

Man on the Moon v Man in the Mirror
by Fachtna O'Mahony, Partner

As we approach Christmas the TV and Radio are awash with adverts pertaining to the festive season. Everyone has their moment which announces the commencement of Christmas, be it “Black Friday”, 1st Dec or 8th Dec, Fairy-tale of New York etc. For me its hearing that iconic Barrys Tea radio advert about the train set, the narrative in that advert brings back special memories of Christmas.

Most retailers have rolled out their Christmas advertising campaign with M&S, Dunnes, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Supervalu all showing their range of festive party food and all very tempting indeed. I must say I think the current John Lewis “Man on the Moon” advert is very interesting.

Read more»
2015 - A Business Year in Review
by Eugene O'Callaghan, Partner

When first considering the review of the 2015 business year I thought about throwing out some headline statistics and dealing with what these figures meant for the economy in general.  But, statistics are not everything.  Statistics deal with general populations and tend to overlook the individual's experience.  They cannot measure the confidence people have in the economy, and confidence is so very important for the growth of our economy and our business' therein.

When I look back at the year, now very nearly finished, there has been, more confidence from the very outset of the year.  The conversations for most business' this year was around growth, unlike 'consolidation' in previous years.  Discussions have taken in topics such as overseas markets and expansion, alternative sources of finance for growth, staffing, investment in IT and infrastructures.

Read more»
National Minimum Wage - Rate Increase 1st January 2016
by Payroll Department

The National Minimum Wage applies to all employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary and casual employees, except the following categories or employees who are excluded from its provisions:

  • Employees who are close relatives of the employer, such as a spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister;
  • Employees undergoing structured training such as an apprenticeship (other than hairdressing apprenticeships)

For the purposes of the Act, the following payments are regarded as wages:

  • normal basic pay, as well as any overtime
  • shift allowances or other similar payments
  • any fee, bonus or commission
  • any holiday, sick or maternity pay
  • any other return or payment for work (whether made under the contract of employment or otherwise),
  • any sum payable to an employee in lieu of notice of termination of employment.

The current National Minimum Wage rates that apply to certain categories of employees are listed in the table below, together with the new Rates outlined:


Read more»
A Day In The Life of a Tax Advisor at Tax Deadline Time
by Jennifer Brosnan, Team Manager

October 31st is a normal day for most people - not so much when you are an accountant working in practice. 

The build up to this day starts for us at Quintas in February each year. The first of 3 rounds of letters being sent to all clients begging for information to be sent in as early as possible in the hope that come October 31st and the following 2 weeks we might not have to be in the office 7 days a week and more than 12 hours a day. Since I started working as an accountant the only October Bank Holiday I have enjoyed was thanks to a very strategically planned maternity leave!

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Tax Exemption - Voucher or Benefit
by Sally Turner, Payroll Department

The Finance Bill 2015, provides for the introduction of a new statutory tax exemption for a voucher or benefit (a tangible asset other than cash) provided by an employer to an employee, subject to the following conditions: 

  • Only one qualifying voucher or benefit can be given to an employee per tax year,
  • The voucher or benefit cannot exceed €500 in value,
  • It cannot be exchanged in full or part for cash, and
  • The voucher or benefit cannot form part of a salary sacrifice arrangement (i.e. the employee is not permitted to surrender part of his remuneration due under his contract of employment in return for a tax free voucher or benefit). 

Where the above conditions are met, the voucher or benefit can be given to the employee free of PAYE, PRSI and USC.

This exemption, which replaces the small benefit exemption, is effective from the date of publication of the Finance Bill, 22nd October 2015. Revenue has confirmed that this change will be applied on an administrative basis pending the enactment of the Finance Bill 2015.

Revenue has also confirmed that the small benefit exemption may only be applied once in a tax year. Therefore, where an employee has already availed of the small benefit exemption up to a maximum value of €250 prior to 22nd October 2015, the employee has no further entitlement following the introduction of the increased limit of €500 since 22nd October 2015.

If you have any queries on this exemption don't hesitate to contact us on 021 4641400 or email info@quintas.ie

Is it a good time to buy commodities?
by Anne O'Doherty, Head of Life & Pensions, QWM

Commodities have taken a beating over the past few years. The Bloomberg Commodities Index, which covers 20 commodities, was down 17% for 2014 and so far for 2015 it is down 16.64%. When commodity prices were high, producers added production capabilities to profit from the higher prices. At the same time the companies were increasing production; demand stayed the same or decreased depending on the commodity.

Thus basic economics of supply and demand took over and commodity prices started to come down (not to mention the slowdown in China's economy). With a tumble of close to 33% since the start of 2014, you may be wondering if it is safe to begin buying commodities yet and if so which ones.

Read more»
Recent News

Graduate/Trainee Accountant Opportunities

Are you interested in training to become an accountant?  If so click here to find out about opportunities available in Quintas.

Mr & Mrs O'Sullivan!

Huge congrats to Fergal O'Sullivan, Accountant with Quintas on his recent marriage to Fionnuala Gill.

The Bankruptcy Term in Ireland is to Reduce to 12 Months

The Taoiseach recently announced that the bankruptcy term will be reduced from 3 years to 12 months by the end of this year.  This change brings us in line with our neighbours in the UK and Northern Ireland. 

Click here to view an article penned by Mark Ryan the Quintas Personal Insolvency Practictioner on this announcement.  Mark Ryan, is hosting FREE Information Evenings on debt resolution, insolvency and bankruptcy.  These open evenings offer you the opportunity to meet with Mark Ryan for a 15 minute consultation whereby he can advise you on how you can best overcome your debt worries.  If you would like to avail of this offer contact Sarah O'Neill on 021 4641400 or email soneill@quintas.ie

CPA Students Awards Ceremony

Pictured below is Aisling McDevitt winner of the Quintas sponsored Strategic Corporate Finance prize for achieving the highest examination mark in Ireland.  Also pictured is Helen Long and Ann Donegan from Griffith College Dublin and Paul Heaney, Director of Education & Training in CPA Ireland.

Quintas Group Run in the Dark

Congrats to the Quintas staff who ran Run in the Dark in November.  Pictured from l-r: Deirdre McGee, Mark Ryan, Nicola Mullen, Caitriona O'Connor & Fiona O'Connor.

Congrats to the Quintas staff who participated in last nights Run in the Dark.

Pictured from l-r: Deirdre McGee, Mark Ryan, Nicola Mullen, Caitriona O'Connor & Fiona O'Connor

- See more at: http://www.quintas.ie/News/run-in-the-dark/#sthash.kMhw7EX3.dpuf

Looking for some last minute Gift Ideas - try The BikeBox Club

The Bikebox Club (http://www.thebikeboxclub.com/) is the first subscription box service for cyclists.

The Bikebox Club research and source the best brands and the newest products according to the latest cycling trends and seasonal cycling requirements. 

They send their members monthly deliveries of these high quality products, directly to their door at a price that cannot be matched.

The company recently won an exhibitors space at this years Web Summit where the Tour de France Champion Chris Froome even had to get his hands on a box! The Bikebox Club was also a finalist at this years Enterprise Irelands 'Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur Awards'. The Bikebox Club are involved in events such as Cycle Against Suicide, in which Niall Breslin and Rozanna Purcell are ambassadors. 

They have also created a once off 'Christmas Gift Box' which is full of products that any cyclists and triathlete would love to own (available via www.thebikeboxclub.com). 

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