Correcting errors in a self-assessed tax return

This guidance only discusses the tax returns to be submitted to the Tax Administration – the VAT return and other returns.

  • Payments you make of wages and employer contributions on and after 1 January 2019 must be reported to the Incomes Register. If you need to make corrections to such reporting, send your corrections to the Incomes Register. See the Income Register's instructions for making corrections.
  • This guidance is for making corrections to payroll information for 2018 or before that.

File a replacement report in MyTax

The way to correct an error is to file a replacement return for the tax period where the error occurred. On a replacement return, you re-submit the complete information on the tax (VAT, for example) at the right amounts.

The replacement report on employer's contributions can only be used for payments made in 2018 or earlier. To make a correction regarding employer's contributions (payroll withholding, health insurance, tax at source), you must file a replacement return containing all the amounts as they should be.

Corrections relating to amounts withheld, to tax at source or to the employer's health insurance contribution almost always cause that the relevant employer payroll report must be corrected, too.

File a replacement report in MyTax or through other e-filing channels. Paper returns are not accepted unless special circumstances apply. If the correction you are making relates to VAT or employer's contributions, give the reason for correction.

Example 1: In case of an error in the "tax period" field on the return, the way to put things right is to re-submit as many replacement returns (with the periods corrected) as are necessary for each tax period concerned. If no reportable taxes are accrued for a certain tax period, you must file a Not Active report ‒ often referred to as a 'zero return'.

Corrections must be made before 3 years have elapsed. For purposes of this time limit, the important factor is the calendar year or accounting period to which the tax relates that should have been filed and paid. The three-year period starts from the beginning of the calendar year that follows that year or accounting period.

When the tax base (or other similar information) must be corrected, the correction entry must always be made for the tax period containing the error. Similarly, corrections of the type of tax must also be made for the tax period of the error. When making corrections to tax returns where both the tax payable and the base of the tax are indicated, you must give the amounts consistently for the same tax period.

Correcting a slight error

It is always possible to enter a correction to an error in a tax return for the tax period when it occurred, regardless of its amount in euros. A new, alternative method of making corrections to self-assessed tax returns has been introduced. It is available to corrections that concern tax periods with start date 1 January 2017 or later.  However, it only applies to errors with little or no economic consequence.

If you need to correct a slight error (less than €500 per tax period and per type), you can do so simply by including the correction in your next tax return, i.e. the return you must file by the due date that comes after the month when you detected the error. This means that for a slight error, you do not have to refer to the tax period when it had occurred: it is enough if you just adjust the tax to be reported for a later tax period.

Note: negative values are only permitted on VAT returns.  In other words, when you make corrections to other taxes than VAT, you are not allowed to have the tax amount decrease so much that it turns into a negative value. The correction rules let you spread out the decrease over a number of tax periods coming after the one when you detected the error. If there is not enough tax payable during the first period, you can continue adjusting the figures for the next period and period after that until the error has been put right.

The calendar year as the tax period

Example 2. Too much VAT was reported.

In May 2019, the taxpayer detects a mistake in the return submitted for the November 2018 period. Too much VAT at the 24-percent rate was reported, the excessive amount being €200. There is no need to prepare a correction specifically for November 2018. The taxpayer can make the correction by adjusting the values of the VAT return to be submitted by the general due date of June 2019.

Self-assessed tax return VAT filed for November (11/2018): June 2019 return without the correction of the slight error June 2019 return after correcting the slight error
Tax on domestic sales 24 % 1000 1200 1000
Tax deducted for the period 700 700 700
Tax payable 300 500 300

Example 3: Too little VAT

In May 2019, the taxpayer detects a slight error pertaining to January 2019.  The amount of VAT at the 24-percent rate had been too low by €200. There is no need to prepare a correction specifically for January 2019; rather, you can make the necessary correction by the general due date in June 2019 when filing your tax return.

Self-assessed tax return VAT filed for January (1/2019): June 2019 return without the correction of the slight error June 2019 return after correcting the slight error
Tax on domestic sales 24 % 1000 1200 1400
Tax deducted for the period 700 700 700
Tax payable 300 500 700