Prompt Payment Procedures

Prompt Payment Procedures.

The Department is committed to making every effort to pay its suppliers promptly. In this regard suppliers can help by ensuring that they provide correct invoices, accurate bank account details and by ensuring that their Tax Clearance status with the Irish Revenue Commissioners is up to date.

(In the case of all public sector contracts of a value of €10,000 (inclusive of VAT) or more within any 12-month period, the contractor (and agent or sub-contractor as appropriate) will be required to produce either a valid tax clearance certificate or a C2 certificate. This is a mandatory requirement. Full details on tax clearance procedures may be found on the Revenue Commissioners website)

Prompt Payment of Accounts Legislation.

Payment of invoices by the Department is governed by the Prompt Payment of Accounts Act, 1997 as amended by the European Communities (Late Payment in Commercial Transactions) Regulations 2002. The legislation provides for the payment of interest on valid invoices which are unpaid after 30 days from the date of receipt.   Interest is calculated in respect of the period starting on the date after the due date and ending on the date when payment is made. 

Payment of interest cannot be waived by the supplier and must be included with the amount payable for the goods or services without demand for its payment being made by the supplier.

From the 1st July 2010, the late payment interest rate is 8% per annum (that is based on the ECB rate of 1% plus the margin of 7%). That rate equates to a daily rate of 0.022%. Penalty interest due for late payments should be calculated on a daily basis. The ECB rate can be checked on the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland website or on the European Central Bank website.

Invoice Queries

The Department has ten working days to return an incorrect invoice which must be accompanied by a written statement identifying the alleged defects that prevent payment being made.  Following acceptance by the Department of the corrected invoice, the Department will endeavour to issue payment within 15 days.

The legislation does not oblige payment to be made to a supplier who has failed or refused to comply with a request to produce a tax clearance certificate and it expressly extends the statutory time limit for payment where there are delays in furnishing a tax clearance certificate.  Also the Act does not affect the deduction of withholding tax from any payment to a supplier.

New 15-Day Payment Requirement, June 2009

The Government introduced a further non-statutory requirement in June 2009 to reduce the payment period by Central Government Departments to their suppliers from 30 to 15 days. Every effort, consistent with proper financial procedures, is being made to ensure that all suppliers are paid within this timeframe. The links below show the Department's performance with regard to the 15 day payment requirement since its introduction.

Revised Late Payment Legislation affective from 16 March 2013.


S.I. 580 of 2012 transposes EU Directive 2011/7/EU on Combating Late Payment in Commercial Transactions.  This new SI revokes the previous Regulation  S.I 388 of 2002.

Link to the SI on the Irish Statute Book.    http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2012/en/si/0580.html  

The main provisions of the new Legislation for Public Authorities are;

If the date or period for payment is not fixed in the contract, the creditor is entitled to interest for late payment upon the expiry of any of the following time-limits:

  • 30 calendar days following the date of receipt  of the invoice or an equivalent request for payment;
  • If the date of the receipt of the invoice or the equivalent request for payment is uncertain, 30 calendar days after the date of receipt of the goods or services.
  • Public Authorities will have to pay as a general rule, within 30 days

In addition;

Acceptance and Verification procedure in Public Authorities to Business (PA2B)
-        Must be provided by the contract
-        Maximum duration does not exceed 30 calendar days from the date of receipt of the goods/services unless
-        Otherwise expressly agreed in the contract AND tender doc and provided it is not grossly unfair to the creditor

Government Departments and State Bodies should take particular note of the following:

  • Rate of interest on Late Payment changes to "The applicable reference rate (rate applied by the ECB) + statutory Interest for Late Payments of 8%" The new rates will be posted on the Late Payment webpage on the Departments website.
  • The €5 minimum interest payment has been abolished.   Small amounts of interest for late payment can be charged.  There is no minimum interest payment applicable
  • In addition to receiving Interest on Late Payment the supplier is also entitled to Automatic compensation (without the need to issue a reminder)  of a  minimum of  €40 if the Invoice is less than €1,000.  There is a scale of compensation detailed in the Schedule to the S.I.    Automatic payment of Compensation costs was confirmed by the Attorney General’s Office and the European Commission.

The Schedule provides for the Amount of compensation payable under Regulation 9 as follows;
Not exceeding €1000                                         €40
Exceeding €1,000 but not exceeding €10.000     €70
Exceeding €10,000                                            €100


It is also important to note that the 15 day Prompt Payment administration requirement still applies and all public bodies are encouraged to pay their creditors within 15 days.

2009

Period: 1 July to 31 September 2009 (PDF 70kb)
Period: 1 October to 31 December 2009 (PDF 50kb) 

2010

Period: 1 January 2010 to 31 March 2010 (PDF 91kb)
Period : 1 April 2010 to 30 June 2010 (PDF 91kb)
Period: 1 July 2010 to 30 September 2010 (PDF 29kb)
Period: 1 October 2010 to 31 December 2010 (PDF 163kb)

2011

Period: 1 January 2011 to 31 March 2011 (PDF 163kb)
Period: 1 April 2011 to 30 June 2011 (PDF 164kb)
Period: 1 July to 30 September 2011 (PDF 163kb)
Period: 1 October 2011 to 31 December 2011 (PDF 105kb)

2012

Period: 1 January 2012 to 31 March 2012 (PDF 254kb)
Period: 1 April to 30 June 2012 (PDF 179kb)  
Period :1 July to 30 September (PDF 174kb)

Period :1 October 2012 to December (PDF 163kb)

2013 

Period: 1 January to 31 March 2013 (PDF 248kb)

Period: 1 April to 30 June 2013 (PDF 103kb)  

Period: 1 July to 30 September 2013 (PDF 103kb)

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