Relevant contracts tax (RCT)

RCT is a withholding tax applicable to certain payments made by principal contractors to sub-contractors involved in construction, meat processing or forestry operations, to ensure they are tax compliant. It is sometimes mistakenly considered to be less important than other taxes but the significant liabilities which can arise means you overlook this tax at your peril.

The legislation obliges the “principal contractor” to retain tax from the amount payable to contractors/sub-contractors engaged to carry out relevant operations in the absence of specific Revenue authorisations.  In 2012 the administration of the system moved to an electronic platform (e-RCT) so all RCT compliance is now conducted online via ROS – Revenue’s online system.


Our tax experts offer both RCT advisory and RCT compliance services to either principal contractors and/or contractors in receipt of payments. We also advise on Revenue audits, carrying out a pre-audit review, and interacting and negotiating with Revenue.

Our general RCT services include:

  • Advising on the practical operation of RCT
  • Advising on the RCT implications of property transactions
  • Conducting RCT reviews to identify risk areas and recommending strategies to mitigate risk and potential RCT costs
  • Preparing and filing RCT unprompted/prompted voluntary disclosures to Revenue
  • Mitigating the penalties and interest regarding an RCT liability following a Revenue audit
  • Conducting RCT reconciliations for VAT and RCT (Revenue programme)
  • Assisting with RCT compliance; input contract notifications, payment notifications and review deductions summaries
  • Applying to Revenue for the zero per cent rate of RCT for subcontractors
  • Obtaining RCT refunds for both resident/non-resident individuals and companies