John M Shanahan & Co.

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Chartered Accountants
Registered Auditors

Phone: 057 93 22100


To SIN or not to SIN - the Building Contractors administrative nightmare is set to continue.

December 23, 2015


Do Revenue want you to be their slave - it appears so, when it comes passing on the burden of administration now being imposed upon building contractors today with the introduction of the new  Site Identifier number or SIN as Revenue like to call it. The objective of the new system is to identify the locations of relevant operations at all times and who are working on those sites.

With this real-time system Revenue will probably know what site the Contrator is due to work on as soon as they know themselves (if not beforehand).

I am not suggesting they will be on-site before you, I am not suggesting they hold your shovel while you fumble for your paperwork, but what I am suggesting is that this system is now being imposed for Revenue's benefit, in their ongoing effort to effectively monitor the building trade.

We at, John Shanahan of John M Shanahan Accountants, Tullamore, Co Offaly outline how this will operate - and the usual T&C's apply when it comes compliance.


Effective as and from December 2015, each contract will now require a SIN when the Contract Notification process is being completed. The SIN is a system-generated identifying number which is applied to the location(s) where relevant operations are due to take place under a particular contract.

When a Principal contractor is updating the e-RCT system with details of a new contract at a new location for the first time, the system will automatically provide a SIN when they enter the location of the relevant operation. This SIN will also be provided to the Subcontractor on the Contract Notification that issues to them. When identifying the location of relevant operations, Principals will now enter both the Site/Project Name and the address.

Once the system has generated the SIN, the Principal or Subcontractor should enter only the SIN instead of the location for any further updates they make to the e-RCT system in respect of the same Site/Project.

When the contract is a maintenance contract, and the subcontractor is working at many different locations on behalf of the Principal contractor, the Principal should describe the Site/Project Name as “Maintenance contract for……..”, in which case they can then input their head office address (i.e. the Principal can enter their own HQ address) as the address for this contract (as opposed to the administrative burden of entering many multiple addresses for each of the locations where the relevant contract works are being carried out).

Where the relevant contract is not a maintenance contract and the subcontractor is working at a number of locations, there is a facility for the Principal to input up to 10 site addresses per contract.

Principals will be able to view all SINs on ROS.

In line with legislation, Principals are required to input their Contract Notifications as soon as possible after entering into a relevant contract with their subcontractors. Timely updating is crucial so that that subcontractor (who may also be a principal contractor) will immediately have access to the SIN, if they in turn engage subcontractors.

If a Principal is in breach of this legislative requirement they may be liable for a penalty needless to say.
All Subcontractors will be notified of the SIN on their Contract Confirmation letter.

In this way SINs for Sites/Projects will be notified to all the contractors working on that Site/Project. This will enable all contractors to use the existing SINs when they are making their Contract Notifications as appropriate

Please be aware that SIN's may only be forgiven upon the payment of a penalty to Revenue.


For further information visit  Revenue - then call us!

Contact John M Shanahan Accountants for expert advice on
Taxation, Business Management, and Financial matters.

Phone 057 93 22100 or email or use our contact form here- Contact Form.

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