We have recently had enquiries from Receivers and Liquidators appointed over licensed premises and Accountants considering such potential appointments.  Very often where a Receiver/Liquidator is appointed, the License holder is in arrears with Revenue and the License has therefore not been renewed as the license holder was not in a position to furnish to Revenue a tax clearance certificate.  This presents a major difficulty for Receiver Managers, Receivers and Liquidators  given that a subsisting License is required to operate a licensed premises while Ordinary Seven Day Licenses/Off-Licences remain valuable assets.  The following should not be relied on as a substitute for comprehensive advices with reference to the particular circumstances of each case.

All Ordinary Seven Day Licenses and Off-Licenses expire on the 30th of September of each year.  The License holder has until the 30th of September of the following year to renew its License.  If it does not renew its License during that 12 month period the license will lapse and is lost for ever.  In such circumstances an application may be made to Court for a new License however this involves a Circuit Court application involving considerable expense.

If the License holder (be it the owner of the property over which a Receiver has been appointed or the company in liquidation) cannot obtain a tax clearance certificate the Receiver/Liquidator cannot lawfully operate the property as a licensed premises once the license has expired (ie from the 1st of October) and in addition the license will lapse on the 30th of September of the following year.

Revenue will however consider renewing the Licence within the 12-month period on a case by case basis notwithstanding the fact that the Licence holder cannot obtain a tax clearance certificate provided that a Liquidator has been appointed to the License holder or a Receiver over the licensed premises.

This concessional Licence may be granted where the following steps are followed:

  1. Copy of the Deed of Appointments of the Receiver/ evidence of appointment of Liquidator.
  2. The Receiver/Liquidator must contact the Registration section of their local Revenue office to obtain a new tax reference number for the entity in liquidation/receivership.  They must then also apply for a tax clearance certificate under this new number.
  3. The tax reference number will change for the licence but the licence reference and Licensee name will not change as this is a facility for renewal, on a concession only basis.
  4. A written undertaking is required from the Liquidator/Receiver that the Licence will not revert or be sold or transferred by any other means to the original Licensee or to any company or entity associated with the original Licence or connected parties.

The above application will only succeed where the licence has not lapsed or where it has not been objected to.  From our discussions with Revenue, it seems that they will not extend this concession to a Landlord whose tenant cannot obtain a tax clearance certificate.  In such circumstances, a Court Application for a new license will be required.

Keith Hogan
Hogan Dowling McNamara

Hogan Dowling McNamara Solicitors are conveniently located at Castletroy House, Dublin Road, Limerick with plenty of off street parking.

14th September 2011

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