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The European Parliament has confirmed The European Commission’s proposed extension to the SEPA switchover date. Businesses trading in euros will now have until 1st August 2014 to comply with SEPA regulations, thanks to an emergency six-month extension to the deadline.

The Internal Market and Service Commissioner Michel Barnier of the European Commission spoke of his regret about having to make this decision, stating firmly that there would be no further deadline extension beyond August 1st. Barnier called this six-month grace a transition period, with the original February 1st deadline still standing. This essentially means that businesses that have yet to transfer to SEPA can still make payments in other formats until 1st August. Non-SEPA payments will continue to be accepted until that date.

The move comes as Ireland’s Department of Finance announced that the change to SEPA had delayed many tax payments. The tax revenue it received in January 2014 was down 17% on the same month last year, despite the economic recovery. It expects this tax revenue to be recovered at a later date, as the country switches to SEPA completely.

SEPA, or the Single Euro Payments Area, is a unified payment system that sets a series of standards that should speed up euro transactions. Companies trading in euros will have to switch payroll, direct debit and credit transfer systems over to the SEPA format by obtaining IBAN and BIC numbers. You can do this online if your company is yet to do so. If your business uses construction accounting software then the switch should be easy to make – you’ll simply have to switch your old payment details with IBAN and BIC. Many of Integrity Software’s customers have made the switch well in advance of the February 1st deadline.

If you’d like a free demonstration of how much easier Integrity’s construction accounting software can make managing your business finances, contact us to arrange it now!