The Irish Dental Union (IDU) is delighted to announce a range of new business advice, tax audit and counselling services available. These new services should provide peace of mind and security to dentists in these difficult times when membership of the IDU has never been more important, says Chief Executive FINTAN HOURIHAN.

Tax protection
The new IDU Tax Protection Policy will meet all reasonable professional costs incurred by dentists who are subject to an audit of their business accounts by the Revenue Commissioners, as well as for appeals regarding PAYE or PRSI compliance following an audit by the Revenue Commissioners or the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs, or in relation to VAT liabilities. The cost of this insurance-based policy will be borne by the IDU (the policy holder is the IDU and the insured persons are members of the IDU). You or your accountant should contact DAS, Europe’s leading tax and legal expenses insurer, at 1850 670 747, as soon as you are notified of a Revenue Commissioners audit of your business accounts. When the appropriate information is received, an accountant will be appointed to act for you – this can be your own accountant if agreeable to both DAS and your accountant. Please note that this policy only covers costs incurred after DAS has been authorised, so please ensure that you call as soon as you are made aware of an audit. The policy will cover any notifications received after March 1, 2013, and is subject to terms and conditions, which are available on request to IDU members.
In addition, we are delighted to announce access to a range of new IDU helplines, which are free to members and their immediate family, and are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Confidentiality is assured, and users’ details will not be provided to the IDU in any circumstance.

The counselling helpline (1850 670 407) provides confidential access to a trained counsellor, based in Bristol, and presents an opportunity to talk about difficulties and assist in finding ways of dealing with them. The helpline provides two types of counselling: crisis and sequential call. A crisis call occurs when the caller has an issue they need to share immediately (usually a single, one-hour call). If a longer response is needed, sequential counselling can be arranged. This usually takes place between 9.00am and 4.00pm over a six-week period, with the caller spending an hour per week talking to the same counsellor. Both services are operated by counsellors who are trained to diploma level, and can be accessed as many times as needed. If telephone counselling is not sufficient, a face-to-face service can also be arranged. This high quality, independent, compassionate and nonjudgemental advice is available absolutely free of charge to all IDU members together with any immediate family who live permanently with the IDU member.

Legal advice
This helpline is answered by Irish qualified lawyers who can give you advice on the whole range of commercial legal problems, including family law, property issues, wills and probate. The only area not covered is employment issues, which you should direct to IDA House. The legal advice helpline is restricted to IDU members only.

Business assistance
Should you as an IDU member experience an emergency affecting your business premises, for example flooding or a central heating breakage, the IDU Business Assistance Helpline (1850 670 747) is available. Helpline staff will source (but not pay for) an accredited tradesman, make an appropriate appointment, advise of the estimated cost, and ring to check on a timely arrival. After the emergency has been resolved, the helpline will ask for your feedback on the workmanship to ensure that only the very best service is offered to future callers.

Health and medical information
By calling the confidential Health and Medical Information Service (1890 254 164) you can receive information over the phone on health and fitness, and non-diagnostic advice on general matters.