The Department of Finance has postponed plans to bring forward the pay-and-file deadline for self-assessed tax payers and small and medium-sized businesses. 

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan had previously suggested changing the deadline to ensure that filings would be made ahead of the next Budget, which itself has been moved forward in the year to October.

However, the department said following a consultation process, no change will be made to the filing date in 2014.

The development will affect 200,000 individuals who file through the system each year. 

Mr Noonan still intends to move the date forward, a spokesperson said, though this will not happen until 2015 at the earliest.

Business group ISME has welcomed the decision by the minister, but said it was concerned about future changes that may be made.

The association called for a “comprehensive consultation process” ahead of any future moves to ensure any negative impact was minimised.

Chartered Accountants Ireland described the announcement as “positive” and said that any change would have caused very serious disruption to the country’s SME sector.

Meanwhile, Chambers Ireland said it was disappointed that the Department of Finance still planned to bring forward the pay and file deadline at some point and called on the Government to drop the plan.

“Delaying the implementation of a new deadline by a year does nothing to solve the very real problem that businesses will have trying to compute and pay taxes several months in advance”, said Ian Talbot, chief executive of the group.

The Irish Tax Institute said the announcement was "very welcome and important news" for small businesses, with its president Helen O’Sullivan describing the consultation process as "very constructive".