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FINANCE (No.2) BILL 2013 – HOW DOES IT AFFECT ME?

 

On 24th October 2013 the Finance (No. 2) Bill 2013 was published which confirmed the measures introduced by the Budget.

 As the main priorities in Ireland at the moment are job creation and enterprise growth the following tax packages were introduced:

 

  I.            ENTERPRISE RELIEF– This is a new Capital Gains Tax relief which is aimed at entrepreneurs investing in assets used in new productive trading activities.  The purpose is to encourage individuals to reinvest the sales proceeds from the sale/disposal of a previous asset into new productive trading or a new company.  The main aspects of the relief are as follows:

(a)          It applies to an individual

(b)         who has paid Capital Gains Tax on the sale/disposal of an asset and

(c)          invests in a new business

(d)         at a cost of at least €10,000

(e)          between 1st January 2014 and 31st December 2018.

(f)           The investment cannot be disposed of earlier than three years after the investment date.

(g)          Once the new investment is sold the Capital Gains Tax arising with be reduced by the lower of:

  • the C.G.T. paid by the individual on a previous disposal of assets from 1st January 2010 onwards and
  • 50% of the C.G.T. arising on the disposal of the new investment.

 

What type of assets are involved?

The assets must be chargeable business assets.  Goodwill is included in this definition as are new ordinary shares in micro, small or medium sized enterprises after 1st January 2014.  The main conditions are:

  • The investor has control of the company and is a full time working director and
  • The company is carrying on a new business.

NOTE: Please be aware the commencement of this measure is subject to E.U. State Aid approval.

 

II       START YOUR OWN BUSINESS – This is an exemption from Income Tax but not from Universal Social Charge and PRSI for a long term unemployed individual who is starting up a new, unincorporated business.

 

         What is meant by long term unemployed?

         It means some one who is continuously unemployed for the previous fifteen months.

 

         What does this measure actually provide?

         The first €40,000 of profits earned per annum will be exempt from Income Tax for two years.

 

III     ENHANCEMENT OF EMPLOYMENT & INVESTMENT INCENTIVE – The main points of this new measure are:

  • The initial 30% relief available for investments under the E.I.I. has been removed from the High Earners Restriction for three years.
  • A maximum of €115,000 can be invested per individual per annum.
  • The aim is to encourage individuals to invest more funds in the E.I.I. Scheme which focuses on job creation and expansion.

 

IV        STAMP DUTY – The transfer of shares listed on the ESM (Enterprise Securities Market) of the Irish Stock Exchange will be exempt from Stamp Duty.  The ESM is the ISE’s market for growth companies.

            The current stamp duty rate is 1%.

            NOTE:  Please be aware that this measure is subject to a commencement order.

 

V         RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT TAX CREDIT – The aim of this change is to assist smaller companies to access the tax credit without reference to the base year.  The following changes have been made and will take place in the accounting periods starting on or after 1st January 2014:

  • The amount of expenditure eligible for the R&D Tax Credit (without reference to the 2003 base year) has increased from €200,000 to €300,000.
  • In order to qualify for the R&D Tax Credit, the limit on the amount of expenditure on research and development outsourced to third parties has increased from 10% to 15%.
  • With regard to existing clawback provisions, under Section 766(7B)(c), the Bill provides that the tax foregone can be recovered from the company instead of the employee.

 

VI        VAT – There have been two major VAT changes:

  • The annual threshold for VAT on a cash receipts basis has increased from €1.25m to €2m.
  • This comes into effect on 1st May 2014.
  • The 9% rate for Tourism related goods and services has been retained so as to encourage growth in small businesses within the Irish Tourism Sector.

 

 

PART II

The construction and building sectors saw the introduction of welcome changes:

 

I          LIVING CITY INITIATIVE – The urban regeneration initiative has been extended to include residential properties constructed up to and including 1914 and covers the cities of Cork, Dublin, Galway and Kilkenny.

 

            The aim is to stimulate regeneration of retail and commercial districts as well as to encourage families to return to historic buildings in Irish city centres.

 

II          HOME RENOVATION INCENTIVE – This is a new incentive for home owners who:

  1. carry out repair, renovation or improvement work on their principal private residence
  2. from 25th October 2013 to 31st December 2015.
  3. Qualifying expenditure carried between 1st January 2016 and 31st March 2016 can be treated as having been incurred in 2015 if planning permission was granted before 31st December 2015.

 

What kind of relief is available?

Relief is available in the form of an Income Tax Credit of 13½% on qualifying expenditure between €5,000 (minimum) and €30,000 (maximum).

 

What does “Qualifying Work” mean?

Building extensions, window fittings, plumbing and tiling, plastering, etc. carried out by tax compliant builders.

 

How does the relief work?

  1. The tax credit will be split over two years after the year in which the work was carried out.
  2. Any grant aided compensation or tax relief received will reduce the relief available.
  3. The home owner must be LPT (Local Property Tax) compliant.

Note: It is essential to keep in mind that the Revenue on-line system will track information on contractors involved and work carried out.

 

PART III

There were a number of other budget changes which will have a huge impact on our economy:

 

One Parent Family Tax Credit

  • The One Parent Family Tax Credit was replace by a new Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit.
  • This takes effect from 1st January 2014.
  • There is no change to the value of the credit or the additional standard rate band.
  • The new credit will only be available to the principal carer of the child.

 

Medical Insurance Tax Relief

  • The Bill restricted the Medical Insurance Tax Relief.
  • The maximum amount of the Medical Insurance Premium which can qualify for relief at the standard tax rate will be €1,000 for an adult and €500 per child.
  • No tax relief will be available on any excess amounts.
  • This charge relates to contracts entered into or renewed on/after 16th October 2013.

 

Top Slicing Relief

Top Slicing Relief has been abolished completely for all ex-gratia lump sums paid on or after 1st January 2014.

 

D.I.R.T. (Deposit Interest Retention Tax)

  • The standard D.I.R.T. rate has increased from 33% to 41%.
  • The D.I.R.T. rate of 36% has been abolished.
  • All deposit interest will be liable to tax at the 41% rate.
  • These changes apply to payments made on or after 1st January 2014.
  • The exemption for interest on “Special Term Accounts” will be abolished for accounts opened after 15th October 2013.
  • Credit Union “Regular Share Accounts” will be subject to D.I.R.T. on interest and dividends paid on or after 1st January 2014.

 

COMPANY TAX RESIDENCE

There were changes to the company tax residence rules. 

The company will be regarded as Irish resident for tax purposes where an Irish incorporated company is managed and controlled in another E.U. member state or treaty state and is not regarded as tax resident in any territory.

This applies from 24th October 2013 for companies incorporated after that date or 1st January 2015 for companies incorporated before 24th October 2013.