Today, Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe T.D., and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath T.D. presented Budget 2023.
GLOBAL MOBILITY & EMPLOYMENT
Minister Donohoe announced an extension to a number of existing personal tax reliefs including:
- Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP) is to be extended to the end of 2025. The minimum income threshold for an employee to qualify for SARP is being increased from €75,000 to €100,000 for new entrants. Existing claimants will not be affected by this change. In other words, this higher qualifying threshold will not apply to current claimants availing of the relief.
- Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP) is to be extended to the end of 2025. The lifetime company limit for KEEP shares will be raised from €3 million to €6 million. KEEP is also being modified to provide for the buy-back of KEEP shares by the company from the relevant employee.
- Foreign Earnings Deduction (FED) which is a relief for employees who are tax resident in Ireland and who travel out of the State to temporarily carry out employment duties in certain qualifying countries was extended for a further three years to the end of 2025. FED provides relief from income tax on up to €35,000 of income.
- Another significant development was the doubling of the Small Business Exemption from €500 to €1,000 effective from 2022. Employers will also be permitted to grant an employee two vouchers/non-cash awards in a single year, provided the cumulative value of the two vouchers does not exceed €1,000.
Key measures include:
- A significant increase in the Standard Rate Cut-Off Point to €40,000 for single individuals and €49,000 for married couples with one earner. This means that a single person can now earn an additional €3,200 before paying tax at the 40% Income Tax rate.
- An increase of €75 in the Personal Tax Credit, Employee Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit (all currently set at €1,700). For the tax year 2023 onwards the new tax credits be each be €1,775
- An increase of €100 in the Home Carer tax credit. From 2023 it will be increased to €1,700.
- A reintroduction of the rent tax credit of up to €500 for renters in the private sector for 2023 to 2025. It will be possible to claim this tax credit on a retrospective basis in relation to rent paid in 2022. One credit per person can be claimed per year.
- The Sea-going Naval Personnel Tax Credit has been extended to the end of 2023.
- An increase in the ceiling of the 2% USC rate from €21,295 to €22,920.
- The exemption from the top rate of USC for medical card holders, and those aged over seventy years earning under €60,000 will continue beyond 2022. In other words, the reduced rate of 2% USC will be extended until the end of 2023.
- There is no increase to Employer’s PRSI rates.
- The Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) was introduced to support trading businesses. The scheme will be open to businesses carrying on a Case I trade that are tax compliant and have experienced a significant increase in their natural gas and electricity costs. Businesses carrying on trading activities will be eligible for a refund of 40% on the increase in electricity and gas prices, subject to a monthly cap of €10,000 per trade. Detailed information on the scheme has not yet been published, however, it is believed the scheme will operate by comparing the average unit price for the relevant period in 2022 with the average unit price for the corresponding period in 2021. If the increase in average unit price is more than 50% then the business will be eligible for the scheme. Businesses will be required to register for the scheme and to make claims within the required time limits. This scheme is subject to State Aid approval from the EU.
- Amendments will be made to the R&D tax credit regime with respect to how repayments are made under the scheme which will ensure the regime is regarded as a “qualifying refundable credit” for the purposes of the Pillar Two Model Rules. Currently the R&D tax credit is firstly offset against current and prior year corporation tax liabilities followed by repayment over three instalments. The current system is being changed to a new fixed three-year payment system. A company will have an option to call for payment of their eligible R&D Tax Credit or to request for it to be offset against other tax liabilities. In other words, the changes will enable taxpayer companies to call for the payment of their R&D tax credits in cash or for these to be offset against its tax liabilities in this three-year fixed period. The existing caps on the payable element of the credit are being removed. The first €25,000 of a claim will now be payable in the first year. Transitional measures will be introduced for one year for those that already engaged in R&D activities and claiming the credit
- An extension to the Knowledge Development Box regime for a further four years to 31st December 2026. Currently the KDB provides for a 6.25% effective rate of corporation tax on profits generated from exploiting certain assets, including patents and software developed through R&D activities carried out in Ireland. In preparation for the changes under the OECD Pillar Two agreement, the effective rate under the KDB regime is to be increased from 6.25% to 10%. The policy document released by the Department of Finance states that the commencement of this rate will be determined by reference to international progress on the implementation of the Pillar Two Agreement but it is expected in 2023.
- The extension of the Film Corporation Tax Credit until December 2028. Film relief is granted at a rate of 32% of qualifying expenditure which is capped at €70 million.
The scheme will continue at current rates for another two years and will expire on 31st December 2024
Vacant Homes Tax (“VHT”)
A VHT will apply to residential properties which are occupied for less than 30 days in a 12 month period.
Exemptions will apply where the property is vacant for “genuine reasons.”
The applicable tax rate is three times the existing local property tax (“LPT”) rate
Residential Development Stamp Duty Refund Scheme
The stamp duty refund scheme will continue until the end of 2025.
The stamp duty residential land rebate scheme allows for a refund of eleven-fifteenths of the stamp duty paid on land that is subsequently developed for residential purposes. was due to expire on 31 December 2022. It has been extended to the end of 2025.
Pre-letting Expenses on Certain Vacant Residential Properties
The limit for landlords claiming allowable pre-letting expenses is to be increased from €5,000 to €10,000.
The vacancy period is to be reduced from 12 months to 6 months.
Levy on Concrete Blocks, Pouring Concrete and other Concrete Products
A 10% levy was announced in response to the significant funding required in respect of the defective blocks redress scheme. A 10% levy will be applied to concrete blocks, pouring concrete, and certain other concrete products
This levy applies from 3rd April 2023.
9% VAT rate for hospitality and tourism sector
The 9% VAT rate currently in place to support the tourism and hospitality sectors will continue until 28th February 2023.
9% VAT rate on electricity and gas supplies
The temporary reduction in the VAT rate applicable to gas and electricity supplies (from 13.5% to 9%) will be extended to 28th February 2023.
Farmers’ Flat-Rate Addition
The flat-rate addition is being reduced from 5.5% to 5% in accordance with criteria set out in the EU VAT Directive.
This change will apply from 1st January 2023.
From 1st January 2023 VAT on newspapers, including digital editions will be reduced from 9% to 0%.