Today, 10th October 2023, the Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath and Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe presented the 2024 Budget.
Budget 2024 tax measures feature a range of supports for individual and business taxpayers under the following headings:
- All PRSI contribution rates will increase by 0.1% from 1st October 2024. There will be an increase of 0.1% in Employee and Employer’s PRSI contributions from 1st October 2024. Class A1 Employee PRSI will rise from 4% to 4.1%. Employer’s PRSI will rise from 11.05% to 11.15% and the reduced rate of Employer’s PRSI for earnings of €441 per week or less will rise from 8.8% to 8.9%.
- The standard rate band for Income Tax (i.e. the amount of income subject to tax at the 20% rate) will be increased by €2,000, meaning that the first €42,000 of a single individual’s income and the first €51,000 for married couples, with one earner, will be taxed at the 20% Income Tax rate.
- The ceiling for the 2% USC rate will be increased from €22,920 to €25,760. The 4.5% rate of USC will be reduced to 4% and the reduced rate of 2% USC currently applying to full medical card holders as well as those individuals aged over seventy, whose total income does not exceed €60,000, will be extended to the end of 2025.
- The Personal Tax Credit, the Employee Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit will each be increased from €1,775 to €1,875 for the tax year 2024 onwards.
- The Home Carer tax credit will be Increased by €100, from €1,700 to €1,800.
- The Single person child Carer tax credit will be increased from €1,650 to €1,750.
- The Incapacitated Child Tax credit will be increased from €3,300 to €3,500.
- The Sea-going Naval Personnel Tax Credit has been extended for a further year to 31st December 2024.
- The Rental Tax credit for principal private residence has been increased from €500 to €750 per year for 2024 or from €1,000 to €1,500 per jointly assessed couple (i.e. married couples or civil partners). Parents who pay for their student children in Rent-a-Room or digs accommodation can now claim relief for rent paid. This change has been backdated and will apply retrospectively to the years 2022 and 2023. In order to qualify for this tax credit, the children must attend an approved course.
- A temporary one year tax credit in relation to mortgage interest has been introduced for 2024. It will apply at the standard Income Tax rate of 20%, subject to a maximum tax credit of €1,250 per property, on an outstanding mortgage balance on the taxpayer’s Principal Private Residence of between €80,000 and €500,000, as of 31st December 2022. To claim the tax credit, the taxpayer must be compliant with Local Property Tax requirements and file a Tax Return. The tax credit will be available for offset against the taxpayer’s Income Tax liability for the 2023 year of assessment. Prorating of the relief will apply where the interest paid is less than twelve months.
- The Company car Benefit-in-Kind relief introduced in Finance Act 2019 to apply from 1st January 2023 have been extended to 2024. With effect from 1st January 2023, BIK on employer provided cars is calculated based the vehicle’s CO2 emissions. The amount liable to tax as BIK is determined by (a) the original market value of the car, (b) the annual business kilometres driven and (c) the CO2 emission rate of the vehicle. In March 2023, a temporary change was introduced to combat the negative impact of this new BIK rule on the employee’s net or take-home pay. It provided for a reduction of €10,000 to the original market value of vehicles in categories A to D. There is no reduction to Open Market Values for cars in the E category. In addition, the highest business mileage band was reduced from 52,001 Kms to 48,001 Kms as part of that amendment. These temporary universal measures have been extended to 31st December 2024.
- The Temporary Universal Relief of €10,000 applied to the Original Market Value of a company car, including vans, for vehicles in Category A-D is being extended to 31st December 2024.
- The special Benefit-in-Kind rule on Electric Vehicles is being enhanced and extended. The current Original Market Value deduction of €35,000 will be extended until 31st December 2025. Along with the additional €10,000 introduced in Budget 2024, Electric Vehicles will see a deduction of up to €45,000 on the open market value. The tapering of this discount will, therefore, be deferred by two years. In summary, the current reduction of €35,000 in OMV will continue to apply for all EVs until the end of 2025, and will taper to €20,000 for 2026 and €10,000 for 2027.
- The Department of Finance will be launching a public consultation on modernising share based remuneration.
- It was confirmed that EU State aid approval to deliver the Finance Act 2022 amendments to the Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP) has been received and will be commenced by Ministerial order shortly. This will include an extension of the scheme until 31st December 2025 as well as doubling the lifetime company limit for KEEP shares to €6 million. It will also enable the Capital Gains Tax treatment to apply to the buy back of KEEP shares by the company from a relevant employee, provided all the conditions are met.
- In his Budget 2024 Statement, Minister McGrath reaffirmed Ireland’s commitment to the OECD’s Two Pillar Agreement to address the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy. The legislation to implement the 15% minimum tax rate under the OECD’s Pillar Two agreement will be published in the Finance Bill next week. Under the BEPS 2.0 initiative, these rules require EU Member States to introduce a global minimum effective tax rate (ETR) of 15% for corporate/multinational groups with annual global turnover of in excess of €750 million. This minimum rate will apply in each jurisdiction in which the group operates. The ETR will be calculated on adjusted financial accounting profits less tax expenses.
- Minister McGrath also reaffirmed his commitment to introducing a participation exemption for foreign sourced dividends in Finance Bill 2024.
- In his speech, the Minister confirmed that the R&D Tax Credit will be increased from 25% to 30% in respect of qualifying expenditure incurred in 2024. The first claims will be filed in 2025. There is a payment limit on the amount that can be paid to a claimant in the initial year of a claim. The Minister announced an increase in the payment threshold from €25,000 to €50,000 thereby doubling the amount of the R&D Tax Credit available for refund to the company, as part of its first year R&D Tax credit instalment.
- The Accelerated Capital Allowances Scheme for Energy Efficient Equipment, which is available to companies and unincorporated businesses, will be extended for a further two years until 31st December 2025. The scheme allows for 100% Accelerated Capital Allowances to be claimed in year one, on capital expenditure on certain energy efficient equipment, used for the purposes of its trade, provided the qualifying conditions are met.
- As you may remember Finance Act 2022 extended film relief to 31st December 2028. The Section 481 Film Corporation Tax Credit is a corporation tax credit of 32% of the qualifying costs of certain audiovisual productions. Budget 2024 increased in the current project cap for the film credit from €70 million to €125 million. This is subject to EU State Aid approval.
- Employment Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) provides Income Tax Relief for investment in qualifying small and medium sized businesses, provided qualifying conditions are satisfied. Budget 2024 standardised the minimum holding period required to obtain relief to 4 years and it doubled the limit on the amount on which an investor can claim such relief to €500,000. It is expected that further changes to EIIS will be made in the Finance Bill to take into account amendments to the EU General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER).
- Capital Gains Tax Retirement Relief applies on the disposal of business assets, farming assets and/or shares in certain family companies by an individual, aged fifty five years or over, provided certain qualifying conditions are met. A reduced Capital Gains Tax Relief is available where the individual is aged sixty six years and over. From 1st January 2025, that upper age limit for Capital Gains Tax Retirement Relief is to be extended to the age of seventy years. In summary, the reduced relief which is available on disposals from age 66 onwards will now apply from age 70. There will also be a new limit of €10 million on the relief available for disposals to a child up until the age of 70 provided all the qualifying conditions are satisfied.
- No changes to Revised Entrepreneur Relief were announced in the Budget.
- A targeted new capital gains tax relief for individual angel investors in innovative start-ups, in line with the recommendation from the Commission on Taxation and Welfare, was announced today. The relief will be available to an individual who invests in an innovative start-up small and medium enterprise for a period of at least 3 years. The investment by the individual must be in the form of fully paid-up newly issued shares costing at least €10,000 and constituting between 5 percent and 49 percent of the ordinary issued share capital of the company. This relief will consist of a 16% rate of Capital Gains Tax (18% if invested through a partnership) on the disposal of qualifying investments, capped at twice the level of investment. In other words, the gain to which this reduced CGT rate can apply is capped at 200% of the investment made. Any gain above that will be liable to CGT at the standard rate of 33%. A lifetime gains limit of €3m will apply. Further details will be available in the upcoming Finance Bill. The scheme will include a certification process, carried out by Enterprise Ireland, to ensure the relief is targeted at innovative SMEs that can demonstrate financial viability and compliance with the requirements of the EU General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER).
- As you’re aware, Finance Act 2022 introduced a Vacant Homes Tax which applies to residential properties which are in use as a dwelling for less than thirty days in a twelve-month chargeable period. With effect from 1st November 2023, the rate will increase from three to five times a property’s existing base Local Property Tax liability.
- The Minister announced a one year extension to the liability date for Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) to facilitate engagement with the mapping process by affected landowners. RZLT was previously intended to be charged and levied from 1st February 2024 onwards. This has been deferred and will now apply from 1st February 2025.
- A new temporary tax relief for small landlords will apply from 2024 to 2027. This Rented Residential Relief will provide relief at the standard rate of tax on a portion of the landlord’s rental income from residential properties. Subject to certain conditions, €3,000 will be disregarded at the standard rate of tax in 2024. The new relief will rise to €4,000 in 2025 and €5,000 in 2026 and 2027. This will be equivalent to a tax credit of €600 in 2024, €800 in 2025 and €1,000 in 2026 and 2027. The relief will be clawed back if the landlord removes the property from the rental market within four years of the initial claim. To avail of the relief, the tenancies must be registered with the Residential Tenancies Board or with the public authority, where relevant. In situations where the landlord owns multiple properties, the relief will be apportioned. Where the property is jointly owned, the relief will be divided based on the percentage to which each owner is entitled. Further information will be provided in the Finance Bill.
- The Help-to-Buy Scheme is being extended until 31st December 2025. The relief takes the form of a repayment of Income Tax paid for the four years of assessment prior to making the application. The scheme will be amended to make it more accessible to those purchasing properties through the Local Authority Affordable Purchase Scheme. The affordable dwelling contribution received under the LAAP scheme can be used for the purpose of computing the 70% loan to value requirement of the Help to Buy Scheme. This change will be implemented tomorrow, 11th October 2023.
- The Defective Concrete Products Levy is being amended so that it will no longer apply to the pouring of concrete used to manufacture precast concrete products. A refund scheme will be introduced for those who paid the levy between 1st September and 31st December 2023.
- The flat rate VAT compensation rate for unregistered farmers will be reduced from 5% to 4.8% from 1st January 2024. This is a measure introduced to compensate unregistered farmers for the VAT they cannot claim on their farming purchases.
- Consanguinity Relief (Stamp Duty) will be extended for a further five years to 31st December 2028. This reduced Stamp Duty rate of 1% applies to transfers of farmland between certain blood relatives.
- The scheme of accelerated capital allowances, at 50% per annum over two years, for capital expenditure incurred by farmers on certain farm safety equipment will be extended for a further three years, to 31st December 2026. The expenditure must be certified by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
- The Minister announced that the Income Tax Relief for leased land will be amended so that it only applies to land which has been owned for seven years. Currently, no ownership period condition exists for the relief to apply. This amendment is targeted at active farmers and will apply to lessors who acquire farmland from 1st January 2024. The change will require a lessor who purchases the farmland for market value on/after 1st January 2024 to have owned the land for a minimum of seven years before they are eligible to make a claim for Land Leasing Income Tax Relief.
- From 1st January 2024, the aggregate lifetime limits have been increased from €70,000 to €100,000 for the following Agricultural Reliefs: Stock Relief for Young Trained Farmers, Relief for Succession Farm Partnerships and Young Trained Farmers’ Stamp Duty Relief.
- The maximum Stock Relief for Registered Farm Partnerships will be increased from €15,000 to €20,000 for qualifying periods commencing on/after 1st January 2024.
- With effect from 1st January 2024, the current VAT business registration thresholds will increase from €37,500 to €40,000 for services and from €75,000 to €80,000 for goods.
- The 9% VAT rate for gas and electricity has been extended for an additional twelve months until 31st October 2024. It had been due to end on 31st October 2023.
- The Minister announced that a public consultation will be launched by the Revenue Commissioners shortly on the modernisation of the VAT invoicing and reporting system. The digitisation of the VAT system is expected to be introduced in line with EU tax digitisation measures.
- From 1st January 2024, the zero rate of VAT will apply to e-books and audiobooks.
- From 1st January 2024, the zero rate of VAT will apply to the supply and installation of solar panels in schools.
- From 1st January 2024, the total annual capped fund for the Charities VAT Compensation Scheme will be double to €10 million.
- No changes were announced in relation to the Capital Gains Tax rate, Capital Acquisitions Tax rate or the amount of the Capital Acquisitions Tax thresholds.
- In accordance with the recommendation of the Commission on Taxation and Welfare, foster children will now be able to avail of the Group B Capital Acquisitions Tax lifetime tax free threshold (currently €32,500) based on their relationship to their foster parent. This amendment will be introduced in the Finance Bill.
- The VRT relief for battery Electric Vehicles has been extended for a further two years to 31st December 2025. This applies to EVs valued up to €50,000.
- The review of the Funds sector is ongoing.
- Tax Relief available to taxpayers who donate items under the Heritage Item Donation Scheme in any one year will be amended to take into account an increase in the aggregate value of such items from €6 million to €8 million. The tax relief available is a credit of 80% of the market value of the heritage item donated.
Please be aware that the information contained in this article is of a general nature. It is not intended to address specific circumstances in relation to any individual or entity. All reasonable efforts have been made by Accounts Advice Centre to provide accurate and up-to-date information, however, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate on the date it is received or that it will continue to remain so.. This information should not be acted upon without full and comprehensive, specialist professional tax advice.