Corporation Tax Advisors

Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credit – Ireland

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Ireland’s Research and Development tax credit system is a valuable tax based incentive, providing major benefits to both multinational companies and SMEs operating in Ireland.  The R&D tax credit was first introduced in the Finance Act 2004 and has been subject to various amendments in the subsequent Finance Acts.

The credit operates by providing up to 25% of R&D expenditure incurred by a company on qualifying R&D activities (both revenue and capital) in a tax credit or in cash (subject to certain conditions being met). This 25% tax credit can be claimed in addition to the normal 12½% revenue deduction available for the R&D expenditure.  Therefore, the total tax benefit to a limited company is 37½% being the 12½% standard corporation tax rate plus the 25% R&D Tax credit.

 

 

How can the Credit be used?

Companies are entitled to a credit of 25% of the incremental R&D expenditure incurred for periods commencing on or after 1st January 2015.

The credit can be used to:

  • Reduce the company’s corporation tax liability of the current period.  Where the credit exceeds the corporation tax liability for the current year, the excess can be carried forward indefinitely to offset against future corporation tax liabilities or
  • Reduce the corporation tax liability of the previous year i.e. the company can make a claim for the excess to be carried back or offset against the preceding period’s corporation tax liability or
  • If unused, the credit can be refunded by the tax authorities subject to certain restrictions.  The only restriction in obtaining a cash refund is that the R&D credit refund cannot exceed the PAYE/PRSI remitted by the company to Revenue in the last two years or the corporation tax liability for the prior ten years if higher.

The claim must be made within one year of the end of the accounting period in which the expenditure has been incurred.

 

Broadly,

It can alternatively be used as a key employee reward mechanism to remunerate R&D staff effectively, tax free subject to certain conditions.  The effective income tax rate for such key employees may be reduced to a minimum of 23%, provided certain conditions are met by the company and the individual.

 

 

CRO – Central Register of Beneficial Ownership – Ireland

 

On 29th July 2019 the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership was launched in Ireland.  This new legal requirement forms part of Ireland’s implementation of the 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

 

 

The new Central Register of Beneficial Ownership requires that all companies file details of their Ultimate Beneficial Owners with the Companies Registrations Office.

 

 

Under the Regulations, the commencement date for the obligation to file on the Central Register was 22nd June 2019 and companies must deliver their beneficial ownership information to the CRO by 22nd November 2019.

 

 

Going forward, newly incorporated companies will have five months from the date of incorporation to register their information.

 

 

It is considered a breach of statutory duty not to file within the deadline date.

 

 

This is a new filing requirement, in addition to the other usual requirements, for example, filing a B1 annual return.

 

 

A beneficial owner is defined an individual/natural person who owns or controls directly or indirectly:

  1. more than 25% of the equity
  2. more than 25% of the voting rights or
  3. has capacity to control the company by other means.

 

 

 

In situations where no beneficial owners can be identified, the names of the directors, senior managers or any other individual who exerts a dominant influence within the company must be entered in the register of beneficial owners.  In other words, where the beneficial owners are unknown, the company must take “all reasonable steps” to ensure the beneficial ownership information is gathered and recorded on the register.

 

 

 

The following information is required to be filed with the RBO in respect of each beneficial owner:

  1. The name,
  2. Date of Birth,
  3. Nationality,
  4. Residential Address,
  5. PPS Number, if applicable – The Registrar will not disclose any PPS Numbers and will only use them for verification purposes.
  6. A Statement of the nature and extent of the ownership interest held or extent of the control exercised,
  7. The date of entry on the register as a beneficial owner,
  8. The date of ceasing to be a beneficial owner.

 

 

For non-Irish residents who do not hold a PPS number, a Transaction Number must be requested from the Companies Registration Office.  This is done by completing and submitting a Form BEN2 and having it notarised in the relevant jurisdiction.

 

 

Failure to comply with the Regulations is an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a Class A fine, or conviction on indictment to a fine up to €500,000.

 

 

Going forward, any changes to a Company’s Internal Beneficial Ownership Register must be updated in the Central Register within fourteen days of the change having occurred.

 

 

Once a company has been dissolved the registrar will delete all information held in relation to that entity, after the expiration of ten years.

 

 

 

Who has access to this information?

 

As required by EU anti-money laundering laws, members of the public will have restricted access to the CRBO including:

  • The name, month/year of birth, country of residence and nationality of each beneficial owner.
  • The nature and extent of the interest held or the nature and extent of the control exercised by the beneficial owner.

 

 

The 2019 regulations provide for the following to have unrestricted access to the Central Register:

  • An Garda Síochána
  • The Revenue Commissioners
  • Members of the Financial Intelligence Unit Ireland
  • The Criminal Assets Bureau