Tax Consultants

BUDGET 2023 – Ireland

 

 

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.

 

 

PERSONAL TAX

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.

 

 

ENTERPRISE

  • 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.

 

 

 

PROPERTY

 

Help-to-Buy Scheme

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.

 

 

 

VAT

 

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.

 

 

Zero-rated supplies

From 1st January 2023 VAT on newspapers, including digital editions will be reduced from 9% to 0%.

 

 

 

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.

VAT CHANGES – Finance Act 2013 and recent case law

Finance Act 2013 saw a number of changes to the VAT regime in Ireland.  The main changes are as follows:

 

  1. The threshold for Accounting for VAT on the money’s received basis has been increased from €1m to €1.25m with effect from 1st May 2013.

 

  1. The flat rate addition for unregistered farmers was reduced from 5.2% to 4.8% with effect from 1st January 2013.

 

  1. From 1st January 2013 the services threshold for VAT registration (i.e. if the turnover from the provision of services exceeds €37,500 there is an obligation to register for VAT) applies to the provision of sporting facilities and physical education facilities by public bodies.  This means that public authorities will not be obliged to register for VAT unless they exceed the threshold amount of €37,500 but they can elect to register for VAT if they so choose.

 

  1. Existing VAT legislation in relation to vouchers with a redeemable value provides that VAT arises at the time the voucher is supplied and not when the voucher is redeemed.  Anti Avoidance legislation was introduced in the 2013 Finance Act which confines this special rule to situations where vouchers are supplied to businesses that are established in the state.  For vouchers sold to businesses outside Ireland for onward supply they are not taxable on sale but when the redemption of the voucher takes place.

 

  1. The Finance Act brought in a number of changes with regard to receivers and liquidators in the context of supplies of services.

a)      New provisions were introduced to clarify that a receiver or liquidator who supplies taxable services in the course of either carrying on a business or winding up a business is liable for VAT on those services and/or rents.

b)      The liquidator and/or receiver is obliged to register for VAT, file VAT Returns and make the relevant payment of VAT in relation to the taxable supply.

c)      Where an immovable good is sold by a receiver or liquidator and where a joint option to tax the sale is exercised thereby making the purchaser accountable for VAT on a reverse charge basis, then subject to the normal deductibility rules, the purchaser is entitled to deduct the VAT incurred.

d)      Provisions were introduced transferring the obligations of the capital good owner to the receiver for the duration of the receivership including maintaining the capital good record, calculating any adjustment in deductibility resulting from the change in use of the capital good, remittance of tax, etc. and for the reversion of those obligations to the capital good owner at the end of the period of receivership.  There is also provision for the apportionment of VAT liabilities or input credit entitlements where receivership or possession commences or ends during a capital goods scheme interval.

 

In the recent High Court case of Ryanair Ltd v Revenue Commissioners [2013] EHC 195, Laffoy J held that Ryanair was not entitled to a VAT deduction on the professional fees incurred in connection with its bid to acquire the share capital of Aer Lingus.

Revenue Commissioners refused Ryanair’s refund claim following an unsuccessful bid to acquire the entire share capital of Aer Lingus because the VAT on professional fees was not part of the general costs of its business as transport operator i.e. it did not form an integral part of its overall economic activity and had no connection with its general business.  The matter was appealed to the Circuit Court which upheld Revenue’s decision.  The High Court held that the Circuit Court Judge was correct in law.