Thursday, 22 March 2012
Finance Bill 2012 (Certified Money Bill): Committee and Remaining Stages
Kathryn Reilly (Sinn Fein)
Sinn Féin also opposes this section. Perhaps the Minister will explain the rationale for allowing a company to extend its research and development tax credit to key employees. There is a serious concern that it is a tax break that could potentially allow for high earners to pay little or no tax for no definite return. What is the benefit of this to the State? Is there a net cost to the State of this measure? Is the Minister of the view that it will definitely enhance research and development in this State?
For example, how is research and development defined for the purpose of this tax credit? We do not want a situation where people can define all sorts of things as research and development in order to avoid paying tax. What safeguards are in place to prevent the abuse of this tax credit? Could the scope of a definition of creating a product be much wider than intended? People who are not involved in research and development, for example, could be allowed to write down their tax bill for whatever reason. Perhaps the Minister might answer those questions or provide more clarity.