Thursday, 30 May 2019
Department of Finance
Tax Reliefs Costs
56. To ask the Minister for Finance the annual cost of the entrepreneurial relief for each year since its establishment; the number of companies that availed of the scheme in each of these years by multinational and SME companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23147/19]
It is assumed the Deputy is referring to the revised Entrepreneur Relief (section 597AA TCA 1997) that is available in respect of Capital Gains Tax (CGT). The available information is published on the Revenue website at the following link - .
The estimated cost of the relief and the number of claims is provided in the following table for the Deputy's convenience.
|Year||Estimated Exchequer Cost €m||Number of Claims|
Information is not available in respect of multinational and SME companies as the relief applies to individuals only.
57. To ask the Minister for Finance the annual cost of the special assignee relief programme for the previous five years; the number of companies that availed of the scheme in each of these years by multinational and SME companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23148/19]
SARP was introduced in Budget 2012 as part of a strategy to promote Foreign Direct Investment into Ireland, and to allow us to compete internationally to attract highly skilled and mobile executives who act as key decision makers within organisations.
The measure provides income tax relief on a portion of income earned by employees, who are assigned by their employer to work in Ireland, and who previously worked abroad for that employer for a minimum of six months. There is no exemption or relief from USC and PRSI is payable where the individual is not liable to social insurance contributions in the home country.
The 2016 annual Revenue report on SARP shows that for the years 2012 to 2016 (the most recent year for which data are available) the annual cost of the measure was as follows:
|Tax Cost 2012||Tax Cost 2013||Tax Cost 2014||Tax Cost 2015||Tax Cost 2016|
|€0.1 million||€1.9 million||€5.9 million||€9.5 million||€18.1 million|
Regarding the Deputy's question as to the number of companies that have availed of the scheme in each of these years by multinational companies and SME companies, Revenue have advised me that a breakdown of company types, whether SME or multinationals, is not available. However, the following table sets out the numbers of individual claimants for the period 2012-2016.
As the Deputy is aware, following on from concerns I had regarding the increasing cost of the incentive, I amended the SARP legislation in Finance Bill 2018 to reinstate an upper salary threshold at the level of €1 million. This change came into effect for new entrants to the programme from 1 January 2019 and for existing beneficiaries of the programme from 1 January 2020.
In accordance with the Department of Finance Tax Expenditure Guidelines, SARP will be fully reviewed in 2019 ahead of Finance Bill 2019. This review will afford an opportunity to look at all elements of the relief. It will also include consultation with all relevant stakeholders.
58. To ask the Minister for Finance the annual cost of the foreign earnings deduction for the previous five years; the number of companies that availed of the scheme in each of these years by multinational and SME companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23149/19]
The Foreign Earnings Deduction (FED) is provided for in section 823A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (TCA). It provides relief from tax on up to €35,000 of salary for employees who travel out of State to certain countries on behalf of their employer. In order to qualify for FED, an employee must spend a minimum of 30 days abroad in a year and each trip must consist of at least three (3) consecutive days in a qualifying country.
I am advised by Revenue that the most recent data available on the annual cost and the number of individuals who have availed of the scheme are as follows:
|Year||No. of individuals||Exchequer Cost (€m)|
I am further advised by Revenue that FED is an allowance that is applied for by the employee through their own tax returns and is not returned at a company level. Therefore, it is not possible to provide the information on the number of companies associated with employees availing of the scheme broken down by multinational companies and SMEs, as requested by the Deputy.
Finally, I would like to advise the Deputy that FED will be reviewed this year, along with the Special Assignee Relief Programme, with the aim of ensuring that it operates as an efficient and effective tax relief. It is expected that the reports of these reviews will be completed and published as part of the Budget and Finance Bill process this year.