THE GOVERNMENT today published the Finance Bill 2013 – the largest part of the jigsaw that gives legal effect to the provisions of the Budget.
Much of the Bill merely imposes what the Dáil already agreed to on a temporary basis – such as increased excise duty on alcohol and cigarettes – but several of its measures are new and had not previously been announced.
If you need a refresher, here’s what Michael Noonan announced in December – and here’s your quick guide to the new contents:
- The extension of excise duty relief on fuel to passenger transport operators, with effect from July – cutting about 7.5c off the price of a litre of fuel for transport operators.
- The abolition of Foreign Service Relief, which currently allows employees from multinationals to be ‘reassigned’ to Ireland for the final days of their employment so that they can receive their retirement lump sums at a better tax rate.
- Laws surrounding Employee Benefit Trusts are being changed so that a payment – including a loan – from en employee trust is liable to income tax and Universal Social Charge. Any repayment of a loan to an employee trust will enable the employee to get their income tax refunded. This is to avoid abuse of the rules, getting around some systems where employees’ salaries are actually paid into a trust and can then be ‘borrowed’ tax-free with no intention of repayment.
- An increased Health Insurance Levy will take effect from the end of next month (this wasn’t part of the Budget Day announcements but had already been announced by James Reilly);
- Changes to the tax treatment of ‘key employees’. Currently a ‘key employee’ has to spend 75 per cent of their time working on R&D in order for their employer to qualify for an R&D tax credit. This is being cut to 50 per cent.
- An extension to the Employment Investment Incentive tax relief scheme, from 2014 to 2020, and the inclusion of the hotel and hospitality trade in its provisions.
- Ratification of an agreement between Ireland and the USA about the sharing of tax information.
- Changes around the rules governing tax clearance certificates, so that compliance with stamp duty and Capital Acquisitions Tax is now also required;
- Changes allowing users of the Revenue Online Service (ROS) to receive their final demands electronically.
Budget 2013: The main points from Noonan’s announcements