Irish funds  are required to obtain a tax declaration, in a prescribed form, from each non-Irish resident investor, certifying that they are not an Irish resident (the "Non-Resident Declaration") in order to avoid having to deduct an exit tax known as investment undertaking tax ("IUT") on such investors on the happening of chargeable events.
This can be operationally challenging. It can also be quite frustrating for funds that are marketed exclusively outside Ireland, have no Irish resident investors and have no expectation of ever having Irish resident investors.
In recognition of this, the Irish tax authorities (the "Revenue Commissioners") offer a facility to dispense entirely with the need to obtain Non-Resident Declarations from investors, subject to meeting certain conditions.
This facility, which has been available to Irish funds since 2010, is commonly referred to as the "Equivalent Measures Exemption".
Applying for the Exemption
To apply for the Equivalent Measures Exemption, the relevant fund must confirm certain points - i.e. set out the equivalent measures that it will apply to ensure the absence of Irish resident investors. These measures may generally include:
- Confirming that the fund does not intend to actively promote its units to Irish investors or in Ireland or distribute marketing materials for the fund in Ireland;
- Making arrangements to screen investors to ensure no investor has an address or bank account located in Ireland; and
- Making provision in the fund's application form outlining an obligation for each investor to notify the fund if they become an Irish resident.
The application for the exemption involves making a submission to the Revenue Commissioners setting out these measures, together with copies of supporting documentation.
New or Existing Funds can apply
Equivalent Measures Exemption applications can be made by both new and existing funds.
Existing funds can only avail of the exemption where they have no Irish investors (including exempt Irish investors).
For new funds, the submission to the Revenue Commissioners should be made as early as possible in the fund launch process.