1. Capital Acquisitions Tax Thresholds
The applicable CAT threshold for gifts or inheritances from a parent to child will be increased by €10,000 from €310,000 to €320,000 applicable for gifts and inheritances on or after 10 October 2018.
2. Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP)
The KEEP scheme was introduced by the Finance Act 2017 and is applicable in respect of share options granted during the period between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2023. There has been very little take-up with the new scheme and there are various practical issues around the KEEP scheme’s operation. Certain measures were announced in Budget 2019 to address some of these issues. The ceiling on the maximum annual market value of share options that may be granted by an SME to any one employee or director will be increased from 50% to 100% of their salary in the year the option is granted. In addition, the overall value of share options awarded to each employee will increase from €250,000 to €300,000 and the time period in which this limit applies will increase from three consecutive years to a lifetime limit.
3. Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS)
A priority package of measures in the Finance Bill will be brought forward to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of this incentive.
4. Film Corporation Tax Credit Release
The scheme provides relief in the form of a corporation tax credit related to the cost of production of certain films. There has been an extension of the 32% credit for qualifying expenditure (which is capped at €70 million) for a further four years to 31 December 2024. Subject to State Aid approval there will also be a 5% uplift credit for productions in areas designated under the State Aid regional guidelines.
5. Relief from Corporation Tax for certain Start-up Companies
The relief is to be extended for a further three years and will therefore be available to companies which commence qualifying trades in the period up to 31 December 2021, subject to the relevant conditions being met.
Work will begin on the regulation of crowdfunding in Ireland, meaning that a review of the withholding tax obligations for peer-to-peer lending activities will be carried out with a view to making appropriate amendments following the introduction of regulations.
7. Private Rental Sector
The interest deduction available for loan used to purchase, improve or repair a rental property has been accelerated to 100% from 1 January 2019.
8. Exit Tax
An Anti Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD) driven exit tax is effective from midnight 8 October 2018. The exit tax will tax unrealised gains at 12.5% where companies migrate or transfer assets offshore so that they leave the Irish tax net.
9. Increase in VAT Rate for Tourism and Hospitality Sectors
The VAT rate applicable to services in the tourism and hospitality sectors will increase from 9% to 13.5% from 1 January 2019 with the exception of newspapers and sporting facilities.
Introduction of Brexit support measures valuing €300 million, including support for public agencies, food and farming sectors.