Highlights

Budget 2018

12.5% Corporation Tax Rate 

The Minister reiterated the Government's commitment to the 12.5% corporation tax rate which is a "core part of our offering".  He also stressed Ireland's "stable and competitive corporation tax system which is internationally recognised as one of the most transparent in the world." 

Rainy Day Fund

The Minister will establish a "Rainy Day Fund" of at least €1.5bn to further protect the economy and the national finances in a "changing and risky world, especially in light of Brexit". 

Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP)

Following a public consultation and consultation with the European Commission to ensure State aid rules were complied with the Minister has proposed a new share-based remuneration incentive which should facilitate the use of share-based remuneration by "unquoted SME companies" to attract and retain key employees. Gains on the exercise of KEEP share options will be liable to capital gains tax ("CGT") (currently 33%) rather than income tax, USC and PRSI (currently 52%+). Full details of the new incentive will be included in the Finance Bill but it is expected that it will apply to qualifying share options granted between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2023. 

Capital Allowances for Intangible Assets

As highlighted in the recent "Coffey Report" as and from 11 October 2017 the deduction for capital allowances for intangible assets and related interest expenses will be limited to 80% of the relevant income arising from the intangible asset in an accounting period.

Sugar Tax

As raised in last year's Budget a tax on sugar sweetened beverages will be introduced on 1 April 2018.

Charities

From 2019 a VAT refund scheme will be introduced for charities. 

Stamp Duty

As and from 11 October 2017 the stamp duty rate applying to transfers of commercial property (i.e. non-residential property) will increase from 2% to 6%.

Housing

Housing remains a priority for the Government and €1.83bn will be allocated for housing in 2018. There will be investment in the building of 3,800 new social houses in 2018 by local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies, increased funding for Homeless Services and up to €750m of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund will be made available for commercial investment in housing finance (which will be made available to a new vehicle to be known as Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI)).

HBFI

Establishment of a new body which will increase the availability of debt funding on market terms to commercially viable development projects whose land owners want to build homes. This initiative must comply with State aid rules.

Stamp Duty Refund Scheme

Due to the housing supply challenge a new refund scheme will be introduced concerning commercial land purchased for the development of housing. Full details will be set out in the Finance Bill.

Vacant Site Levy

Existing rate of 3% will more than double to 7% in second and subsequent years.

VAT and Tourism Sector

No change to VAT rate applying to the tourism and services sector.

 

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