Budget 2021

Budget 2021 was announced on 13 October 2020. This was Minister Donohoe's fourth budget speech but the first of the new coalition between Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party. While this is the biggest budget in Irish history to date, and the usual fiscal limitations did not apply, there is little cause for celebration. The government  has had to frame the budget against the backdrop of the adverse economic effects of COVID-19 and an anticipated hard Brexit. But from the ashes of the pandemic, the Minister is confident that we will build a stronger, more resilient Ireland. In the Minister's words "Budget 2021 is a bridge to that better future".

A range of multi-billion-euro measures were announced to support businesses adversely affected by COVID-19 and an anticipated hard Brexit. These include:

  • the establishment of the Recovery Fund;
  • extension of the Employment Wage Support Scheme (EWSS);
  • introduction of a business sector targeted COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS);
  • a reduction in the VAT rate applying to the hospitality sector; and
  • an extension to the debt warehousing provisions and assistance for self-employed taxpayers in meeting their 2019/2020 income tax payment obligations. 

On the international front, the Minister re-affirmed Ireland's commitment to the 12.5% corporate tax rate and announced that Ireland's OECD compliant Knowledge Development Box regime has been extended for a further two years. The Minister will publish an update to Ireland's Corporation Tax Roadmap that will outline more areas for reform (e.g. under ATAD ) over the coming months and years. The update will also consider the latest OECD reports on the tax challenges of digitalization. 2021 will be a key year to watch in this regard.

Full details of the budgetary measures will be set out in the Finance Bill, expected to be published on 22 October 2020. 

Please click on the links below for the key measures of Budget 2021 from a tax perspective.

 

 

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Department

  • William Fry's Tax team have been described as "professional, well informed and forward thinking" as well as being a "responsive and partner-led tax practice issuing practical advice." One client notes that the team has an abundance of "knowledge, experience, professionalism and the ability to apply lateral thinking and multi solutions." Another client adds that they have "an excellent range of tax knowledge both locally and internationally." They are very "responsive and helpful, and we fully trust the advice that we receive."  Legal 500 2020
  • There's a real broadness, a client states "You can talk to one person who has a legal, tax and international perspective all in one".  Other sources appreciate the client-centric service provided by team members: "We've got a great relationship with the team and we find them to be very effective. They really demonstrate their commitment to client service". ​Chamber Europe 2019  
  • "William Fry's commitment to client service is excellent", says one source, who also praises "their real breadth of knowledge and willingness to allocate the people required when there is a need for a quick turnaround." Another reports that the "technical depth, exposure and experience of the senior team set them apart." Chambers Europe 2018
  • "Sources assert that "from a technical perspective they are clear and direct." Interviewees also value the team's "responsiveness to client needs and commercial awareness." Chambers Europe 2017
  • William Fry’s practice includes Sonya Manzor, who ‘devises well-thought-out tax strategies’ for clients such as King Digital Entertainment. International tax specialist Shane Wallace recently handled various real estate tax structuring and transfer pricing issues. Legal 500 EMEA 2017
  • "The firm is very responsive and has great resources, including access to a global network of tax advisers, which benefits us internationally and is a fantastic asset. The firm's ability to provide both legal and tax advice really ensures everything fits together." Chambers Europe 2016
  • Martin Phelan leads a ‘highly professional’ team at William Fry. It advised the Department of Finance on the potential capital restructuring and sale of its 99% investment in Allied Irish Bank, and also assisted IAG and EirGen Pharma. The group also has a significant private client practice and notable property expertise. . Legal 500 EMEA 2016

Team

Martin Phelan

  • According to  Legal 500 2020, "Martin Phelan is the top tax adviser in Ireland. Martin’s straight-talking, honest approach ensures that he is a go-to individual for any advice. Martin is an incredible resource." Another client adds that he is a "stand out Partner" and one of their " most valued business partners." 
  • Martin is described by market commentators as "technically superb and grounded in the basics."  Chambers Europe 2020
  • Martin is a highly experienced tax consultant who is best known for his expertise in international tax. "He's very bright," explains one satisfied client, elaborating: "It's his pragmatic solutions and ability to look beyond the immediate problems, even to give warnings ahead of time. We are able to run things by him and he's very accessible, which we find very helpful." Chambers Europe 2019
  • Martin receives praise from his clients for "ensuring a blend of a technical and practical approach which is very digestible to the client and is easy to implement as a result." He is well known in the market for his international tax expertise. Chambers Europe 2018 
  • Martin Phelan International tax specialist Martin Phelan is described as a "top guy" and "very switched-on." Chambers Europe 2017

Sonya Manzor

  • According to clients, Manzor is "technically very good, commercial in her approach and gives excellent client support." Chambers Europe 2020 
  • "I really admire the way that Manzor is able to review advice and drill into the key technical points and make very sensible, constructive comments on the tax issues," enthuses one highly impressed interviewee. Chambers Europe 2019
  • The "outstanding" Sonya Manzor is a key name in the corporate tax space. Legal 500 2018 
  • Clients describe her as "a very talented individual and creative thinker." She assisted with the sale of Phillips 66's interests in the Whitegate Oil Refinery. Chambers Europe 2018
  • Sonya Manzor is "well renowned for her technical expertise in a broad spectrum of tax matters, including inward investment, corporate reorganisations and M&A transactions". Chambers Europe 2017
  • Sonya Manzor is the firm's most prominent corporate tax lawyer, coming recognised for her "tremendous knowledge and experience. She understands direct and indirect tax in Ireland, the EU and the US. She is instrumental in coming up with creative ideas to get around the problems we face."  Chambers Europe 2016

Ted McGrath

  • According to clients, Ted McGrath offers "practical, concise, sound and logical commercial advice," with another client stating they "turn first to Martin Phelan and Ted McGrath at William Fry." Chambers Europe 2020 
  • Ted McGrath debuts in the rankings this year on the back of strong client endorsements. "McGrath gives very pragmatic and direct advice," reports one pleased client, adding: "He can weigh up the commercial aspects of the deal." Chambers Europe 2019

Key Contacts

Martin Phelan Tax Partner with William Fry Tax Advisors Ltd

Sonya Manzor Partner

Brian Duffy Partner