Scheme to attract key personnel into country welcomed

Innovative measures to attract key personnel to head up new divisions of foreign and domestic companies will lead to the creation of more jobs here, the Irish Tax Institute has said.

The group’s president, Bernard Doherty, said tax measures in the Finance Bill would “without doubt” help Ireland to attract international talent, increase innovation and drive exports.

“The new tax initiative to drive Irish sales efforts in high-growth BRIC countries [Brazil, Russia, India, and China], the introduction of a special assignee relief programme [SARP] to enable multinationals and indigenous companies to attract key people to Ireland, and the measure to allow companies reward key employees who have been involved in R&D and innovation have been very much part of the institute’s tax strategy for Irish exports and growth and are a firm step forward for job creation.”

The American Chamber of Commerce Ireland welcomed the inclusion of a special assignee relief programme. Head of the chamber’s taxation group, Anna Scally, said there was huge competition in this area and it was critical Ireland could offer an attractive and effective system if it was to compete for serious talent.

However, Chartered Accountants Ireland director of taxation Brian Keegan was disappointed in the scheme.

“The positive ideas advanced on budget day for encouraging more foreign direct investment into the country have been stifled by a blanket of conditions and complexity.

“Conditions for the new tax scheme for executives coming into the country, which would have generated additional income tax for the exchequer, are too restrictive.

“Irish workers involved in research and development will be disappointed that the tax benefits which their employing companies enjoy will barely be reflected in their pay packets.”

The SARP allows for an exemption from income tax on 30% of salary between €75,000 and €500,000 will be provided for employees that are assigned for a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years.

A foreign earnings deduction scheme is also being introduced to assist companies seeking to expand into emerging markets in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

The maximum amount of income that can be deducted under the scheme will be €35,000 per annum for three years.

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