Tax-relief scheme aided 1,000 investors last year

Employment and investment incentive project cost exchequer €12.4m

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath: figures provided to him by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan  show 1,011 investors benefited from the EIIS tax break last year. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath: figures provided to him by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan show 1,011 investors benefited from the EIIS tax break last year. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Mon, Apr 14, 2014, 01:00



Just over 1,000 investors shared €12.4 million in tax relief last year under the employment and investment incentive scheme (EIIS).

Figures provided by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in response to questions from Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath show 1,011 investors benefited from the tax break last year. This compared with 352 investors sharing €4 million in 2012.

The Minister said data on how many jobs were supported was not yet available. Under the scheme, investors get relief in relation to 30 per cent of the amount invested in a qualifying company in the year of their investment.

The balance is paid when it has been proven that employment has increased at the company at the end of a three-year period, or the capital raised from investors has been used on research and development.


Tax cost
The EIIS scheme replaced the business expansion scheme. The cost to the exchequer of the BES was €31.5 million in 2012, when 984 shared the relief. Figures provided by the Minister show the tax cost of the BES peaked at €135.7 million in 2008 when 3,200 investors shared the relief.

Mr Noonan also provided figures for the tax cost of the seed capital scheme from 2003 up to last year. In 2003, 60 companies participated at a cost to the exchequer of €2.3 million, while provisional figures for last year show 65 at a cost of €1.3 million.

Mr McGrath questioned the Minister about the special assignee relief programme (Sarp) and the foreign earnings deduction scheme, both introduced in the Finance Act of 2012. Sarp is designed to reduce the cost to employers of assigning key individuals from abroad to take up positions.


Trade and exports
Figures provided to the Revenue Commissioners showed eight employers have availed of the scheme for nine employees and five jobs were created. Six self-assessed individuals used the scheme in 2012. No data was available for 2013.

The foreign earnings deduction was introduced to encourage trade and exports to non-traditional markets. Initially, it allowed for a tax deduction for individuals temporarily carrying out duties in Brazil, Russia, India, China or South Africa. It applies for three years from 2012.

The scheme was extended to many other countries including travel to Nigeria, Senegal, Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Tanzania for 2013 and this year. The cost in 2012 was €600,000 for 83 employees.

Complete figures for 2013 are not yet available but tax claims received to date show a cost of €500,000 in respect of eight employees.