New tax refund scheme announced for start-ups

Initiative allows entrepreneurs to obtain up to 41% of capital back

Minister Bruton said there aren’t enough start-ups in Ireland.   Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister Bruton said there aren’t enough start-ups in Ireland. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times


A new tax refund programme aimed at encouraging more people to start up their own business has been announced.

The StartUP Refunds for Entrepreneurs (SURE) initiative allows individuals to obtain a refund from the Government of up to 41 per cent of the capital they invest in establishing their own company over a six-year period. It replaces the much criticised Seed Capital Scheme.

The new programme is targeted particularly at individuals in PAYE employment, the unemployed and retired people.

“Two thirds of all new jobs across the economy are created by start-ups in their first five years of existence, and that is why we are putting in place a range of new measures specifically aimed at encouraging more people to start their own businesses. In Ireland we have great start-ups, we just don’t have enough of them,” said Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton.

“Through SURE, the Government is directly offering cash to people who are considering starting their own business, up to a value of 41 per cent of their total investment. We are determined to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of this generous scheme so that more people start businesses and help create the jobs we need,” he added.

The general conditions for SURE are that individuals must:

1) Establish a new company and engage in a qualifying trading activity(s); and,

2)Invest money in the new company by way of purchasing new shares; and,

3) Have had mainly PAYE income in the previous four years (This would include a person currently in PAYE type employment, an unemployed person, a person recently made redundant or a retired person); and,

4) Take up full-time employment in the new company either as a director or an employee.

A new website has been launched, which includes an online calculator to make it easy for those considering setting up a business to work out how much they can receive under the scheme.

Chambers Ireland welcomed the announcement with its chief executive Ian Talbot saying the revamped scheme had great potential to encourage new start-up businesses.

“Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy and this scheme is a step in the right direction towards fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in Ireland,” he said.

“The scheme itself is simpler and more broadly applicable than its predecessor and incentivises a wide range of people to start up a business including those recently made redundant. This country needs more job creating entrepreneurs and this scheme will be of great benefit for those looking to start their own busines,” Mr Talbot added.