Non-executive directors to get tax-free expenses for meetings

Tax exemption will be calculated using Civil Service mileage and subsistence rates

* Non-executive directors will in future be able to receive expenses for attending company meetings tax free under an amendment to the Finance Bill tabled by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. However the relief will only be available to those who receive less than €5,000 in remuneration for their role as non-executive directors.

Under the amendment, non-executive directors will be able to receive tax-free expenses when travelling to company meetings without incurring a tax liability, providing their remuneration is under the €5,000 limit. The exemption will be calculated using Civil Service mileage and subsistence rates, meaning that to qualify expenses must not be calculated using a higher figure. Any expenses above civil service rates will be taxable.

In last year’s Finance Act a new provision meant that foreign non-executive directors of Irish companies could receive some business travel expenses tax free but this was not extended to their Irish counterparts.


“This proposed change goes some way to balance out this discrimination; it’s a move towards fairer treatment of Irish resident taxpayers,” according to


Brian Keegan

, director of tax at Chartered Accountants



The expenses can be claimed tax free for attending company board meetings or other meetings where directors are attending in their official role and travelling by “car, motorcycle, taxi, bus, rail or aircraft”.

The relief will apply from January 1st, 2017.

Company employees are already exempt from paying tax on normal expenses.

*This article was amended to correct an error in relation to the €5,000 limit for qualifying for the tax-free expenses.

Cliff Taylor

Cliff Taylor

Cliff Taylor is an Irish Times writer and Managing Editor