Taoiseach Enda Kenny meets students (L to R) Danielle Lyons, Katie O'Brien, Niamh Walsh and Sarah Tierney, from Colaiste Iósaef, Killmallock, Co. Limerick with their "Be INVENTive-Re INVENT it" project at the Young Social Innovators of the Year ceremony at Citywest Convention Centre Dublin, May 11, 2011.|
The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D.
today published the Finance (No. 2) Bill 2011 which gives effect to the taxation
measures announced in the Jobs Initiative on May 10th.
On the publication of the Finance Bill, the
Minister said: “The central objective of this Finance Bill and the Jobs
Initiative is to assist in the creation of jobs. The Bill will achieve this
objective through fostering confidence that will stimulate economic growth
across the domestic sectors and especially the tourism sector. The tourism
sector has the ability to achieve strong growth given the significant tourism
infrastructure already in place. The Bill also provides the resources to
finance these measures that are so important to those seeking work.”
The Bill, which will go through the Oireachtas in the coming weeks, gives
effect to a number of specific measures:
Section 1 makes three amendments to section 766B of the Taxes Consolidation Act,
1997, primarily for the purpose of enhancing the flexibility for accounting for
the R&D tax credit on an ‘‘above-the-line’’ basis.
Section 2 relates to Air Travel Tax and amends section 55 of the Finance (No. 2)
Act 2008 to empower the Minister for Finance to appoint, by order, a day on or
after which passenger departures would not be subject to the tax.
Section 3 amends the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010 to provide for a
second reduced VAT rate of 9%, in respect of certain goods and services, for the
period 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2013. The amendment provides that the 9% rate
will apply mainly to restaurant and catering services, hotel and holiday
accommodation, admissions to cinemas, theatres, certain musical performances,
museums and art gallery exhibitions, fairgrounds or amusement park services, the
use of sporting facilities, hairdressing services, printed matter such as
brochures, maps, programmes, leaflets, catalogues, magazines and newspapers.
Section 4 provides for the levy on pension schemes announced in the Jobs
Initiative. It inserts a new section 125B into the Stamp Duties Consolidation
Act 1999 which imposes an annual stamp duty of 0.6% on the market value of
assets under management in pension schemes approved by the Revenue Commissioners
under Irish tax legislation.
The value of the assets subject to the levy will
be based on the market value on May 19th for 2011, and on January 1st for 2012,
2013 and 2014, or on the last date of the previous 12 month accounting period.
The schemes affected are Retirement Benefit
Schemes (i.e., Occupational Pension Schemes), Retirement Annuity Contracts and
Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (other than what are known as vested PRSAs).
The levy will apply for a period of 4 years (2011 to 2014) and is payable twice
yearly at the rate of 0.3% on each due date.
Chargeable persons will be required to deliver a
statement on each payment date setting out the chargeable amount and the stamp
duty payable. The levy will not apply to the assets of occupational pension
schemes in respect of employees whose employment is or was wholly exercised
outside the State.
The research and development (R&D) tax credit
rules are being changed through giving flexibility to companies in how they
account for the credit.
An amendment to the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997 will give companies the option
of accounting for it either on an above or below the line basis.
Finance (No.2) Bill 2011 (pdf)
Explanatory Memo Finance (No.2) Bill 2011
Patrick Cosgrave, Director, Deloitte
Total Reward and Benefits, commented: “The issues
around the pension levy are well publicised. However, the reality is that there
may be even greater challenges in the pipeline. In particular, the EU/IMF Four
Year Plan anticipates that there will be a further reduction in pension related
tax relief equivalent to €680 million per annum by 2015. This may be achieved
through significant reduction in tax relief on contributions, reduced caps on
overall pension funds and perhaps an increased levy.
“In addition, a recent government consultation paper has proposed a more onerous
funding test for defined benefit (DB) schemes and a new model for future DB
provision. The proposals are likely to lead to a substantial increase in cash
costs for employers with DB schemes, as well as increased volatility in costs.
These changes will be of greater financial significance than the levy. For many
employers, they will also lead to conflict with the trustees and accelerate the
“once and for all” decisions that are necessary to restructure DB schemes.”
Cosgrave highlighted however that there are
at least two anticipated positive developments in relation to VAT and pension
fund management charges: “Firstly, there are hopeful
signs that the EU Member States will agree to a change in EU VAT law to extend
the existing management exemption for investment funds to occupational pension
funds, potentially from January 2013. Furthermore, pending an ECJ judgment
expected in late 2012, there is a possibility that the management of pension
funds could become exempt from VAT before that date and possibly result in VAT
benefits back-dated by up to four years, but only if they act now.”
Cosgrave concluded: “While changes
domestically will present challenges for the pension scheme sponsors, some of
the costs may be balanced out by VAT changes at EU level. For a typical pension
scheme, obtaining a four year VAT rebate on management charges may well be
sufficient to cover the cost of the levy for a year. Our advise to all those
impacted by the changes is to keep a close eye on these emerging developments to
ensure that they are best placed to avail of them.”