Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (13, 14)

Seán Crowe

Question:

11 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of seed capital scheme certificates applied for by clients of Enterprise Ireland and the number issued. [33865/12]

View answer

Seán Crowe

Question:

16 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will promote the seed capital scheme by Enterprise Ireland. [33866/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 11 and 16 together.

In November 2011 the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, TD, announced a new Seed Capital Scheme (SCS) to encourage individuals currently or formerly in employment to establish new business ventures. The changes introduced by the Minister for Finance included a widening of the types of companies eligible under the Scheme. This widening of the scope of the scheme removed the requirement for certification by Enterprise Ireland.

The scheme provides for a refund of tax already paid by an individual who sets up and takes employment in a new qualifying business. The scheme, which is operated by the Revenue Commissioners, who have details on their website, allows for promoters of qualifying start-up companies to claim a rebate on investments made in their new enterprise based on the individual's income tax payments for the previous 6 years. The individual claiming relief must be a full time employee or a full time director of the company.

In the past entrepreneurs/investors seeking to avail of this tax relief had to seek certification from the relevant State agency supporting their sector. Enterprise Ireland, along with other Government Departments and bodies, was responsible for the provision of certificates in respect of certain qualifying trading operations.

I understand that since 2003, under the initial Seed Capital Scheme Enterprise Ireland issued approximately 335 Seed Capital Certificates. This corresponds to the number of applications for such certificates made by clients of EI. The issue of a certificate by Enterprise Ireland did not guarantee, and did not imply, that Revenue would approve a rebate under the Scheme.

Communicating information on government and agency supports that are available to companies to foster growth and enable job creation has been at the core of the Action Plan for Jobs agenda. Minister Bruton has, along with his ministerial colleagues, promoted a range of supports for business, including the Seed Capital Scheme at Action Plan for Jobs workshops across the country. Information on the Seed Capital Scheme along with other government supports is available on my Department's website under ‘Supports for Business for Job Creation and Productivity'. Similarly, Enterprise Ireland and the County and City Enterprise Boards (CEBS) provide information on this and other Government supports via their websites and through regular engagement with their clients.