Sections 472A and 88A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provide tax incentives for both employees and employers, to help the long-term unemployed to return to employment. The relief under Section 472A, commonly known as the Revenue Job Assist scheme, allows qualifying employees, in addition to their normal tax credits, to claim certain income deductions, including additional deductions for qualifying children, for the three year period after taking up employment.
Section 88A provides an associated tax incentive for employers. Employers are entitled to claim a double deduction in computing the profits of the trade or profession in respect of the first 3 years wages paid to qualifying employees. This double deduction may also be claimed in respect of the employers PRSI contribution on such wages.
In order to qualify for the Revenue Job Assist scheme, an individual must be unemployed for at least 12 continuous months prior to the date of commencement of the employment. They must also be in receipt of certain payments from the Department of Social Protection or signing for PRSI credits. Time spent on certain FÁS courses and employment schemes, as well as time spent in prison can count towards the ‘unemployed for 12 months’ condition. The employer must not have made any staff redundant in the 26 weeks prior to the recruitment and must offer a job for a minimum of 30 hours per week with a contract for at least 12 months.
As placements on the Tús scheme, which is administered by the Department of Social Protection, are for 19.5 hours per week, they do not qualify for the Revenue Job Assist scheme.
I should point out that as announced in the Action Plan for Jobs 2013, the Revenue Job Assist scheme and the Employer (Job) PRSI Incentive scheme are due to be replaced by the JobsPlus initiative which will be administered by the Department of Social Protection.