I should advise the Deputy that my colleague the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Welfare has policy responsibility for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance including the numbers benefitting from the overall scheme. I assume that the particular tax relief that the Deputy is referring to is the Start Your Own Business Relief (SYOB), which provides a 2-year exemption from income tax (up to a maximum of €40,000 per year) for people who have been unemployed for at least 12 months before starting their own business.
In accordance with my Department's tax expenditure guidelines measures such as SYOB are generally reviewed every three years. S. 472AA of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (SYOB) contains a sunset clause which comes into effect at the end of this year and my Department is currently reviewing the scheme in accordance with criteria set out in the guidelines:
- 1. Is the tax expenditure still relevant?
- 2. How much did the tax expenditure cost?
- 3. What was the impact of the tax expenditure?
- 4. Was it efficient?
I am informed by Revenue that in 2013 (the first year of operation of the scheme) 228, in 2014 2,291 and in 2015 (the latest year for which data are available) 3,910 persons availed of SYOB.
Further information can be located on the cost of tax expenditure (credits, allowances and reliefs), link https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/documents/statistics/tax-expenditures/costs-tax-expenditures.pdf .