Thursday, 30 May 2019

Questions (57)

Michael McGrath

Question:

57. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the annual cost of the special assignee relief programme for the previous five years; the number of companies that availed of the scheme in each of these years by multinational and SME companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23148/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

SARP was introduced in Budget 2012 as part of a strategy to promote Foreign Direct Investment into Ireland, and to allow us to compete internationally to attract highly skilled and mobile executives who act as key decision makers within organisations.

The measure provides income tax relief on a portion of income earned by employees, who are assigned by their employer to work in Ireland, and who previously worked abroad for that employer for a minimum of six months. There is no exemption or relief from USC and PRSI is payable where the individual is not liable to social insurance contributions in the home country.

The 2016 annual Revenue report on SARP shows that for the years 2012 to 2016 (the most recent year for which data are available) the annual cost of the measure was as follows:

Tax Cost 2012

Tax Cost 2013

Tax Cost 2014

Tax Cost 2015

Tax Cost 2016

€0.1 million

€1.9 million

€5.9 million

€9.5 million

€18.1 million

Regarding the Deputy's question as to the number of companies that have availed of the scheme in each of these years by multinational companies and SME companies, Revenue have advised me that a breakdown of company types, whether SME or multinationals, is not available. However, the following table sets out the numbers of individual claimants for the period 2012-2016.

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

11

121

302

586

793

As the Deputy is aware, following on from concerns I had regarding the increasing cost of the incentive, I amended the SARP legislation in Finance Bill 2018 to reinstate an upper salary threshold at the level of €1 million. This change came into effect for new entrants to the programme from 1 January 2019 and for existing beneficiaries of the programme from 1 January 2020.

In accordance with the Department of Finance Tax Expenditure Guidelines, SARP will be fully reviewed in 2019 ahead of Finance Bill 2019. This review will afford an opportunity to look at all elements of the relief. It will also include consultation with all relevant stakeholders.