S128F of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides for the Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP) which came into effect on 1 January 2018. The aim of the incentive is to support SMEs in Ireland in competing with larger enterprises to recruit and retain key employees, by way of a targeted share option programme.
I am advised by Revenue that the ‘KEEP 1’ returns in relation to shares issued in 2018, which was the first year of the Programme, were due to be filed by 31 March 2019. Returns received to date indicate that 38 employees have received shares under KEEP.
Due to Revenue’s obligation to maintain taxpayer confidentiality, it does not disclose information in circumstances where the number of cases is so small that it might facilitate identification of the taxpayers involved. For this reason, Revenue cannot provide the level of detail requested by the Deputy at this time.
Finally, as the Deputy may be aware, my Department is carrying out a consultation process on tax incentives that are intended to support SMEs, which includes a focussed consultation on KEEP.
As part of the process, a Stakeholder Consultation Event is scheduled to be held next week (Thursday, 6 June 2019). Relevant details will be made available on my Department's website later this week. Specifically in relation to KEEP, the aim is to ensure that the incentive operates as intended in an efficient and effective manner.