Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (127)

Robert Troy


127. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of extending the coverage of the special assignee relief programme for new SME hires. [46395/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP) is available to employees of companies that are incorporated and tax resident in a country with which Ireland has a double taxation agreement or a Tax Information Exchange Agreement. Under existing legislation, the employee must have worked for the employer for a minimum of 6 months outside of Ireland immediately before being assigned to work in Ireland.

As part of the SARP review in 2014, the proposal to include employees that were newly employed from outside an organisation rather than restricting it to employees moving within an organization was considered. However, the review found that to include new hires in this manner could cause job displacement in the Irish labour market. If, for example, an Irish tax resident individual and a foreign based individual with similar skills both applied for the same job, it would be less costly for the employer to hire the foreign based individual. This would place the Irish tax resident individual at a considerable disadvantage.

Revenue have informed me that it is not possible to provide the estimated cost for extending SARP (if the six month requirement was removed) because the potential extra uptake to the scheme or the wage levels of the extra employees involved is unknown.