Finance Act 2008 introduced start-up corporation tax relief for companies in their first three years of trading. The relief was introduced to provide support to new business ventures in their critical early years of trading, thereby creating additional employment and economic activity in the State. The scheme has subsequently been enhanced and amended since its introduction. In Finance Act 2011, the scheme was amended to link the quantum of relief to the Employer PRSI payable for each employee, so as to incentivise employment. Furthermore, the scheme was amended in Finance Act 2013 to allow the carry forward of unused trading losses from the three year qualifying period.
In line with the Department of Finance’s 2014 Tax Expenditure Guidelines, the scheme is time bound and subject to review on a regular basis. The last review of the scheme was undertaken in 2015 at which time it was recommended that the scheme be extended for a further three years until 2018.
Therefore, a review of the scheme will be undertaken by my Department this year, ahead of Finance Bill 2018. On the completion of the review, a decision will be taken with respect to the potential extension of the scheme beyond 2018.