Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (135)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

135. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number and cost of a tax scheme in place to attract skilled workers from abroad; his plans to review or extend these schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20960/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I assume that the deputy is referring to the Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP), which is provided for in section 825C Taxes Consolidation Act 1997.

SARP allows income tax relief on a portion of income earned by an employee who is assigned by his or her employer to work in the State for that employer or for an associated employer. The relief can generally be claimed for a maximum period of five consecutive years, commencing with the year of first entitlement.

The aim of SARP is to reduce the cost to employers of assigning skilled individuals already employed by their companies from abroad to take up positions in the Irish based operations of the employer or an associated company, thereby facilitating the creation of jobs and the development and expansion of business in Ireland. The intention is that the recipients of SARP relief will assist with the establishment of additional functions for their employers in Ireland and, due to a transfer of skills, these functions will be able to operate without the assistance of SARP after a period. SARP is limited to existing overseas employees of companies and is not available to newly-recruited individuals.

I am advised by Revenue that for each of the years 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 (the most recent year for which figures are available) the following table sets out the number of persons who availed of SARP and the amounts claimed:

Year

Claimants

Total Claimed €,000

2012

11

100

2013

121

1,900

2014

302

5,900

2015

586

9,500

As part of my department’s review of SARP in 2014, proposals to include non-resident recruits rather than restricting it to employees moving within an organisation were considered. However, the review found that to apply SARP to such hirees could result in individuals from outside the State being cheaper to employ than Irish residents, thereby resulting in the potential displacement of employment for Irish residents in favour of non-resident job-seekers.

The relief will close to new entrants at the end of 2020 and the question of any extension of the scheme beyond 2020 is a matter that I will consider closer to the time.

Finally, comprehensive guidance notes on this relief can be found on the Revenue website using the following link - Tax and Duty Manual 34-00-10. I am also advised by Revenue that detailed reports regarding the Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP) are published on the Revenue Commissioners’ webpage located at:

www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/research/statistical-reports/special-asignee-relief-programme.aspx.

These reports provide information on the conditions, eligibility and the calculation of the relief and statistics covering the uptake of the relief and the cost to the Exchequer up from 2012 to 2015.