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 targetted 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 the KEEP incentive.
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, I would like to make the Deputy aware that I intend to carry out a public consultation process on the KEEP incentive, which will take place during Q2 2019, and will include all relevant stakeholders. It is my intention to ensure that the incentive operates in an efficient and effective manner, as a targetted SME support measure.