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To ask the Minister for Finance the reasons he sought to introduce tax breaks for executives in multinational companies which would have reduced to 23% the income tax rate for eligible executives earning up to €500,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Mick Wallace

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 2nd July, 2013

REPLY

Section 14 of Finance Act 2012 introduced the Special Assignee Relief Programme which is designed to reduce the cost to employers of assigning key individuals in their companies from abroad to take up positions in the Irish based operations of their employer. For example, such individuals could be transferred to head up new divisions of the company and thus lead to additional investments in Ireland.

An exemption from income tax on 30% of salary between €75,000 and €500,000 is provided for qualifying employees that are assigned for a minimum of 1 year and the relief is available for a maximum period of 5 years. USC continues to be payable on the full income amount. Social Insurance is also payable where the individual is not liable to it in their normal State of residence.

The scheme has been introduced for an initial three-year period ending on 31 December 2014, at which point it will be reviewed. Depending on the outcome of that review, I will decide whether the relief should be retained.        

It is worth nothing that the existence of similar incentives in other European countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland would indicate that such incentives can be a persuading factor when companies decide where to locate investment projects. In tandem with our corporation tax rate, this relief will help us to compete for Foreign Direct Investment.

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