Local Property Tax amended in Finance Bill

Wednesday 13 February 2013 18.05
The Finance Bill contains a number of new measures on top of those introduced in December's budget
The Finance Bill contains a number of new measures on top of those introduced in December's budget

The Local Property Tax is to be amended to exclude any increase in value due to modifications to a home to enhance access for a person with a disability.

The amendment is one of a number of modifications to the property tax contained in the Finance Bill, published today by the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

There are a number of new measures in the bill, which also seeks to give legislative force to the measures introduced in December's budget.

Included in the bill is a tax break to encourage owner occupiers to renovate Georgian homes.

The scheme, which will be launched on a pilot basis in Waterford and Limerick, allows home owners write off the cost of renovation against income tax. The scheme will not be open to developers or investors. There will also be restrictions for high earners.

Another new measure, highlighted by Michael Noonan, abolishes foreign service tax relief on lump sums paid to employees of multinationals on retirement or termination of their service.

The measure is aimed at preventing overseas companies with a presence in Ireland from transferring staff to the country for a short period of time before the end of their careers in order to qualify for a near tax-free lump sum paid to them in Ireland.

Other elements to which the Finance Bill will give effect include:

Increases in the Health Insurance Levy which will apply to all health insurance renewals from March 31.

A change to Research and Development Tax credits to reduce the amount of time a "key employee" in a firm must spend on R&D to qualify for the credit.

The extension of a facility for Irish resident companies to file financial statements electronically with their Corporation Tax returns.

The Bill will also provide for the ratification of an International Tax Agreement between Ireland and the United States.

Anna Scally, Chairperson of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland's Taxation Working Group said the bill contained some welcome provisions which could enhance the attractiveness of Ireland as a location to locate intellectual property and create jobs.

Ibec chief economist Fergal O'Brien said the bill contained some "useful new measures".

"The enhancements to the R&D tax credit scheme and intellectual property regime will support research and innovation. The extension of the Employment, Investment and Incentive Scheme (EIIS) and the seed capital scheme is also welcome," he said.

Keywords: finance bill