Vulture funds will be taxed at 20% on the profits they make on property investments, under new legislation contained in today's Finance Bill. 

The Finance Bill - published this afternoon - has provided for new taxation methods for fund structures which hold real estate investments. 

The legislation said the funds must deduct a 20% withholding tax on profits made by non-resident investors. Those who are resident in Ireland are already taxed in the normal way. 

The withholding tax will not apply to certain categories of investors such as pension funds and life assurance companies. 

The Department of Finance said the legislation "ensures that the Irish tax base is protected where Irish property transactions are taking place within collective investment vehicles." 

Today's Finance Bill gives effect to measures in Budget 2017, including reductions in the USC, the increases in the home carer tax credit and the earned income tax credit.

The bill also includes a change to the first-time buyers' scheme.

Under the change to the scheme, the loan to value is being reduced from 80% to 70%, which would allow more people to avail of the measure. 

The change comes after Central Bank Governor Philip Lane raised concerns that buyers with larger deposits would be under pressure to increase loans to 80% to avail of the grant. 

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that the Bill has been finalised and published quickly after the Budget and focuses on implementing the main tax changes announced on Budget Day. 

"This is in line with the recommended process of budgetary reform. As always, I am looking forward to a stimulating and engaging debate with my parliamentary colleagues in relation to the provisions contained in the Bill," Mr Noonan added.

Tax evaders given six month window

Meanwhile, people who have been using offshore income or assets to evade taxation have been given six months to come forward to the Revenue Commissioners. 

Previously, taxpayers had an opportunity to make a voluntary disclosure in relation to a tax default and could avail of mitigation arrangements. 

This would mean they would avoid having their identities disclosed in the tax defaulters list and would avoid criminal prosecution.

However, after 1 May, individuals will no longer have the ability to take advantage of voluntary disclosure according to today's Finance Bill. 

Commenting on the Finance Bill, Tax Partner at Grant Thornton Peter Vale said "there were no great surprises", with Budget changes "making up the bulk of the legislation and few new additions.

"Of most significance was the change announced in respect of the taxation of Irish funds acquiring Irish property," he added.

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