We welcome Revenue’s clarification on the Irish tax rules that apply to transactions involving cryptocurrencies.

For further information and details please view Revenue eBrief No. 88/18.

Many companies operate share option schemes for their employees.  Please see below a summary of the tax treatment and reporting requirements in relation to Unapproved Share Option Schemes.

What do I receive when I am granted a share option by my employer?

When a company grants a share option to an employee, they are given the right to acquire a pre-determined number of shares at a pre-determined price for a predetermined period. Such option schemes are commonly referred to as “unapproved share option schemes”.

What information will I get from my employer when I am granted a share option?

Where a company grants a share option to an employee, it will generally issue documentation covering the following:

  • the number of shares that the employee can acquire
  • the price that the employee has to pay for the shares (“Option Price”)
  • the dates from which, and by which the employee may exercise his or her option (“Exercise Period”), and
  • the conditions regarding the right to exercise the option

What is meant by “date of exercise”?

The “date of exercise” is the date at which the employee takes up their right to acquire shares.

Must I pay to acquire the shares under a share option?

The shares may be at no cost to the employee (nil option) or at a predetermined price that the employer has set. In some cases, the employee will have to pay something for the option itself.

Are there different types of unapproved share option schemes?

There are two types of share options for tax purposes:

(a) a ‘short option’ – which must be exercised within seven years from the date it

is granted; and

(b) a ‘long option’ – which can be exercised more than seven years from the date

it is granted.

What are the tax consequences if I exercise a share option?

When an employee exercises his/her right to the share options and acquires the shares at the pre-determined price, the difference between the price paid to acquire the shares (the exercise price) and the market value of the shares at the date of exercise of the option is called the share option gain. The share option gain can be reduced by any payment made by the employee for the initial grant of the option.

Where an employee exercises a share option he or she must pay what is referred to as “Relevant Tax on Share Options” (RTSO) in respect of any income tax due on any gain realised on the exercise of the share option. RTSO is payable within 30 days of an option being exercised.

Will my employer look after the payment of tax when I exercise a share option?

No. RTSO is payable within 30 days of an option being exercised and as it is outside the PAYE collection system the employee is responsible for making this payment to the Collector General.

What forms must I file with the Revenue Commissioners if I exercise a share option?

The employee must submit a Form RTSO 1 within 30 days from the date of exercise of the share option. A payment of Relevant Tax on Share Options must also accompany the submission. The relevant tax at 40% is calculated on the share option gain as well as universal social charge (USC) at 8% and PRSI at 4% (unless you have advance approval from Revenue to pay at a lower rate).

Employees liable to pay RTSO must then submit the usual self-assessment return, containing details of all share option gains in a tax year, by 31 October following the year in which the gains are realised. The income tax return must be filed for the relevant year in addition to the form RTSO1.

What happens if I decide to sell the shares?

An employee who acquires shares by the exercise of a share option is chargeable to capital gains tax (CGT) on any chargeable gain realised on the subsequent disposal of those shares.

An individual must file a return by 31 October in the year after the date of disposal. A return is required even if no tax is due because of reliefs or losses. An individual must file a Form CG1 if not usually required to submit annual tax returns; Form 12 if a PAYE worker or a Form 11 if considered a chargeable person for tax purposes.

Contact our Tax Department if you require assistance with the above.

The Revenue Commissioners have announced an extension to the Revenue Online Service (ROS) return filing and tax payment date for certain self-assessment Income Tax customers and for customers liable to Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT).

For further information and details please view Revenue eBrief No. 70/18.

 

 

Revenue has published a new Capital Acquisition Tax (CAT) Strategy for 2018 to 2020.

We welcome the publication of the CAT strategy which aims to improve the management of CAT by improving service to support compliance and minimise interaction with compliant tax-payers. The improved services will help to increase customer awareness of Gift Tax and Inheritance Tax obligations.

All tax-payers should be aware of possible CAT liabilities and what they can do to reduce those costs when carrying out Estate planning.

Should you require any further information please contact our Tax Department.

Businesses based in Ireland who provide electronically supplied services (e-services) to customers need to understand how to apply VAT correctly, explains Siobhán O’Hea, Partner of Tax Services.

Value Added Tax can be a complicated area for businesses who provide electronically supplied services to customers in the EU or elsewhere.

While the rules may appear daunting, it is important to familiarise yourself with the basics as getting it wrong can be costly.

What are e-services?

The first step in getting to grips with VAT is understanding what is considered an ‘electronically supplied service’ for VAT purposes.

Electronically supplied services, sometimes called ‘e-services’, cover a broad range of services delivered over the Internet or an electronic network. Examples include electronically supplied software and software updates, web hosting, online publications and e-books, the provision of online advertising on websites, music downloads, online games, distance learning programmes which are delivered wholly online without human intervention, and so on.

What these services have in common is that they could not be provided in the absence of information technology.

Tangible products, such CDs and DVDs or printed matter such as books, newspapers and journals, are not e-services even though they may be purchased online.

It is beyond the scope of this article to list everything that is, or is not, considered an e-service, however detailed listings can be found on Revenue website.

If you are in any doubt, it is advisable to seek advice from an experienced tax practitioner familiar with VAT as there is a risk that if you make an error on a sale, you will repeat it on subsequent sales. Errors that go unnoticed for a period of time can be very expensive in the long run.

Place of supply and your customer

Once you have determined whether or not your services are ‘e-services’ for the purposes of VAT, the next step is to look at the ‘place of supply’. This is because ‘place of supply’ rules determine whether a supply is subject to VAT.

If your customer is a business, the place of supply is the place where the business receiving the services is established. Businesses based in Ireland do not normally charge Irish VAT on services to a business established in other EU member states. Instead, the business customer must self-account for VAT in their own country.

If your customer is non-business (a consumer) based in the EU, the place of supply for e-services is the place where the consumer resides. This means that businesses based in Ireland who provide electronically supplied services to consumers in other EU member states are liable to register and account for VAT in each EU member state where they have customers. Revenue provides an optional mini one-stop-shop (MOSS) scheme which aims to reduce the administrative burden and cost of complying with this requirement.

Countries outside the EU

If your business is based in Ireland and you provide e-services to a business or consumer based outside the EU, no EU VAT is charged. However, if the service supplied is effectively used and enjoyed in an EU country, that country can decide to levy VAT.

E-services, provided by suppliers established in a non-EU country to consumers in the EU, must also be taxed at the place where the customer resides or has a permanent address unless the supplier has opted to use the mini one-stop-shop (MOSS) scheme. The non-Union MOSS scheme enables these suppliers to register for VAT in one EU country only.

Complying with EU VAT law

VAT is a complicated tax at the best of times and this article touches on just some of the aspects that create confusion for businesses providing e-services.

For further information and to find out how Crowleys DFK can help you comply with EU VAT law, please get in touch.

TALK TO US

Siobhán O’Hea
Partner of Tax Services
siobhán.ohea@blacknighthosting.com

Finance Act 2017 introduced a change to the current 7-year capital gains tax exemption (“CGT”) which allows for investors to sell their property after 4 years instead of the previous minimum 7-year holding period.

The recent amendment means that rather than holding the property for a minimum of 7 years, taxpayers can sell the property between the 4th and 7th anniversary of the acquisition date and qualify for full exemption from CGT. This change only applies to disposals on or after 1 January 2018.

No relief is available if the property is sold during the initial four-year acquisition period.

If the property is held for longer than seven years, relief will only apply to the portion of the gain relating to the first 7 years ownership and the balance is taxable in the normal way.

The relief continues to apply to both residential and commercial property situated in Ireland or a member of the European Economic Area and to property held by individuals and corporates.

Taxpayers must continue to meet the other conditions of the relief to qualify for the CGT exemption.

Example:

Purchase a commercial property on 1 January 2014:

  • Cost €200,000
  • Stamp Duty €4,000

Sell the commercial property on 1 March 2019:

  • Sales Proceeds €350,000

Capital Gains Tax:

  • Capital Gain = €146,000 (€350,000 – €200,000 – €4,000)

Relief:

  • Full CGT relief will apply as the property was disposed of between the 4thand 7th anniversary of the acquisition date. As such, no CGT is payable on the gain of €146,000

For more information on the above tax relief, please contact a member of our Tax Department.

 

 

Ireland enjoys an enviable reputation as a business-friendly location and it’s not just global giants who reap the benefits, says Edward Murphy, Partner and Head of Tax Services.

Ireland is home to many of the world’s most successful companies. Sixteen of the top twenty global technology firms are located here as are twenty-four of the twenty-five top biotech and pharma companies.

However, it is not just global giants that reap the benefits of doing business in Ireland. Many smaller companies also take advantage of the pro-business culture and ease of access to EU markets.

In the software sector alone, more than 900 multinational and indigenous firms employ 24,000 people generating €16 billion of exports annually, according to IDA Ireland, the state agency responsible for promoting foreign direct investment.

IRELAND’S FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT SUCCESS

One reason for Ireland’s foreign direct investment (FDI) success is the favourable tax regime. There are double tax treaty agreements in place with 72 other countries and the 12.5 percent corporate tax rate is one of the lowest in the EU.

Other advantages include an attractive holding company regime and tax incentives for certain types of investment. For example, Irish-resident companies carrying out qualifying research and development activity can avail of a ‘Knowledge Development Box’ where eligible profits are taxed at a rate of just 6.25 percent.

TAX NOT THE ONLY REASON TO LOCATE IN IRELAND

While tax is undoubtedly an important consideration, it is not the only reason foreign businesses choose to locate in Ireland. Other influences include:

  • Ease of doing business.
  • Supportive state agencies.
  • Political stability.
  • EU membership and proximity to EU markets.
  • Strong legal framework for the development, exploitation and protection of intellectual property rights.
  • English-speaking population (When the UK leaves the EU, Ireland will be the only English-speaking EU member state).
  • Strong talent pipeline with around 30 percent of Irish third level students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
  • Collaborative ecosystem where industry and academics work together to the benefit of society and the economy.
  • Growing economy. GDP growth of 4.4 percent is forecast for 2018 and 3.9 percent for

US AND CANADIAN COMPANIES IN IRELAND

Around 700 US companies are located in Ireland, employing more than 150,000 people.  Anecdotally, US technology companies report that they can hire two engineers in Ireland for the price of one in Silicon Valley, with higher multiples for some engineering specialties.

Notwithstanding the Trump administration’s recent tax reform package which will see US corporation tax rates fall from 35 percent to 20 percent, Ireland’s corporate tax rate is still only around half the US rate when federal taxes are taken into account.

Canadian interest in Ireland is also growing. The EU-Canada trade deal which provisionally came into force in September 2017 will create further opportunities for Canadian businesses seeking to set up in Ireland.

CONCLUSION

At a time of global economic and political uncertainty, Ireland offers a stable, pro-business environment and is an excellent location from which companies seeking to establish a base in the EU can develop and expand their businesses.

Crowleys DFK assists many foreign owned companies to set up operations in Ireland. For more information and to discuss your specific requirements, please get in touch.

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What Our Clients Say

Edward Murphy
Partner and Head of Tax Services
edward.murphy@blacknighthosting.com

Up to recently, landlords were not entitled to a tax deduction for expenses such as mortgage interest, insurance and repairs incurred before the date a property was first let out.

To encourage owners of vacant residential properties to offer those properties for rent, Finance Act 2017 has introduced a new tax deduction for pre-letting expenses of a revenue nature incurred on a property that has been vacant for a period of 12 months or more.

The pre-letting expenses are now given as a deduction against rental income from that property in the first year it is let out.

Conditions

The property in question must have been vacant for a period of at least 12 months prior to its first letting during the period 25 December 2017 and 31 December 2021.

The expenditure must have been incurred in the 12 months before the property was let out and a cap of €5,000 per vacant property applies.

Claw Back

Where the landlord

  • ceases to let the property as residential premises or
  • sells the property

within 4 years of the first letting, this tax deduction will be clawed back in the year the property ceases to be let by the landlord.

Contact our Tax Department if you have any questions about pre-letting expenses or other rented residential property queries.

Normally, where a van is available for the private use of an employee as a result of their employment, the employee is chargeable to PAYE, PRSI and USC in respect of that private use. Travel to and from work is considered private use.

The notional pay in which PAYE, PRSI and USC must be applied is determined the ‘cash equivalent’ of the private use of the van. The cash equivalent is 5% of the (OMV) Original Market Value of the vehicle.

 

No taxable benefit will arise in relation to the use of a company van where all the below conditions are met:

  1. The van is supplied by the employer for the purpose of the employee’s work.
  2. The employee is required to bring the van home after work.
  3. Apart from travelling to and from work, other private use of the van is forbidden by the employer.
  4. During work, the employee spends at least 80% of his or her time away from the premises of the employer to which he or she is attached.

An exemption to the Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) rule takes place from 1 January 2018 and applies to used and new company vans. If an electric van is made available for an employee’s private use, then no taxable benefit will arise in relation to that private use. This only includes vans that derive their motive power solely from electricity.

Definition of a van

A van is a mechanical vehicle which:

  • Is made solely/mainly for the transport of goods or other burden, and
  • Has a roofed area to the rear of the driver’s seat, and
  • Has no side windows or seating fitted in that roofed area.

Where a crew cab or other similar type of vehicle meets all these criteria, it is regarded as a van rather than a car.

Contact our Tax Department if you require assistance with the above.

The Finance Bill 2017 has introduced a tax efficient share option scheme for employees of SMEs. The Finance Bill provides that from 1 January 2018, SMEs in Ireland will be able to grant KEEP (Key Employee Engagement Programme) share options to their employees.

The change in a tax treatment of these share options means an employee may exercise a “qualifying” share option without incurring the liability to income tax, PRSI and USC that he would have under the current rules. Currently, gains arising on the exercise of a share option at a discount on market value are subject to income tax, PRSI and USC. However, KEEP provides that tax on such shares will be deferred until the shares are disposed of and the employee will pay only capital gains tax at 33% on his profit when the shares are sold.

The KEEP Scheme was introduced to facilitate the use of share-based remuneration to attract and retain key employees in unquoted companies.

A number of conditions must be satisfied in order to avail this tax advantageous KEEP Share Option incentive, which are briefly set out below:

Qualifying share options

  • Shares must be new, ordinary fully paid up with no preferential, current or future rights to dividends or assets on a winding up or redemption
  • Share options must have an exercise price that is not less than the market value of the underlying shares on the date the option is granted
  • There must be a written contract in place setting out number and type of shares, option price and exercise period
  • Share options cannot be exercised within 12 months of grant other than in limited circumstances and options cannot be exercised more than 10 years after date of grant
  • Share options must be granted for bona fide commercial purposes the main purpose of which is to recruit or retain employees in the company and not part of a tax avoidance scheme or arrangement.

Qualifying company

  • For the purpose of the relief the company must be a “qualifying” company i.e. must have been Ireland/EEA incorporated and Irish resident or carrying on a business in Ireland through a branch or agency
  • Qualifying company must be carrying on trading activities with the exception of certain excluded activities set out in legislation. The most notable of these excluded activities include professional service companies, companies dealing in or developing land, financial activities and the building and construction industry
  • The company must be unquoted and remain within the definition of an SME i.e. a company with less than 250 employees and with turnover less than €50m or less than €43m balance sheet
  • The company can only have a maximum of €3m value of share options in issue and unexercised at any one time.

Qualifying individual

  • Must be a fulltime employee/director working at least 30 hours per week
  • The employment held must be capable of being held for at least a further 12 months from the date the option is granted
  • The employee must not acquire or be connected to a person who controls more than 15% of the ordinary share capital of the company during option period
  • Market value of all shares which can be granted in any year of assessment to an employee cannot exceed €100k in any one tax year, €250k in any three consecutive years or 50% of the employee’s annual emoluments for the year in which the option is granted.

KEEP will be available for qualifying share options granted between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2023. As State Aid approval will be required to introduce this scheme, the scheme is subject to a Ministerial Order.

Contact our Tax Department if you have any questions about KEEP share options or other employee share scheme matters.