ISE pre-Budget submission - Tax changes needed to encourage Irish businesses to scale

The Irish Stock Exchange's (ISE) pre-Budget submission 2017 calls on the Government to make Ireland a more attractive and internationally competitive location for companies looking to scale by:

  • Encouraging Irish and international investors to invest their capital in Irish business
  • Enabling more Irish entrepreneurs to keep growing their business in Ireland rather than opting for a trade sale to bigger international companies
  • Delivering more favourable tax treatment for companies wishing to give employees a stake in their business and retain skilled, motivated staff for the long term

The key asks of the ISE’s pre-Budget 2017 submission are:

  1. Stamp duty - A cut in stamp duty on investing in Irish shares from 1% to at least the UK rate of 0.5% to make Irish companies more attractive to investors when competing with their international peers. This tax should be phased out over the medium term.
  2. CGT & CGT Entrepreneurial relief - The CGT rate to be reduced back to 20% to bring Ireland in line with international CGT rates and the CGT entrepreneurial relief regime to be simplified and improved to encourage investment and to retain Irish businesses in Ireland.
  3. Share option schemes - Taxation on share options schemes to be deferred until a sale occurs and for CGT rates only to apply to the sale so that Irish companies can attract talent, motivate employees and encourage them to retain their interest in the business as it scales.
  4. EII - Improvements in the Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) scheme to match the UK regime to encourage and support entrepreneurship.
  5. SARP - A removal of the requirement for future employees to have been employed abroad for a six month period under the Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP) to enable Irish enterprises to fill talent and experience gaps.

The ISE believes that these changes will deliver greater economic growth for Ireland by encouraging investment in Irish companies; enabling entrepreneurs to base, scale and grow their business in Ireland; and ensuring Irish enterprises can attract and incentivise people with key talent and skills.