Interest Limitation Ratio – Feedback Statement Published by Finance Minister

Brian Murphy
insight featured image
On 2 July 2021 the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, launched a second Feedback Statement on transposition of the ATAD interest limitation ratio.

The Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD) requires Member States to introduce an interest limitation rule (ILR) to limit base erosion through the use of interest expenses to create excessive interest deductions. The ILR aims to limit the maximum net deduction to 30% of earnings before tax and before deductions for net interest expense, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

This Feedback Statement builds on the previous November 2018 public consultation on implementation of the ATAD Anti-Hybrid rules and ILR and the December 2020 ATAD ILR Feedback Statement and proposes suggestions for draft legislation for the ILR provision as a whole. Due to the complexities noted in the previous feedback statement, a nine step approach has been devised which aims to simplify the application of the ILR as an adjustment to the corporation tax computation with suggested carry forward methods as provided for in the ATAD.

ATAD Article 4(1) allows the option to apply the ILR using a “single approach” (i.e. on a company by company basis) or a “group approach” (i.e. to a local group of companies as defined under national law). However, member States (including Ireland) that do not allow tax consolidation are permitted to introduce notional local group provisions for ATAD ILR purposes (interest group).

It is understood that issues may arise in applying the limitation on a notional local group basis and this Feedback Statement sets out a suggested draft approach to the application. Complexities may arise due to attempts to apply the ILR across numerous accounts compiled for group purposes, or where a company joins or leaves a group, and suggestions are invited as to how this process may be simplified. The interaction of the interest limitation provisions with other existing restrictions on interest deductions also needs to be considered to ensure they operate together without complications.

It will be necessary to report information to Revenue regarding the application of the ILR as part of the self-assessment process and it is recognised that it may be difficult for some taxpayers to accurately estimate the effect of the ILR on their preliminary tax obligations, particularly in the first accounting periods affected by the ILR.

Comments are invited on the proposed nine step approach and suggested definitions for incorporation into tax law. The closing date for receipt of submissions is Monday 16th August 2021. Grant Thornton are feeding into the various consultations and we await publication of legislation. If you would like to know more, contact us today to discuss how we can support you with regards to ILR and how you may be affected.

Read more