This podcast was recorded on 10 March 2022.

David Moran, Tax Associate Director with Grant Thornton is joined by Úna Ryan, Tax Director, and Ann Marie Costello, Corporate Finance Director, with Grant Thornton Ireland.

David discusses the latest developments in the world of tax. Úna and Ann Marie share their insights as to what to look out for when buying or selling your business from a tax and corporate finance perspective including their top tips.

Revised Code of Practice for Revenue Compliance Interventions

Revenue released an eBrief on the New Code of Practice for Revenue Compliance Interventions on the 11th of February 2022 outlining the new changes being made to the current Code of Practice.

The new code now separates Revenue compliance interventions into three Levels, being:

  • Level 1: Support Compliance
  • Level 2: Challenge Non-Compliance; and
  • Level 3: Tackle High-Risk Cases and Practices

This new Code of Practice comes into effect from the 1st of May 2022.

Find out more by clicking on the title.

Exchequer results

The Department of Finance published their figures to the end of February on 2 March 2022 noting that tax revenues were 20% higher than 2021 and 10% higher than the same period in 2020.

Commenting on the figures, the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said:

While recent trends are positive, we cannot become complacent. It is crucial that we continue to make progress along the road to recovery. Budget 2022 set a framework within which we can reduce the deficit and restore the public finances, while continuing to invest heavily in public services, particularly in capital infrastructure.”

To see commentary from Peter Vale, Tax Partner with Grant Thornton, please click on the title.

Upcoming share scheme filings

Revenue released an eBrief on 18 February reminding employers operating share schemes and trustees of certain approved share schemes of their obligation to meet their filing requirements by the due date of the 31 March 2022, in respect of 2021.

There are various returns to be filed depending on the type of share scheme, such as

  • Form ESA for Restricted Share Units; Free/Discounted/Matching Shares, Employee Share Purchase Plans; Restricted Shares; Convertible Securities; Forfeitable Shares; Phantom Shares; Stock Appreciation Rights; Growth/Hurdle/Flowering Shares, and so on.
  • Form RSS1 is required for unapproved share options, other rights to acquire shares or assets which are awarded to employees and/or directors;
  • Form KEEP1 is required for KEEP share options;
  • Form ESS1 is required for Approved Profit Sharing Schemes;
  • Form SRS01 is required for Save As You Earn Schemes; and
  • ESOT1 is required for approved Employee Share Ownership Trust schemes

Click on the link to read the eBrief from Revenue.

ATAD III – EU Shell Entities

On 22 December 2021 the EU Commission published a proposal for a third Anti Tax Avoidance Directive. This new Directive introduces criteria for a rebuttable presumption for considering an undertaking a shell entity, new reporting obligations and even penalties in case of non-compliance. The Directive will ultimately need unanimous approval from all 27 EU Member States and is now just moving into the negotiation phase.

These proposed rules aim to ensure that entities within the EU with limited operational substance are unable to benefit from certain EU and national tax treaty benefits.

An ‘at risk’ entity under the current proposed rules is an entity which;

  • earns more than 75% of its revenue from passive income;
  • is engaged in cross border activity; and
  • outsources significant function and decision making processes

This is another development being proposed at EU level in the international tax space and could be introduced to Irish legislation as early as the 30th of June 2023 with application from the 1st of January 2024.

Find out more by clicking on the title.

Temporary reduction in excise duty on petrol, diesel and marked oil gas

Fuel costs have increased significantly in recent weeks with many individuals feeling the pinch at the fuel pumps across the country. In an order to ease the burden on individuals, the government have introduced a temporary reduction in the excise duty applied to petrol, diesel and marked gas oil on Wednesday, 9 March which came into effect from midnight on this day.

This new measures results in a reduction in excise duty of:

  • 20c per litre of petrol;
  • 15c per litre of diesel; and
  • 2c in excise charged on marked oil gas.

This measure is due to remain in place until the 31st of August 2022.

The new Finance (Covid-19 and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2022

On 4 March 2022, the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe TD published the new Finance (Covid-19 and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2022.

This new Bill gives legislative effect to changes introduced by the government from 21 December 2021 into January 2022 in response to public health restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What to consider when buying or selling

Úna Ryan, Tax Director, and Ann Marie Costello, Corporate Finance Director, with Grant Thornton Ireland, discuss what to consider when buying or selling a business and provide their insights into the sale process, including:

  • What potential purchasers are considering when looking at a business;
  • The value in undertaking pre-sale due diligence reviews also known as vendor due diligences;
  • Identifying an appropriate acquisition vehicle and debt financing requirements;
  • Top tips for both sellers and purchasers from a tax and corporate finance perspective;
  • Tax considerations for individual shareholders post sale of their business/company and much more.