Today saw the publication of Finance Bill 2020, which for the most part puts into legislation what was announced in the Minister’s Budget 2021 speech last week.
Normally, the Finance Bill contains several new items not announced on Budget day, including new anti-avoidance measures. This year’s Bill has little in this regard, with COVID 19 measures clearly the priority.
Indeed this year, tax measures have been significantly overshadowed by spending and support measures, including the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), which is to be administered by Revenue and scheduled to provide circa €80m per week to businesses impacted by COVID19. The legislation behind the CRSS is included in the Finance Bill and helpfully confirms that it applies to businesses that have seen turnover decline to 25% or less of average 2019 turnover, increased from 20% announced on Budget day.
The Bill also includes the announcement on Budget day of a change in Ireland’s Intangible Asset regime, which has had a significant role in attracting Intellectual Property (IP) and jobs to Ireland. While the change does not impact on IP already in Ireland, it was disappointing that the change was introduced with effect from Budget night without any prior consultation or notice. Uncertainty always frightens investors.