#Budget18: Irish Tax Institute welcomes Budget measures for SMEs and entrepreneurs

The Irish Tax Institute has said today's Budget will allow SMEs ot innovate "at a time when they are more at risk and need to diversify".

The Institute noted that food companies are uniquely exposed to risk from Brexit.

Irish tax Institute President David Fennell also welcomed the merging of USC and PRSI.

This is positive news yet there are many issues to consider as it is a complex task that will take several years to complete,” he said.

The Institute welcomed the announcement last year that a share based incentive scheme would be implemented and now it is due to be launched on 1 January 2018.

Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP) is a share-based remuneration incentive to facilitate the use of share-based remuneration by unquoted SME companies to attract and retain key employees.

The Institute advocated for a share-based scheme in its recent report and awaits the release of further details with interest.

“There is a global war for talent and we welcome any move to encourage skilled workers to remain and thrive in Ireland”, said Mr Fennell.

Mr Fennell described the increase of the threshold for the higher income tax band as "a positive first step in lifting the tax burden on workers in Ireland’s ‘squeezed middle’"

USC rates were also lowered – the 5% rate is now 4.75% and the 2.5% is down to 2%.

“We can’t lose sight of the longer term goal – the fact remains there is an income tax rate of 52% for earners over €70,044, which is hindering us in the global race for talent.”

He also welcomed the consultation recommended by the recent report on Ireland’s corporation tax by economist Seamus Coffey.

The report also found that Ireland has a transparent, stable and competitive corporate tax regime.

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