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Tax Institute calls for new measures to attract investment

The Irish Tax Institute has urged the Government to do more in next month’s Budget to attract senior decicion makers and investment to Ireland.

Speaking at the organisation’s annual general meeting in Dublin on Thursday, the organisation’s new president Andrew Gallagher called on the coalition to take measures to ensure that Ireland continues to be an attractive location for foreign investment.

“Ireland needs to be not only a good location for companies to carry out their business but a good location in which their senior decision makers can be based. Without them we will not attract the investment that is necessary for future employment and economic growth”, said Mr Gallagher.

“In this context, we need to continue to improve the attractiveness of the Irish corporation tax regime, and also focus on areas within the income tax regime that may impact on decisions to employ senior personnel in Ireland”.

Mr Gallagher said while the Government had introduced a Special Assignment Relief Programme, known as SARP in 2012, only nine employees had availed of the relief that year, which he said was insufficient. In addition, a Foreign Earnings Deduction (FED) relief programme was also introduced that year, for which only 83 employees claimed relief.

“Other countries have more attractive reliefs with less onerous conditions. The UK, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Singapore all have attractive offerings so we need to up our game in this area,” he said.

“It’s difficult to attract the key decision makers who drive employment with high marginal tax rates and where the key human capital incentives may not be working as intended”, he added.

The Irish Tax Institute has made a number of recommendations for improvements to both the SARP and FED reliefs as part of the consultations launched by the Department of Finance earlier this year.

Commenting on the country’s tax regime, Mr Gallagher said the institute had made proposals in their pre-Budget Submission to improve the taxation of intellectual property, research & development tax credits and the wider Irish corporate tax regime.

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