Business Plus

LISA KINSELLA

Crowe

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Tax Partner Crowe

TAX REFORM The area of employee share-based remunerati­on needs fundamenta­l reform. SMEs find it impossible to compete against remunerati­on packages provided by large multinatio­nals, particular­ly in the area of share-based remunerati­on. It is probable that remote working will increase this challenge.

The KEEP scheme is clearly not attractive. By contrast, in the UK the Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) and Share Incentive Plans (SIP) schemes offer favourable tax treatments to employees, have clear rules, and are simple to administer. The finance minister should introduce similar schemes here, use similar rules, and ensure that the administra­tive burden does not make these schemes unattracti­ve.

TAX WAREHOUSIN­G Our advice is to treat warehoused debt as being like bank debt, and to either pay down the debt when possible or have a clear repayment plan. However, once a repayment plan is agreed with Revenue it may be difficult or impossible to change this plan. This is likely to cause a considerab­le cashflow burden, which will put an incredible strain on businesses.

ENTREPRENE­UR RELIEF This is still a relatively new relief and there are few precedents to rely upon. Should Revenue agree that the establishe­d precedents that exist for Retirement Relief could also apply to Entreprene­ur Relief, this would be of great benefit in giving certainty to many transactio­ns, where currently it is unclear that the relief could apply.

With regard to Retirement Relief, when establishi­ng a company, business owners should consider splitting the shareholdi­ng with their spouse to maximise the amount of relief that may be claimed. Any person considerin­g selling their business in their fifties should seriously look at this relief in their late forties and implement any changes that need to be made, to ensure that the relief is available.

‘The KEEP scheme is clearly not attractive’

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