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Employment Investment Incentive Scheme

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Employment Investment Incentive Scheme

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Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe)

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Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe)

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Snippet Contents:

The Employment and Investment Incentive (“EII”) is an incentive whereby investors can claim relief for investments in qualifying companies.
EII is a State Aid. In 2015 it came within the scope of the European Commission's General Block Exemption Regulation (“GBER”). A number of changes were made to EII in Finance Act 2015 and Finance Act 2017 to ensure conformity with GBER. The latter changes came into effect on 1 January 2018.
Revenue advise me that of the cases currently being processed by the EII Branch, over 80% have required follow-up correspondence. While some of those are requests for clarifications, the majority relate to incomplete applications. Revenue require that applications are completed in their entirety, with all necessary documentation included, as a decision will be delayed where Revenue must seek further information from a company. With regard to the particular case, Revenue advise me that the company applied for EII relief on 20 April 2018 and received a request for information on 22 June. The information requested was submitted to Revenue on 9 October and on 19 October. Revenue then issued a response on 23 November highlighting areas where, based on the information provided, it believes the investment did not qualify for relief.
Regarding the issue of Revenue and contact from the public, Revenue advise me that its EII Branch has a dedicated phone line specifically for EII queries and the number is available at the following link:
www.revenue.ie/en/starting-a-business/initiatives-for-startup-businesses-and-smes/the-employment-and-investment-incentive-eii-for-companies.aspx.
This phone line is available between the hours of 9.30am to 1.30pm Monday to Friday to deal with queries from companies.
The Deputy also raised the issue of pre-approval; Revenue advise me that, under the EII legislative provisions currently in force, it offers “outline approval” to companies who are uncertain as to whether or not they are qualifying companies. Revenue further advise that this is an opinion that it issues, based on the information provided and processed in line with the presumption of honesty set out in their Customer Service Charter and that obtaining outline approval is not a guarantee that relief will be given. Whether or not an investment meets the criteria set out in law can only be determined once that investment is made.
Finally, as the Deputy may be aware, on foot of recommendations set out in the independent review of EII and the Start-Up Relief for Entrepreneurs scheme recently carried out by Indecon Economic Consultants, I have moved to change the administration of EII to a largely self-certification model in Finance Bill 2018. I expect that this change will enhance the efficient administration of the schemes.
The independent review was published in the annual Department of Finance Tax Expenditures Report 2018 and is available at the following link:
www.budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2019/Documents/Tax%20Expenditures%20Report%202018%20FINAL%2017.10.18%20(002).pdf.