by Anne Reilly, founder and CEO of PaycheckPlus
Ireland’s Special Assignee Relief Programme (“SARP”) is a tax relief designed to boost the relocation of key talent to Ireland. The new SARP was introduced in 2012 to assist Irish companies and multinational companies in attracting key employees to Ireland. Where qualifying employees relocate to Ireland, SARP allows income tax relief in the form of a tax deduction from employment income.
The Irish Finance Act 2014 made a number of improvements to the relief which allowed for the SARP to be available to a larger group of key talent relocating to Ireland since 1 January 2015.
This is provided to employees who work in the state and gives tax relief where an assignee’s relevant income exceeds €75,000 per tax year. This relief can be claimed for a maximum of 5 years consecutively.
There are certain payments that can be made free of tax from the employer to the employee –
Payment for one return trip home
Payment of up to €5,000 for primary/secondary education for any children of the employee/civil partner
To qualify for SARP –
Employee must be assigned to work in Ireland
Employee must be working for their employer for 12 months prior to being assigned
Employee must be working in Ireland 2015,2016,2017
The assignment must be for a minimum of 12 months
Employee must be a tax resident in Ireland and not due to pay tax in another country
The employee must not have been resident in Ireland in the 5 years prior to arrival
A SARP (Special Assignee Relief Programme) return must be completed and filed to include the employee name and PPS number, nationality, country in which the relevant employee worked for the relevant employer prior to his or her first arrival in Ireland to perform the duties of the relevant employment and the amount of income, profits or gains in respect on which tax was not deducted. In addition, the relevant employer or associated company must provide details of the increase in the number of employees, and details of the number of employees retained by the company as a result of the operation of the relief. The return must be made annually by 23rd February by employers who had employees avail of SARP in the previous calendar year
SARP has been through a number of “facelifts” since its introduction in 2009. Recent enhancements would appear to be very positive for business and should make it more accessible than previously.