The ABC of Ireland's Budget 2020

Budget 2020, announced on 8 October 2019, has been developed in the shadow of Brexit and influenced by the increasing likelihood of a no-deal outcome. The €1.2 billion Brexit response package announced includes €200 million in Brexit expenditure next year and further intervention in the event of a no-deal scenario by way of borrowings to fund support for the Agriculture, Enterprise and Tourism sectors as well as social protection payments and employment schemes.  Together with Brexit measures, the Government intends to fund new capital investment projects, respond to demographic demands and provide improvements in public services.  To enhance the resources for allocation, targeted tax measures are to be introduced to the net value of approximately €300 million.  Revenue raising measures include increases in carbon tax and excise duty on tobacco, a new vehicle nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions-based charge, an increase in stamp duty on commercial property, an increase in Irish dividend withholding tax (DWT) to target perceived non-compliance by Irish resident individuals in respect of Irish dividend income, and anti-avoidance measures targeting Irish Real Estate Funds (IREFs) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).  Tax cuts and reliefs are minimal but the SME sector is being supported by way of improvements to certain existing share option schemes and to income tax relief on investment in qualifying companies together with enhancements to R&D tax credits available to small and micro companies.   

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