Framed by “New Politics”, Brexit concerns and demands for more support for the SME and start-up sector, Michael Noonan and Pascal Donohoe have delivered Budget 2017.
The general consensus is that the Budget is positive for most sectors but has taken few risks.
The SME sector has expressed disappointment that greater support has not been given to the 1 million people employed by SMEs in Ireland. However, the startup community will appreciate the revised Capital Gains Tax Entrepreneur Relief reducing the effective CGT rate to 10% from January 2017.
From 1 January 2015, individuals can earn up to €12,000 per annum tax free by renting a room or rooms in his or her home. Once the tax free threshold of €12,000 is exceeded all of the income becomes taxable. Revenue recently clarified that the provision of accommodation to occasional visitors for short periods of time does not qualify for the relief as the visitor is using the accommodation as guest accommodation as opposed to residential accommodation. Revenue also noted that Rent a Room relief can apply in the case of letting to students.
CARE OF INCAPACITATED INDIVIDUALS
The maximum relief available to a person who employs a carer to take care of an incapacitated individual has been increased from € 50,000 to € 75,000 from 1 January 2015. Tax relief is provided by way of a deduction at the individual’s marginal rate of tax where the individual employs a person to take care of either:
Himself/herself or his or her spouse who is totally incapacitated by reason of physical or mental infirmity or a relative of the individual or of the individual’s spouse who is totally incapacitated by reason of physical or mental infirmity.
If you think you may be entitled to a tax refund, why not send in your return early and obtain your refund now!!!
REVENUE FOCUS ON EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES – 2015
It has come to our attention that Revenue intend to focus on employment practices in 2015. This is relevant for all employers. Some of the areas of focus will include:
The maintenance of a Register of Employees
The tax treatment of expense payments, specifically tax-free reimbursement of expenses to employees and directors
The calculation and treatment of Benefits-in-Kind.Should you wish to discuss any of these areas please contact us.
VAT IMPLICATIONS OF SELLING A PROPERTY
Recent improvements in the property market have been strongly welcomed. If you are expecting to dispose of a property it is important that you know the VAT implications of same in advance of agreeing a sales price.
A lack of awareness can have a negative effect on your cashflow. Please contact us for advice in this regard.
Can Twitter actually help my business or is it a total waste of my time? This is a question that is getting asked a lot these days. Twitter is essentially a micro-blogging platform that has a 140-character limit for its tweets. To answer this question, you must first look at the type of business you run and the value both you and your customers would potentially derive from using it.
We see Irish brands like AerLingus and Ryanair doing a killer job on Twitter right now but they are blessed with a huge customer base. The majority of people are getting in touch with small problems and complaints but due to the lightening-quick manner of both question and reply, they can be seen to deal with enquiries in an efficient manner. Basically, short of being able to text Michael O’Leary, this is your next best option!
You will be able to connect with your customers because they themselves are using Twitter. It has become a daily routine where people log onto it every single day, some log onto twitter the first thing they wake up even before brushing their teeth. If you have an unsatisfied customer you will hear them on Twitter. This will help your company to help them. Of course, this has a postive knock on effect to both your branding and marketing efforts.
Finally, the Twitter search function is an amazing way to see what people are saying about your products or services. You can use the reply function to engage with these people which is a form of constructive promotion.
Ultimately, this new-age level of support will build a brand loyalty and once you’ve engaged with and helped your customers (followers), they will be loyal to your brand.