A multinational in the technology sector has indicated to the Department of Finance it had actually deferred a decision to announce new jobs because of the uncertainty surrounding a move to impose immediate new PRSI changes to share option payments, The Sunday Business Post reports.

The department told the newspaper it had moved to clarify the issue following heavy lobbying by large multinationals and business representative bodies.

The last Budget applied the Universal Social Charge and PRSI on certain share-based payments but employers argued they had not budgeted for these changes and that they amounted to retrospective taxation.

The department now says both the employer and the employee charge to PRSI will not apply where share-based remuneration was the subject of a written agreement entered into between the employer and the employee before January 1, 2011. The Revenue says that were an employer had already deducted PRSI, this could be recovered by adjusting payroll in the current tax year.

However, the clarification will not affect the liability to pay the Universal Social Charge on share options from January 1. Regardless of when the agreement was entered into, this charge will still apply

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