Friday 30 September 2016

Festive gift card sales soar after tax-free limit doubled

Published 30/01/2016 | 02:30

Total gift card sales grew by 9.6pc to €2.8m at Dublin’s Liffey Valley shopping centre
Total gift card sales grew by 9.6pc to €2.8m at Dublin’s Liffey Valley shopping centre

Gift card sales were boosted last year after the limit at which employers could reward workers with a tax-free non-cash benefit increased to €500.

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The announcement of the limit increase, which was made in October, has significantly increased sales of gift cards at shopping centres.

According to property consultants Savills, gift card sales grew by 24pc in Mahon Point in Cork up to €2.6m while total sales of the cards in Liffey Valley grew by 9.6pc, up to €2.8m.

Speaking about the increase in sales, Roy Deller of Savills, the company that manages Mahon Point and Liffey Valley, said that an immediate spike in sales was experienced following the announcement.

"The introduction of the new tax-free limits, combined with the recovering consumer economy, has pushed demand to unprecedented new highs," Mr Deller said.

The announcement made by the minister saw the limit at which employers could spend on tax-free non-cash benefits double and Mr Deller says that retailers experienced a positive knock-on effect.

"The individual retailers in both centres are now reaping the benefits following a successful Christmas trading period and we hope this positive momentum will continue in 2016."

The change to the taxing of non-cash benefits was one of the only major amendments the minister made to the budget last year and spurred employers to take advantage of it for Christmas bonuses.

According to the latest figures from Retail Excellence Ireland the gift card industry in Ireland is believed to be worth in the region of €600m per year.

Irish Independent

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