THE MAIN POINTS
Published 09/02/2012 | 05:00
• The income threshold that applies before you have to pay the universal social charge (USC) will go up from €4,004 to €10,036. The Department of Finance says the change means that around 330,000 more people will be exempt from the charge.
• The Finance Bill also confirms the VAT increase announced in December. The rate jumped by 2pc to 23pc from the start of this year.
• Mortgage interest relief is being increased for first-time buyers who bought their home between 2004 and 2008.
• A scheme called the Special Assignee Relief Programme is being introduced to cut employers' costs in hiring skilled workers from overseas to work in their Irish-based operations. Employees signed up for at least one year and a maximum of five years will be exempt from income tax on 30pc of salary between €75,000 and €500,000.
• The deposit interest retention tax is being increased to 30pc, up from 27pc, and to 33pc for some longer-term savings products.
• The Bill proposes granting Revenue extra powers when investigating serious tax offences to apply for a court order to access documents or information.
• In a bid to incentivise farmers to transfer their agribusiness to their successor sooner, the Bill introduces an upper limit of €3m on retirement relief for business and farming assets disposed of within the family when the person doing the transfer is over 66.