Friday 16 November 2018

EIIS 'chaos' blamed on Apple tax ruling

Tens of millions in SME funding at risk due to Revenue delays and rejections

The EU Commission in 2016 ruled that Ireland failed to justify selective treatment of Apple Photo: Reuters
The EU Commission in 2016 ruled that Ireland failed to justify selective treatment of Apple Photo: Reuters
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Tax advisers are blaming increased caution among Revenue officials in the wake of the Apple tax ruling for crippling the State's main business scheme, the Employment and Incentive Investment Scheme (EIIS).

Concerns over the future of the scheme, which is a vital source of funding for hundreds of Irish SMEs, have intensified over the course of recent weeks.

The scheme, which used to guarantee a 30-day approval turnaround, now faces delays of several months, sources told the Sunday Independent.

This is leaving investors and SMEs in limbo and many firms are in the process of informing clients that serious issues have arisen with the scheme.

Changes were made to EIIS in 2015 in order to comply with European State Aid rules.

One source, who has been involved with EIIS and its predecessor, BES, for over a decade, said that schemes identical to those that were approved in 2015 were now facing significant delays.

A number of accounting sources believe Revenue is taking an increasingly conservative view in relation to tax schemes and is reluctant to give interpretations of legislation in the wake of the Apple ruling.

However, Revenue rejected this claim.

"The role of Revenue is to administer tax legislation in a fair and consistent manner. EU law forms a part of the legislative framework in which Revenue operates," said a spokeswoman, who cited the legislation for EIIS.

"The Apple tax ruling has no bearing on this," she added.

Revenue also said that this year, in the period from January to May 25, 73 applicant companies were processed, of which 18 were rejected and 55 were accepted.

Last year, 261 companies were the recipients of investments and there were 1,768 investors.

Tens of millions of euro is raised by small companies through the scheme annually.

Sunday Indo Business

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