Finance Bill doesn’t go far enough to support R&D
Finance Minister Brian Cowen TD’s latest Finance Bill does not go far enough in its R&D measures to help maintain Ireland as an attractive location for knowledge-based investment, it was warned last night.
This would be vital not only for the strong bed of multinational companies based in Ireland but for kindling an R&D ethic in Irish SMEs with a global vision.
"In the context of Ireland's agenda for a knowledge economy, Finance Bill 2008 does not focus on any tax deduction for acquired intellectual property and indeed amends a long standing provision, 'know-how', which is negative in the context of marketing Ireland as a favourable location."
Similarly, the R&D measures announced in the Bill, which see 2003 remain the base year for tax credits until 2013, do not go far enough to alleviate investor uncertainty with regards to Ireland.
"The Finance Bill simply confirms what was in the Budget. Investors looking to Ireland require increased assurance, fixing 2003 as the base year indefinitely would have provided increased certainty and would certainly have been a more favourable measure," O'Connor railed.
Other technology sector-related decisions in the 2008 Finance Bill, which Minister Cowen said was designed to encourage economic growth, included the reform of stamp duty on credit cards, making the Business Expansion Scheme (BES) more accessible for recycling companies, tax allowances for energy efficient equipment and increased flexibility for employee share ownership (ESOPs).
The Tánaiste also announced new provisions to facilitate the introduction of e-stamping at the Revenue Commissioners.
Revenue is currently engaged in a major strategic development that will see the introduction of a self-service e-stamping system.
This system will allow a full self service online process where the user can file, pay and receive an instant stamp without Revenue requiring to see the deed in the majority of cases. It is hoped to introduce the service in the second quarter of 2009.
By John Kennedy