Finance Minister Michael Noonan, TD, in delivering his Budget, confirmed there will be no change in Ireland’s 12.5pc corporate tax relief.
In a series of measures he said will allow multinational and indigenous companies to expand in Ireland, he said he will introduce a “Special Assignee Relief Programme” to allow local and global companies attract key people to the country.
He also introduced a Foreign Earnings Deduction to support export drives at BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries.
In a move clearly targeted at boosting the numbers of start-ups, Noonan said the corporate tax exemption for new start-up companies is being extended for the next three years.
In a move to tackle the long-standing bureaucracy and ambiguity around R&D tax relief, Noonan said the first €100,000 of R&D expenditure of all companies will be allowed on a volume basis.
In relation to the property troubles, Noonan said the Stamp Duty rate for commercial property will be reduced from the current top rate of 6pc to a flat rate of 2pc from midnight tonight.
There will be an increase in mortgage interest relief to 30pc for first-time buyers between 2004-2008, while first-time buyers in 2012 will get mortgage interest relief at 25pc rather than the 15pc proposed by the previous Government.
A property relief surcharge of 5pc will be imposed on investors with an annual gross income of more than €100,000.
Overall, new tax measures introduced today will be worth €1bn.
Noonan said his department now estimates that the general Government deficit for 2011 will be 10.1pc of GDP, less than the 10.6pc required by the EU and IMF. The target for 2012 will 8.6pc of GDP.