Web tool to let SMEs claim back €480m


19 Jul 2005

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Some €480m in small benefit business tax concessions have not been availed of by businesses at all this year. A new web tool endorsed by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheal Martin will enable small businesses to claim back these benefit-in-kind (BIK) concessions.

The software developed for The Gift Voucher Shop’s online corporate incentive and reward-management systems provides a number of unique functionalities for the efficient management of the small-benefit concession. This was developed to specifically comply with the Revenue Commission’s position on the matter.

Since 1 January, 2005, the BIK exemption threshold has increased from €100 to €250. This tax exemption allows companies to make a small award to individual employees in a single benefit of no more than €250.

The online corporate management tool allows companies to make number of small awards to an individual employee that culminates in an overall single benefit of no more than €250. Due to its management control features, it has been approved by the Revenue Commissioners for use by Irish companies wishing to avail of this tax and PRSI concession.

The Gift Voucher Shop, part of Kerry-based global payments firm Fexco, provides large companies and SMEs a range of services including staff and retail customer motivation programmes, trade loyalty programmes as well as incentive and bonus schemes. The Gift Voucher Shop has more than 500 corporate clients across all business sectors including Aer Lingus, AIB Bank, Dell Computers, Diageo, Ford, Microsoft, O2 and Permanent TSB.

The company estimates that only a small percentage of the annual business tax concession has been taken up in the first six months of 2005. The Gift Voucher Shop pointed to anecdotal evidence, which suggests the majority of the €480m available remains available to employees under the small-benefit exemption scheme.

“Companies, both large and small, can use its genuinely unique capability to avail of small benefit employee tax concessions, both securely and efficiently,” said The Gift Voucher Shop’s managing director Michael Dawson. “The new corporate service can be tailored according to individual corporate needs. Our research has revealed a large demand for a service of this type and we look forward to it driving sales going forward.”

The corporate service is secured by ID and password protection, and provides all management information online. It can be customised and branded to a company’s particular specifications.

Minister Martin commented: “The efforts of small and large businesses in Ireland can benefit from improved decision making through the use of innovative products and services. The Gift Voucher Shop’s online corporate management tool for small benefit relief is a welcome edition to the growing portfolio of innovative Irish software solutions.

“Today’s market environment is increasingly competitive regardless of the business sector involved or whether your company is domestic or international in focus. Business solutions such as that of The Gift Voucher Shop should be welcomed,” he added.

By John Kennedy