SARP is a very valuable relief for employees coming to work in Ireland at the request of their foreign associated employer. The relief provides a reduction in income tax due for up to 5 years on all employment income over €75,000 per annum. The relieved income can include all forms of employment income, including bonuses, share remuneration and benefits in kind.
There are various conditions to be met which need to be reviewed carefully in each case. The Revenue Commissioners have recently clarified and updated their interpretation of certain parts of the SARP legislation in an updated Tax and Duty Manual. The key updates are as set out below.
- The inclusion of a new guidance on the eligibility of an assignee to avail of SARP in cases where he/she spends time in Ireland in the 6-month period prior to arrival. This condition requires that the duties of employment are actually exercised outside of Ireland in the 6 month period prior to arrival.
Revenue’s guidance on visits to Ireland in this period is outlined below:
- Visit for personal purposes - the presence in the State of an individual for a brief holiday or look-see visit in the 6-month period before arrival will not prevent the individual from qualifying as a relevant employee, assuming all other conditions are met.
- Visit for work purposes - the pre-arrival performance of employment duties in the State will not prevent an individual from qualifying as a relevant employee provided: the duties are performed under a foreign employment contract for a relevant employer; and the performance of duties in the State does not exceed 5 working days in total in the 6 month period.
- The requirement that an assignee must spend at least 12 consecutive months working in Ireland after arrival to avail of the relief. The Revenue Commissions technical interpretation is that the assignee must have some workdays in Ireland in each calendar month for 12-consecutive months from the date they first performed their SARP employment duties in Ireland, and that otherwise the employee become ineligible for SARP relief.
- New administrative requirements has been included. The updated guidance notes that Revenue would expect the employee to take steps to obtain a PPSN as soon as possible. However, it clarifies that where the conditions of SARP are met, the absence or the delay in processing of a PPSN will not, in itself, impact on whether an employee is eligible for relief. Approval for SARP will not issue, however, until the PPSN is provided to Revenue. Revenue’s SARP 1A Form is to be updated to also reflect this clarification. Revenue also notes the importance of registering the employment as soon as possible to get the benefit of SARP. However, the Manual now clarifies that where the conditions of the SARP are met, the delay in registering the employment will not, in itself, impact on whether an employee is eligible for relief. Approval for SARP will not issue, however, until the employment is registered.
If you require any further guidance in relation to SARP relief, please contact our Global Employer Services Team.
Suzanne O’Neill –Tax Partner Contact Suzanne