The following are the main points emerging from Minister Paschal Donohoe’s 2018 Budget:
- Standard rate income tax band increased by €750 for 2018, giving a tax saving in 2018 of €150 for higher rate taxpayers.
- Earned income tax credit for the self-employed and proprietary directors increased by €200 to €1,150 for 2018.
- The 2.5% / 5.0% USC rates will be reduced to 2.0% / 4.75%. There is a slight widening of the band eligible for the new 2.0% rate.
- DIRT rate reduced to 37% in 2018 but no change announced in the exit tax rate of 41%.
- All State Pensions to increase by €5 pw from the end of March 2018. This will make the maximum State Pension €12,695 pa, or just €5 pa under the €12,700 pa specified income limit for the ARF option.
- Stamp Duty on the purchase of commercial (i.e. non-residential) property is increased from 2% to 6% with effect from midnight 10th October 2017.
- Mortgage interest tax relief for those who bought their homes between 2004 and 2012 is being phased out between 2018 and 2020. The relief will finish for these borrowers at the end of 2020.
- No change in CAT thresholds.
- New tax efficient share option scheme (called KEEP) will be introduced in 2018 for employees of unquoted SMEs.
- No changes announced in private pension tax reliefs or taxation of benefits.
It is possible that other taxation and pension changes not announced in the Budget could be introduced in the Finance Bill, either at publication on 19th October 2017, or at the Committee Stage, scheduled for 7th to 9th November 2017.