A couple of unexpected nuggets in Finance Bill 2015

The 2015 Finance Bill was published this morning and is expected to be signed in to law by the end of December.

The Finance Act effectively puts in to law the tax aspects of the budget announced on budget day.  Usually there are a couple of surprises that weren’t announced on budget day, and this year there are a couple of good news items.

Tax Free Vouchers For Staff

There has  been a provision for many years which allows employers to grant vouchers to staff up to a value of €250 each year.  The 2015 Finance Bill proposes to increase this to €500 a year.  The first draft doesn’t appear to have a commencement date which would suggest that if the the Bill is enacted before the end of this year then the €500 limit may apply to 2015.  Failing that it may be worthwhile postponing the Christmas bonus to January 2016.

It’s worth remembering that the vouchers are not only tax free to the employee but also exempt from employer’s PRSI.

Other income limit extended for PAYE workers

Another provision in the Finance Bill that I didn’t catch on budget day was the extension of the “other income” limit for PAYE workers from €3,174 to €5,000.  This limit is the amount over which PAYE workers become chargeable persons for self-assessment which means they must register for self-assessment income tax and file a Form 11.

PAYE workers with other income of less than [the current limit] of €3,174 can file the supposedly simpler Form 12 and escape some of the trappings that come along with being a self-assessed income tax payer.  The new limit of €5,000 will apply from 1 January 2016.

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