Boost for Clare businesses as vouchers up to €500 purchased since 22nd Oct now tax free – Breen

December 10th, 2015 - Pat Breen

“The Finance Bill announced that employers will be able to gift vouchers of up to €500, tax free and today (Friday) it was confirmed that this measure has come into effect and will apply to all voucher purchased since 22nd October”, says Clare T.D. & Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“It is very welcome news that the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan has fast tracked these new measures and backdated them from 22nd October to allow employers to give bonus vouchers of up to €500 to employees, tax free.

“I was inundated with calls from Business People and Employers who were very anxious to have this change implemented in advance of the Christmas Spending Period. Gifting vouchers has become very popular around this time of year and take Ennis Chamber of Commerce, for example, they operate the Ennis Gold Gift Voucher Scheme where all vouchers purchased are spent in over 80 businesses in the Town.

“The fast tracking of this measure, to increase the value of non-cash bonuses or benefits which staff can receive from their employers without paying tax, will provide a great boost to local businesses right across Clare.

“It is great news that the change will take effect before Christmas so employees can now benefit from this in their Christmas bonus this year.

“Up until now, an employer could provide an employee with a once-off, annual non-cash benefit to the value of €250 that was not liable for tax. The new provisions, contained in the Finance Bill, mean the maximum value of such a benefit has now been increased to €500. Anything above that will still be subject to PAYE and PRSI.

“This is a great incentive for employers to reward staff with a larger bonus for Christmas and it will provide a significant boost to the local economy, where people will spend the vouchers.”