Finance (No 2) Bill 2008

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The following are highlights of the Finance Bill (No 2) Bill 2008 which may be of particular interest to STEP Ireland members:

From 20 November 2008, the capital acquisitions tax rate is increased from 20% to 22%. Agricultural relief is available for beneficiaries who qualify as “farmers” and receive gifts/inheritances of agricultural property provided certain conditions are satisfied. Previously the definition of agricultural property was confined to agricultural property within Ireland. From 20 November 2008, the relief will apply to agricultural property situated in an EU Member State.

New provisions have been introduced in respect of the delivery of information by professional advisers concerned with the establishment of a settlement/trust arrangement whereby the settlor is resident in Ireland and the trustees are not resident in Ireland. The provisions include Revenue powers to make requests for information from certain persons in respect of such arrangements. This is an onerous obligation for professionals in particular because it is retrospective for a 5 year period prior to the passing of the Finance Act which is likely to necessitate a consideration by professionals of their client files for this period to determine whether any disclosures are required.

New provisions have been introduced confirming Revenue practice in respect of the recovery of penalties from the estate of a deceased. Penalties will be recovered from an estate only in circumstances where, before the death of the deceased, penalties were agreed in writing by the deceased with Revenue or determined by a court.

The so called Cinderella Rule has been amended such that for tax residency purposes an individual will now be present in Ireland for a day if they are present in Ireland at any time during that day. The old rule required presence in Ireland at midnight.

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