Returning to Ireland in 2019? Relocation expenses & reliefs

Tax questions on returning to Ireland - Relocation expenses & reliefs - Crowe Ireland

Returning to Ireland in 2019? – Here’s what you need to know.

Tax is always a major concern for ex-pats thinking of returning to Ireland. In a special holiday season series, our tax department are sharing some of the common questions that we are frequently asked from people who are looking to return home.

Question #8: I am moving to Ireland to work for an Irish subsidiary of my foreign employer. Am I entitled to any Irish tax reliefs or exemptions?

Tax-free reimbursement of relocation expenses.

It has been a Revenue practice for many years to allow an employer to reimburse certain relocation and removal expenses to an employee tax-free provided certain conditions are satisfied.

Tax-free reimbursement of removal/relocation expenses may be allowed where the reimbursement to the employee or payment directly by the employer is in respect of removal or relocation expenses actually incurred. The expenses must be reasonable in amount, properly controlled and necessary to move house. Examples of expenses covered by this exemption are auctioneer and solicitor fees, furniture removal and storage charges.

Special Assignment Relief Programme (SARP Relief).

Another benefit to consider on your relocation is the Special Assignment Relief Programme (SARP Relief). This relief operates such that, where you meet all of the relevant conditions, 30% of your Irish employment income over €75,000 is disregarded for Income Tax purposes.

Your employment in Ireland must last for at least 12 months to qualify and the relief can only apply for a maximum of five years. You must not have been Irish tax resident for the five tax years immediately preceding the year in which you return.

Finally, it is important to note that SARP relief must be applied for within 90 days of arriving in Ireland. In our experience this deadline can often be missed resulting in Revenue’s refusal of the relief. Previously, the deadline was 30 days but Revenue have recently extended this deadline to 90 days which is a welcome change.

Read the answers to the rest of our tax series on returning home:

Question #1: I’m planning on returning to Ireland midway through 2019. Will my foreign employment income be taxable in Ireland?

Question #2: I’m planning on returning to Ireland and taking up employment. I have been away for a number of years. How do I apply for tax credits?

Question #3: I have been living abroad for a number of years and am planning on returning to Ireland. I bought a property abroad and will sell the property before returning to Ireland. Will the proceeds be taxable when brought into Ireland? What about any money I have saved in my foreign bank account?

Question #4: I am planning on buying a home when I return to Ireland. What are the taxes and reliefs available to me?

Question #5: I have made contributions to a foreign pension fund. Can I transfer these benefits back to Ireland?

Question #6: I paid social insurance contributions while living and working abroad. Will these contributions count towards qualifying for my Irish state pension?

Question #7: I am returning with a spouse / children who are not Irish citizens. What practical steps do I need to take in accessing benefits etc., for my family?

If you have any questions about returning to Ireland or any other personal tax issues, please contact a member of our tax team.