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Water Charges relief on its way for those not on social welfare

The Finance Bill introduced today gives effect to measures introduced in Budget 2015.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE FINANCE BILL introduced today has brought into effect measures that give tax relief on water charges.

The measures will be extended to include inviduals not on social welfare or paying tax.

Following the initial publication of the Budget there had been controversy about the fact that at large number of people would not be eligible to avail of tax relief.

This relief will be available at the standard rate of 20%, up to a maximum of €500 per annum. Receiving the full tax relief however, would require individuals to own multiple properties.

The measure is divided up so that tax relief up to €100 per household per annum is available.

This will apply for all of those paying Income Tax and is not exclusive to those receiving social welfare.

USC and Income Tax

Also coming into effect with today’s new legislation are the changes announced for the Universal Social Charge (USC) and Income Tax on Budget Day.

Under the new measures, the lowest 80,000 earners will be removed from the USC.

In an effort to address the problem of the squeezed middle – the top 1% of earners will be paying 21% of all income tax, while the bottom 76% will be paying 20%. 

New measures 

In today’s Finance Bill, a number of measures not announced in last month’s Budget were also mentioned.

Included as part of the new legislation are a number of measures aimed at closing off tax avoidance schemes used in connection with Approved Retirement Funds and “vested” Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs).

The changes being introduced are to prevent owners of these funds from outliving them and to put provisions in place to allow maximum annual withdrawal.

These fresh measures also included relief for the film industry, the agriculture sector and measures for those holding shares in Vodafone plc – some of whom may have been holding these on foot of an original investment in Eircom.

Ministers’ response

Speaking about the new measures introduced today, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, said, “Finance Bill 2014, which I am publishing today, gives effect to the tax measures that underpin our budgetary strategy.”

The changes to the Income Tax and Universal Social Charge set out in the Bill are designed to support employment and job creation. They will benefit every individual and family paying income tax and USC.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, also welcomed today’s Bill.

“Over recent years, Minister Noonan’s Budgets have been extremely supportive of business, with a range of innovative tax measures being introduced at times of constrained resources to support job-creation. He has continued this process in Budget 2015,” said Bruton.

Read: These TDs are resorting to Twitter to complain about Irish Water services…

Also: Explainer: What changes did Budget 2015 bring for property?

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