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Budget 2020

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Nicola Walsh, Partner, Head of Property and our resident tax expert, outlines the highlights of this year’s budget for businesses and individuals.

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, delivered his Budget 2020 (Budget) speech on Tuesday, 8th October 2019 against the backdrop of a no-deal Brexit. The Budget measures were unsurprising and conservative given the period of uncertainty leading to the Brexit deadline of 31st October 2019.

The Minister announced he is allocating €1.2 billion, excluding EU funding, to tackle the impact of a very likely no-deal Brexit, with €200 million in Brexit expenditure becoming available next year and €650 million being made available to support agriculture and tourism and those most affected regions.

The Minister announced “an unprecedented level of investment” for the Government’s Housing Programme in 2020, allocating €2.5 billion along with total spending on homeless services to increase to €166 million in 2020.

There have been no USC or Income Tax thresholds or rate changes . For the self-employed there will be an increase to the earned income credit to €1500 as it moves towards €1650 to match the PAYE credit.

The main highlights of the Budget are as follows:

  • The tax-free threshold on gifts and inheritances from parents to children is to increase from €320,000 to €335,000. This increased threshold applies to gifts or inheritances received on or after 9 October 2019.
  • There will be a 5% increase in the dividend withholding tax rate (from 20% to 25%) from 1 January 2020.
  • The rate of stamp duty applicable to non-residential property transactions will increase by 1.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent to further stimulate the residential building sector. The previous stamp duty rate of 6% will continue to apply to instruments executed before 1 January 2020 where a binding contract was in place prior to 9 October 2019.
  • The Help to Buy and Living City Initiatives schemes will be extended without any changes until the end of 2021 and 2022 respectively.
  • Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) saving interest will be cut by another 2% this year. This will bring DIRT down to 33% – the level it was at in 2013.
  • The R&D tax credit will increase from 25% to 30% for small and micro companies and a new provision is to be introduced to allow micro and small companies to claim the credit before trading commences, limited to offset VAT and payroll tax liabilities only.

Full details of the Budget measures will be set out in the Finance Bill, expected to be published on 17th October 2019.


About the author, Nicola Walsh, Partner – Head of Property