TAXATION RATES & CREDITS
SOCIAL WELFARE ENTITLEMENTS
STARTING A BUSINESS
Social Welfare office or Citizen's Advice Centre for the
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Back to Work Enterprise Allowance can be claimed by a person who has been unemployed or on Sickness benefit for at least 12 months, when you start a business. It allows you retain part of your Social Welfare payments, tax free, for 2 years (100%, 75%).
If you have been unemployed for 15 months or more and start an unincorporated business, you will be exempt from income tax for 2 years up to a max of €40,000 per year.
A Short-term Enterprise Allowance can be claimed by anyone who has been made redundant or who is eligible for Jobseekers Benefit. It allows you to retain benefit until it expires (max 12 months). If you have been on Social Welfare for at least three months, you can retain your payment and secondary benefits but the scheme will not extend the duration of your entitlements.
Help with a start-up is also available from the your Local Enterprise Office. Microfinance Ireland (Tel: 01 2601007) can lend up to €25,000 to a person who can't get bank finance.
Seed Capital Scheme: if you start up and work full-time in your own company, you can get tax relief on the capital you invest in the equity of the company. The relief is a refund of the income tax you paid on an equal amount of income in any of the previous six years. New companies get relief from Corporate Tax for the first three years of up to €5,000 per employee (max €40,000 Tax Credit).
WORK AND TRAINING
JobBridge: offers an internship of 6-9 months to persons who have been signing on as available to work and getting a payment or credits for at least 3 months. Time on completed programmes in FAS training, back to education or a community scheme will count towards eligibility. Participants will receive €50/week on top of their welfare. See www.jobbridge.ie.
JobsPlus: is designed to help those who have been 12 months out of work. It gives an employer who recruits you a €72-per-week subsidy for 2 years, provided the job provides work on at least 4 days and 30 hours per week. Visit www.jobsplus.ie to register online. A person who has been at least 12 months out of work retains GP cover for 3 years after returning to work.
Springboard: offers free part-time certificate, degree or post-graduate courses in Institutes of Education to those signing on at the time of starting, and allows retention of welfare payments. See www.springboardcourses.ie
Momentum offers a mix of training and on-the-job experience across a range of sectors (running 11-45 weeks) to a person who has been on the Live Register for at least 12 months. See www.momentumskills.ie
Community Employment: Offers up to 20 hours work per week for 12 months to people aged 25 or over who have been on Social Welfare for over 12 months and have worked no more than 30 days in the year. The allowance paid, €208, is €20 over Social Welfare. The period of participation can be extended in certain cases. Tus can be offered to persons of similar eligibility but can include persons of 25 and under.
Back to Education Allowance (from Department of Social Protection) or a VTOS Allowance (VEC), is claimable if you are undertaking a full-time course leading to a recognised certificate at second, third or post-graduate, and are:
A maximum rate of €160 BTEA/VTOS will be paid to persons aged under 25 or under. If you are on these schemes, you must apply for waiver of the Student Contribution paid under the third level grant. Part-time VTOS options can be taken up without affecting Social Welfare entitlements subject to approval.
This is a short summary of some of the options that may be available to you if you are currently unemployed. Please note this information is based on publically available information and is subject to errors and omissions and the information listed above is liable to change at any time. Please contact your local Social Welfare office or Citizen's Advice Centre for the latest details.
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