Avail of extra tax deductions with the Revenue Job Assist Scheme

I’m thinking of taking on an employee for my business and I’ve heard about the Revenue Job Assist Scheme but don’t know much about the details. Can you give me some information on how I might qualify for this initiativeand what the possible benefits are?

The Revenue Job Assist Scheme entitles an employer to receive extra tax deductions when they take on an employee who has previously been unemployed for 12 months or more to fill a qualifying role. It’s part of a series of initiatives introduced by the government to stimulate job creation and help businesses start up and grow.

Under the scheme, employers can make a double deduction from their taxable income for both wage payments and employer PRSI for qualifying employees. This extra deduction can last for up to three years, provided that the employee remains with you. Employees recruited through Job Assist will also receive an additional tax allowance for themselves and further allowances for any qualifying children.

There’s no limit to the number of employees you can take on under the scheme, provided the positions are qualifying. To meet the criteria, jobs must be for at least 30 hours per week and be capable of lasting for a minimum of 12 months. The roles can’t be primarily commission based, nor can they already be grant-aided or assisted by initiatives like the Back to Work Allowance Scheme. They may not be taken up by the proprietary director of a company or their spouse and can’t be used in the case of employments that don’t need a work force.

You can’t recruit under this scheme if the previous holder of the position was unfairly dismissed or if any of your employees were made redundant in the 26 weeks leading up to the start of the new employment. However, you will qualify if there’s a genuine reason for replacing your employee, e.g. if they left voluntarily or retired.

To apply, you’ll need Form RJA1, available from www.revenue.ie or your local tax office. Your new employee must fill in part one of the form, while you should complete part two. Keep a copy for your records and to help with your accounts preparation at the end of the year. Your employee should then return the form to their regional Revenue office. Unless you hear otherwise from Revenue, you can then assume that you are eligible to claim the double deduction for wages and employer PRSI.

If the employee you take on under this scheme is to fill a new or additional vacancy in your business, you may also qualify for the Employer Job (PRSI) Incentive Scheme. This exempts employers from their liability to pay employer  PRSI for qualifying employees for a period of 18 months from the date they’re approved for the scheme. Further information and details on qualifying conditions can be found at www.welfare.ie or by calling 1890 927 999.

If you’re considering taking on an employee, the Revenue Job Assist Scheme can be an excellent way to reduce your tax bill. Even if you’re only paying the minimum wage, the scheme can be worth around €2,500 per year for a company and up to €8,000 for a sole trader. For more detailed information and criteria for qualification, check Leaflet IT59 on www.revenue.ie.

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