A team comprising of Avril Bergin, Jerry Clancy and Niamh Clifford, all of whom are fourth year BSc Accounting students were recently awarded second place in the Irish Tax Institute’s Fantasy Budget 2020 Competition. This competition is open to all undergraduate students throughout Ireland, and allows participants the opportunity to critique various budgetary taxation measures introduced by the Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform, Pascal Donohoe TD, in the 2020 budget. It also requires entrants to propose and justify an additional budgetary taxation measure that they would have introduced in the 2020 budget, if they were the appropriate Minister.
Specifically, the UCC team analysed the impact of the change to the Capital Acquisitions Tax threshold on individuals and families; the increase in the Research & Development (R&D) credit for SMEs; and the implementation of new legislation regarding hybrids and transfer pricing which will primarily impact on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ireland. For their additional taxation measure, the team proposed a double deduction of rental expenses for business purposes in an attempt to contribute towards the alleviation of the the housing crisis whilst encouraging regional development.
Submissions were judged by a panel of leading economists and business commentators, including Jim Power and Brendan Keenan. A presentation of the awards took place in Dublin at the headquarters of the Irish Tax Institute on 22 January, 2020 at which all three team members and the Programme Director of the BSc (Accounting) degree, Dr. Peter Cleary, were in attendance. The team was mentored by their Taxation Lecturer, Mr. Frank Collins.