Minster Donohoe signs the Commencement Order to enact the Key Employee Engagement Programme

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The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., has signed the Commencement Order to enact Section 10 of the Finance Act 2017, the Key Employee Engagement Programme.

The Commencement Order has been published today, 29th January 2018, on the Irish Statue Book website.

The KEEP scheme was approved by the European Commission on 19th of December 2017 under EU State Aid rules.

The Key Employee Engagement Programme is designed to assist SMEs in Ireland in competing with larger enterprises to attract and retain key employees.  It provides for a more advantageous tax treatment of gains arising on the exercise of qualifying share options acquired in SME companies. Where the KEEP applies, any gains realised on the exercise of qualifying share options granted during the period 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2023 will not be subject to income tax, PRSI or USC at the date of exercise.  The gain will instead be subject to Capital Gains Tax on a future disposal of the shares.


January 29th 2018



Aidan Murphy – Press Officer, Department of Finance – +353 (0)85 886 6667 pressoffice@finance.gov.ie