Recently started a new business? Recoup six years of income tax

There are over 80 different government supports available to small businesses but many of them are not well known or understood. Each week in the SFA e-zine, we will profile a different support that could improve your business, giving you information and advice.

Startup Refunds for Entrepreneurs (SURE)


An income tax refund for those starting their own company of up to 41% of your investment in the company.

You could receive a refund of all income tax paid in the six years leading up to the investment, if you meet the criteria for the scheme and depending on the amount invested.   

To qualify you must:

  • Establish a new company
  • Invest money by purchasing new shares
  • Have had mainly PAYE income in the last four years
  • Work full time in the new company as an employee/director

There are further conditions relating to the investor, the company and its activities, and the timing and nature of the investment. These can be found on the Revenue website


The aim of the SURE scheme is to promote entrepreneurship, providing a direct financial incentive for people to start their own companies.   


The scheme is run by Revenue, in conjunction with Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Employment.

The application, which consists of forms completed by the Company Secretary and the investor, a copy of the bank statement showing the investment and a form outlining the allotment of shares, is submitted to the Incentives and Financial Services Branch (IFSB) of Revenue. Once the IFSB approves the application, the applicant’s tax office deals with the refund.

Examples of how the refund is calculated are contained in the Revenue leaflet.


If you are interested in applying, don’t forget:

  • Before a claim is made, you must have made the investment and received your shares
  • You cannot get a refund of PRSI or USC paid
  • The amounts invested can be used:
    • For the creation and maintenance of employment and the carrying out of relevant trading activities
    • In the case of a company that has not commenced to carry on relevant trading activities, for research and development activities
  • The minimum investment under the scheme is €250 and the maximum investment is €700,000.
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