Clarification on buyback of shares and trade benefit test

May 08, 2018

Revenue have updated their Tax and Duty Manual to provide guidance on the application of the trade benefit test per section 176 of the Taxes Consolidation Act (TCA) 1997.  This update (appendix II of the manual) supersedes previous guidance on the trade benefit test in Tax Briefing, Issue 25 (February 1997).  Publication of the guidance follows engagement with Revenue at the TALC forum on the application of the trade benefit test and practical difficulties encountered by taxpayers and agents. 

In appendix II of the manual Revenue set out examples where a share buyback would be considered to benefit the trade and consequently capital gains tax treatment would apply (section 176 TCA 1997).  The manual also provide technical guidance and illustrative examples on the tax treatment of share buybacks. 

You can read the manual on the Revenue website