Saturday, September 13, 2014

13/9/2014: Irish tax System: Less Balance, More Burden


Remember the booming tax receipts and corporate tax returns? So what is really booming in the Exchequer accounts in Ireland?


Chart above shows that:

  1. As proportion of total tax receipts, Income Tax and Levies now account for 42.84% of all tax receipts (data for January-July 2014) against 42.52% in 2013. This is the third highest proportion (in 1987 it reached 43.48% and in 1988 it was 43.62%) on record since 1984.
  2. VAT, also predominantly paid by consumers (or households) now accounts for 31.76% of the total, up from 27.34% in 2013.
  3. Meanwhile, booming corporate tax receipts accounted for just 9.48% of total tax take in the seven months of 2014, down from 11.30% in 2013. Controlling for timing of taxes, and thus excluding the result for 2014 to-date, 2013 marked the second lowest year for corporation tax receipts since 1995 (the lowest was 2011 at 10.34%). So far, through July, 2014 corporation taxes as a share of total tax paid in the country are at their lowest levels since 1992.
So as Irish media lauds Government efforts to rebuild the Exchequer balancesheet as some sort of a great achievement for the economy, keep it in mind - mortgages arrears, anaemic domestic demand, low household investment, pensions under-provisions, health insurance drop outs, utilities arrears, defaults on car and road taxes, and a myriad of other problems are being made worse by the fact that we have prioritised taxing families as the means for achieving the necessary objective of 'fiscal stability'.

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