Monday 7 September 2009

Irish Times on Artists Tax Exemption

The Irish Times also reports on the recommendation to end the Artist's Tax Exemption, and quotes Pat Moylan, Chairwoman of the Arts Council, extensively in the piece:

Ms. Moylan warned that the loss of the tax exemption could discourage people from continuing a career in the arts, and denied it was a "rich man's relief".

"The greatest number of its beneficiaries struggle for financial viability on a year-on-year basis. This is true of relatively unknown beneficiaries, as well as certain of Ireland’s most internationally renowned and critically acclaimed artists," she said.

"Arts Council research has shown that over half the beneficiaries of the Scheme have average earnings of less than half the minimum wage. Of the two per cent who are considered high earners, most of whom are in popular music and writing, only one-third of their income qualifies for the relief."

Ms Moylan said having high profile artists such as U2, Louis le Brocquy, Seamus Heany, Jim Sheridan, Roddy Doyle, John Banville and others resident in Ireland was important for the country's profile.

"Apart from the global perception this creates for Ireland, it has helped put in place world class local infrastructures in artistic management and technical expertise. For up and coming artists, this is of considerable assistance. Without the high earners, who support the infrastructure in a major way, this professional layer would be lost to Ireland," she said.

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