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Taxing The Rich

Feb, 2010

It’s not much fun being a tax man these days. Who to screw is a serious question. The fat-cat population is diminishing at rapid rate. The amount of tax collected from the country’s wealthiest individuals is now a third of what it was in 2007, when the Irish property market started to collapse.

In that year the unit set up by the Revenue Commissioners to monitor the affairs of the super-rich collected €288 million in taxes. By 2009, the take from this group had plummeted to €97 million.

Explaining the reduction in the Sunday Independent, Breda Ruddle, principal officer with the Revenue’s high-wealth unit, said that by and large it was “down to property”.

“Capital gains tax is the one that has fallen most and that is related to the buying and selling of property.”  In 2009 only €20 million of capital gains came from the super-rich, while in 2007 it was €206 million.

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