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25 March 2004 Edition

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Tax truths revealed

Two studies on tax data from the 26 Counties published in the last week exposed some interesting truths. Total tax take from special Revenue Commissioner investigations has now topped €1 billion, while an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report revealed that the 26 Counties now has the lowest tax wedge compared to any other developed state.

The Revenue Commissioners published their annual list of tax defaulters last Friday and revealed the extent of the growing haul from Irish tax fraudsters. Bogus non-resident account holders have now paid €494 million to the Revenue. Banks caught facilitating their customers evade tax have paid €220 million.

Holders of illegal offshore accounts with the Bank of Ireland in Jersey and Irish Permanent in the Isle of Mann have paid €150 million. Payments from tax fraudsters at the Flood/Mahon and other tribunals have reached €48 million.

The NIB inquiry has yielded €48 million, with another €42 million coming from the Ansbacher inquiry.

The level of tax evasion is all the more unacceptable when you consider the OECD report on tax wedges, which is the difference between what employers pay workers in wages and social security contributions compared to what employees actually take home in wages.

In Ireland the tax take is only 16% of gross income, compared to 24% in Britain and the USA, 34% in Belgium and a whopping 42% in Germany and Denmark.

An Phoblacht Magazine


  • The first edition of this new magazine will feature a 10 page special on the life and legacy of our leader Martin McGuinness to mark the first anniversary of his untimely passing.
  • It will include a personal reminiscence by Gerry Adams and contributions from the McGuinness family.
  • There will also be an exclusive interview with our new Uachtarán Mary Lou McDonald.

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