ARTIST TAX CONSIDERATIONS IN IRELAND.
Revenue is recommending the abolition of tax exemptions for artists. One of the reasons that is stated for this is pressure from Europe because such tax considerations breached EU guidelines.
Few writers in Ireland make a living from their work. Removal of this tax consideration will make matters worse. The original idea in setting up this tax advantage was to give assistance to ‘creative’ artist: this was shamefully re-interpreted over the years to allow a ragbag of autobiographical works by many politicians and sports stars to avail of the tax break. What had been a wonderful and imaginative idea, at its inception, degenerated into farce. And now threatens the livelihood of genuine ‘creative’ artists.
So what might be done?
If the EU sees this artistic exemption to be out of line with European thinking then the Irish government will see to its removal. Yet, the government puts great emphasis on the creative talents of its people at every occasion when it speaks abroad. So, if this talent is to be encouraged what might be done when the tax exemption is no more? I can only offer a view for the benefit of writers in this. (Artists in other areas of work might wish to raise their voices in similar manner.)
One thing that the government might consider in the way of helping writers, when the tax arrangements are abolished,is to arrange through the Arts Council six NEW, and SUBSTANTIAL, creative writing competitions per year. Two of these might be for novels, one published and one unpublished, and two for short stories and the remaining two for poetry. In all of these cases the prizes should be considerable to focus the best efforts of writers, and to offer them a meaningful financial assistance for what they do.
This can be done – it simply needs government lateral thinking to make it happen. This process will get by the EU regulations on the tax issue and make again money available to genuine creative writers.
I offer this as a suggestion to all writers in Ireland to consider. I am not suggesting that this is a perfect solution, and will not help a large number of artists, but it will get by the EU concerns and get the government off the hook in that regard.
You might wish to make comment on this, whether you agree or disagree, or have a totally different idea on what approach we might take. Comments can be left on my blog or on my website – firstname.lastname@example.org
We need, together,to reach a consensus on a suitable response to government on this. If we do nothing – we will have no cause to moan.