A REVIEW IS needed on the domicile levy due to the low number of tax exiles who paid tax to the State this year, a TD has said.
Louth Labour TD Gerald Nash made the comments after being given up-to-date figures by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan. The domicile levy was introduced by Brian Lenihan in his Budget for 2010 to target wealthy Irish tax exiles who earn more than €1 million a year and also have assets of over €5 million in Ireland. The move required the exiles to pay a levy of €200,000 per year, regardless of where they are tax resident.
In early 2012, the Finance Bill removed the condition of Irish citizenship for the payment of the €200,000 domicile levy from this year onwards. The changes mean that non-residents in Ireland will not be able to avoid the payment on the basis of their not being an Irish citizen.
This year, only 10 tax exiles have to date submitted returns to the Revenue Commissioners in relation to the domicile levy, with a total yield of €1,645,329 for the State for this tax year.
Deputy Nash commented:
Almost one in eight of Ireland’s super rich cohort of 540 individuals, people with assets of over €50 million, are declared to be tax exiles. These specific figures were confirmed by the Revenue Commissioners to the media in recent weeks. In total, figures for 2010 showed that there were in excess of 10,000 non-resident tax payers who in total contributed €49 million in tax to Revenue.
He said the “derisory sum” yielded from the domicile levy after the recent 15 November deadline for returns for the domicile levy “emphasises the stark need for the system to be reviewed in the forthcoming budget”. He said that the returns for 2011 are slightly down on 2010, when 11 people submitted returns to the tune of €1,667,011.
“With only ten returns received, it begs the questions to what sanctions apply to those who are obliged under law to pay the levy and choose not to,” said the Deputy. “In light of these figures, the Minister for Finance must urgently review the operation of the scheme, and ensure that a much more exacting tax regime is applied to those in the super-rich category who choose to be tax exiles.”