THE MINISTER FOR Finance has ruled out putting a tax on text messages, saying it would be impossible to estimate how much money such a tax would yield.
Answering a question put forward in the Dáil by Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin last week, Noonan warned that such a levy would have a behavioural impact if imposed on customers or imposed on the mobile phone companies who would then potentially pass it on to customers.
He concluded that “it was not safe to estimate the potential yield of such a tax” based on the the current level of text message usage in Ireland.
Text messages in Ireland are currently subject to VAT of 21 per cent.
Noonan added that he was not aware of any similar tax anywhere else in the world and added: “I have no plans to introduce such a tax at this time.”
The communications watchdog ComReg reported in March that in the fourth quarter of 2010, a total of 3,165,626,000 or just under 3.2 billion text messages were sent in Ireland.
The Irish Times notes that Labour’s April 2009 pre-budget submission proposed a one cent tax on the 25 million text messages sent every day in Ireland.
Ó Ríordáin told the paper he was convinced that texting was a “luxury” and that given the “fiscal hole” in Ireland he felt it was something that should be considered.
But d gd newz 4 txters iz dat seemz unlikely.