Taxation has been the object of lively public interest in Ireland for some years but, since the work of the Commission on Taxation in the early 1980s, there has been little written on the structure of the tax system. Economists have pronounced on issues such as the general level of taxation, but few have commented on the methods by which revenue is raised, for example:
- Should the tax system treat everyone the same, regardless of marital status, age or wealth?
- Does Ireland’s low rate of corporate taxation offer Irish taxpayers good value for money?
- How does stamp duty affect the housing market?
Taxation in Ireland fills this gap. It looks at such questions from the perspective of the economist, but assumes no knowledge of economics. Technical terms, used only where necessary, are explained and an early chapter sets out the criteria that economists use in evaluating tax systems. These criteria provide the basis for the book’s analysis of all major Irish taxes.
The author concludes that these taxes are, in general, unnecessarily complex and riddled with discriminatory provisions, which often are inequitable, hinder the efficient working of the economy and add to the costs (including those borne by the taxpayer) of administering the system. The book ends by speculating as to future pressures from the EU on the design of Irish taxes.