10 wealthy non-resident Irish citizens paid €200,000 domicile levy in 2011


A €200,000 levy aimed at wealthy Irish citizens who are domiciled here but declare themselves non-resident for tax purposes was paid by 10 people last year.

After two years in force, the domicile levy, introduced by former minister for finance Brian Lenihan as a way of ensuring all wealthy non-residents who pay little or no income tax make a contribution to the State, has raised some €3.3 million.

The €200,000 levy is payable by Irish-domiciled individuals whose Irish assets exceed €5 million, whose worldwide income exceeds €1 million and whose liability to Irish income tax for the relevant year is less than €200,000, regardless of citizenship.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, responding to a parliamentary question from Ged Nash (Labour), said the levy generated €1.645 million in the last tax year. The deadline for returns to Revenue expired last week and figures show the levy was paid by 10 people.

The average levy payment was €164,500, indicating that it was possible to write off other income tax in Ireland against it.

In its first year, 11 individuals submitted returns declaring a liability in respect of the levy, generating some €1.667 million for the Exchequer.

A change aimed at ensuring people do not escape the levy by renouncing their Irish citizenship will be in place next year.

Some 10,871 Irish people declared themselves non-resident for tax purposes on their tax forms, latest figures show.

Revenue said 450 of that number were “high wealth” individuals, with net assets worth more than €50 million, and 54 were resident abroad for tax purposes.

Mr Nash said more should be demanded “of the very wealthiest in our society” at a time when the State was “battling to regain control of its economic affairs and low- and middle-income earners were struggling to make ends meet”.

“The derisory sum . . . emphasises the stark need for the levy system to be reviewed in the forthcoming budget,” he said.