Revenue says 800 earn over €1m


SOME 800 taxpayers will earn more than €1 million in 2010 with almost 200 of those earning €2 million or more, according to the latest data available to the Revenue Commissioners.

The figures were disclosed by Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan this week and also show that almost 3,000 taxpayers will earn €500,000 or more this year.

In all, some 608 individuals will earn between €1 million and €2 million with a further 188 earning over €2 million. The information was contained in a response to a parliamentary question tabled by Labour’s finance spokeswoman Joan Burton.

Ms Burton had requested that Revenue supply data on how many taxpayers will earn above €3 million, €4 million and €5 million.

Revenue did not provide those breakdowns on the basis of what it said was its obligation to observe confidentiality. “The breakdown by income bands requested by the deputy is not provided in relation to incomes exceeding €2 million due to the small numbers of income earners with incomes in excess of that level,” Mr Lenihan stated in his reply.

In contrast, the breakdowns showed that the biggest grouping by far was in the €20,000 to €30,000 bracket. Some 408,000 individuals fall within this income bracket. A total of 297,000 people earn between €30,000 to €40,000. The next highest is the lowest bracket of zero to €5,000, which comprises 228,716 individuals. Slightly over 200,000 people earn between €40,000 to €50,000. The figures fall for each higher earning bracket – though 87,000 taxpayers will earn between €100,000 and €200,000 this year.

Mr Lenihan points out that a married couple who have elected for joint assessment are counted as one tax unit, or individual.

Ms Burton said the number of very high-earning taxpayers could actually rise next year as property-based and other reliefs (which reduce taxable earnings) are phased out. A separate question submitted by Ms Burton shows the interest relief claimed on rental property topped €1 billion in 2008, the last year for which it was available.