Income tax and expenses


Sir, – In his ardfheis speech, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is quoted as saying: “There’s no reason why someone who’s self-employed should pay more income tax than those of us who are PAYE.”

Actually, there is. It’s called Ireland’s business expenses regime. This incredibly generous and almost completely unmonitored system allows self-employed people to significantly reduce their taxable income. If the rate at which they pay tax is adjusted in line with that of PAYE workers, in the “interests of fairness”, the actual amounts of tax paid by self-employed people will be considerably less than currently.

Can PAYE workers then look forward to getting access to this bountiful expenses system? Purely in the interests of fairness, of course!

If the Revenue’s current efforts to deny flat-rate expenses to thousands of PAYE workers are any indication, its definition of fairness differs markedly from mine. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.