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An email circulating reads:

“At first I thought this was funny…then I realized the awful truth of it.

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he’s fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries, then
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers,
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin ,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid.

Put these words
upon his tomb,
” Taxes drove me
to my doom…”

When he’s gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Property tax hunger striker: ‘I’d say I won’t last too long’


Tony Rochford hasn’t taken food for 11 days – but insists he will not end his strike unless the property tax is repealed.

A MAN who today enters the twelfth day of his hunger strike against the property tax has admitted he does not expect to survive for much longer.

Tony Rochford, who turns 45 next week, has been on hunger strike in opposition to the new tax since last Monday.

Rochford has lost nine kilograms (about 19 pounds) since his strike began – surviving only on water and black coffee – and is continuing to lose weight as he refuses to end his protest.

Rochford borrowed €430,000 to pay for his home in Trim, Co Meath, in October 2008. However, within three months his work – installing marble worktops and features in houses – had dried up.

He believes his home is now worth about €280,000, making it liable for an annual property tax of €495.

He has had a negligible income since then, as he is not entitled to State support because he was self-employed, but had managed to keep his mortgage out of arrears until this week.

He claims, however, that his mortgage lender refuses to enter into any negotiations with him, because he and his wife had already been given a moratorium on their repayments – which has since concluded – and because he has not entered into significant arrears.

“They were very good with the mortgage, but not willing to do any deals until you get into distress… the whole thing is bloody crazy,” Rochford told TheJournal.ie last night.

The great thing about this house for the bank is, if they repossess this in the morning, they’ll only lose €50,000.

He said he has paid off €100,000 of his original loan, leaving €330,000 to be repaid – most of which could be recouped by the bank if it was to repossess and sell.

“I’d love to trade down – gimme a bit of land and I’d build a house myself – but the banks are giving me no options,” he said.

“If I do try and trade down I’m still lumbered with the excess… [because we] kept playing the bloody mortgage for fools. We followed what we were told by the government – do the right thing.”

Other protests were fruitless because while there was broad public opposition to the tax, there were too many fragmented groups against it.

Though Rochford has recently been able to start finding work again, his refusal to pay the property tax means that from next Monday he will be unable to receive a tax clearance certificate – meaning he will be without any income of any kind.

“I’m basically sentenced to death anyway,” he said.

I can’t work to provide for my wife, and I won’t be entitled to any welfare payments anyway.

The government is effectively sentencing me to death.

He added: “I’m not going to keep feeding money into the Irish Exchequer – when I was in trouble here and had no work or no money, they did nothing for us.”

Asked if there was any prospect of becoming so ill that he would give up his wife, he said: “I’m afraid not. No, there’s not. I’m just that type of stubborn person.”

Rochford is to mount a protest against the property tax outside the Four Courts on Monday morning – the day upon which the tax will formally be charged, and when he will lose his tax compliance – and says only the repeal of the tax will encourage him to end his strike.

via Property tax hunger striker: ‘I’d say I won’t last too long’.

McGrath reiterates call for pay as you go/ monthly payment options for Motor Tax


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Independent TD Mattie McGrath has re-iterated his previous calls on the Government to introduce a pay as you go and monthly payment options for motor tax as the Government plans to introduce charges for off the road vehicles.

Deputy McGrath has claimed that the main reason for vehicles being taken off the road is that the vehicle owners can simply not afford the rising levels of motor tax and fuel costs, especially in the haulage industry and that it is not realistic to expect vehicle owners to declare their intention of taking their vehicle off the road in advance.

The Ministers plans are totally out of touch with the reality of the situation in the current climate especially for those who use the road for business purposes such as road hauliers who are expected to pay 2500 and more to tax their lorries, despite only having their Lorries on the road once or twice a week due to the fall in business. They do not know months in advance whether their vehicle will be on or off the road in the coming months, they can only hope that they will have enough work to keep their vehicle on the road.

These are honest hard working people who always pay their dues but who simply cannot meet the costs. Some are being forced to take a chance and drive their Lorries without tax in order to get work so that they might be able to eventually meet their payments and put food on the table. If they refuse business because they cannot afford their tax, they will be in a much worse position with no chance of recovery because many of them are self-employed and will not receive any assistance from social welfare. Said McGrath

Putting an extra charge on those who have taken their vehicles off the road because they simply cannot afford motor tax is just another stealth tax coming from the Minister for the Environment. If the taxation system was a bit more flexible, people might have a better chance.

If the Minister really wants to tighten up the loophole then he should examine the reasons why vehicles are being taken off the road and try to offer workable solutions rather than forcing extra costs on those struggling. Motor tax is for use of the road, we cannot introduce a charge for vehicles not on the road. Continued McGrath

Deputy McGrath appealed to the Government to introduce a pay as you go system of motor taxation to allow the hauliers continue trading and to examine the possibility of introducing a monthly payment for other road users to offer some more flexibility.

With online motor taxation, this should be possible and if they those using the road for business purposes such as hauliers can pay as they work, they will not be forced to cut off their nose to spite their face. They want to work and they want to work within the law but they just cant afford to pay huge amounts of tax on their vehicles if they are not getting the work. We need to get real about supporting small businesses. There is no point forcing more businesses out of work simply because they cannot meet pay unrealistic levels of motor tax, when they could be allowed to work and pay as they go. Concluded McGrath

via McGrath reiterates call for pay as you go/ monthly payment options for Motor Tax.

via McGrath reiterates call for pay as you go/ monthly payment options for Motor Tax.

Revenue judgement: Only efficient when dealing with the peasants


Revenue chairwoman Josephine Feehily has left citizens in no doubt whatsoever about how her organisation will deal with anybody who is tempted to dodge the upcoming property tax.

Revenue will ruthlessly bring to bear the full arsenal of laws at its disposal to enforce the new tax.

If necessary Revenue will deduct the tax directly from the salary, pension or bank accounts of those who fail to co-operate.

People can only judge for themselves Revenue’s record for pursuing people…We have very extensive data. We will pursue. We’ve done it in the past.

Well I’d like to accept Ms. Feehily’s invitation and judge her organisation’s record of pursuing people.

A report in last Sunday’s Independent reveals that not one person has been prosecuted over the Ansbacher tax criminality.

Ms. Feehily extends three excuses for her organisation’s disgraceful failure in bringing the Ansbacher white-collar criminals to account.

Excuse one: A lack of original documentation.

An essential requirement for a successful criminal prosecution is original documents. There were very few original documents available and there was no legal mechanism to compel Caymen entities to produce such documents.

This excuse is, of course, bullshit. There is a mountain of good quality evidence available to Revenue if it had a mind to prosecute.

The reason this good quality evidence has never been used is simple – it would most likely result in damaging the interests of very influential and powerful people.

Excuse two: Time elapsed has made prosecutions impossible.

Ms. Feehily:

While many cases passed the serious evasion test to be considered for prosecution, the time elapsed – typically in excess of 10 years since the alleged offence occurred – meant it would not be possible to mount a successful prosecution.

Ms. Feehily’s admission that many cases passed the serious evasion test for prosecution directly contradicts her first excuse re original documents.

The ‘time lapsed’ excuse is the most powerful strategy employed by state agencies when it comes to protecting influential and powerful people.

It is no accident, in my opinion, that almost every major white-collar scandal is strung out over many years in order to benefit from the ‘time lapse’ excuse.

Excuse three: Some of the criminals were too old or too dead.

Being too old will not be accepted as an excuse by Revenue for failing to pay the property tax. This excuse is strictly reserved for influential and powerful people.

Neither will death be accepted as an excuse. If an ordinary citizen undervalues his property and the property is sold on after his death the tax due, with interest, will be extracted from the new owners.

Influential and powerful people are exempt from such exacting laws. For example, when the criminal politician Haughey died his wealth was passed on to his family with no response from Revenue.

In functional democracies such ill-gotten wealth is heavily taxed or even seized outright.

Returning to Ms. Feehily’s invitation to people to judge Revenue’s record of pursuing people I think the following sums up what most ordinary people think.

The very fact that so called law enforcement agencies like Revenue and the Financial Regulator are incapable or unwilling to enforce the law when dealing with white-collar crime but are more than efficient in enforcing the law against ordinary citizens suggests that there is indeed one law for the rich and another for the peasants.

Copy to:

Revenue

via Public Inquiry · Examining corruption in Ireland.

via Public Inquiry · Examining corruption in Ireland.

Main Points | Budget 2013


Budget 2013 Main Points

Draw your own conclusions but the cumulative effect will be savage for the average family. 

Child benefit cut by €10 per month

Unvouched expenses for TDs abolished

Third-level fees to rise by €250 per year

DIRT increases by 3% to 33%

Expenditure adjustments to toal €2.25bn

Motor tax to rise from January 1st

Excise duty on tobacco to rise

€1 duty increase on 75cl bottle of wine

10 cent rise on spirits, beer and cider

No increase on petrol/diesel

Carbon tax extended to solid fuels

Corporation tax remains unchanged at 12.5%

Homes bought in 2013 exempt from property tax

Property tax based on market value introduced

Property tax will be collected by the Revenue

Capital Acquisitions Tax threshold falls by 10 per cent.

Increase in USC for over 70s with incomes of €60,000+

Film tax relief extended to 2020

Tourism industry’s 9% VAT rate to remain in 2013

Stock relief for farmers extended

CRO to publish guidance for SMEs on credit

CRO to extend team of reviewers

Diesel rebate for hauliers from July 1st

R&D tax credits amended to encourage innovation

Tax reform plan to support SMEs

Noonan confident Ireland will return to markets

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan begins speech

via Main Points | Budget 2013 | The Irish Times.

via Main Points | Budget 2013.

Property tax may be taken from social payments


Deducting the property tax at source from Social Protection payments has been discussed by high ranking civil servants, documents released to RTÉ‘s The Week in Politics have revealed.

Minutes of a meeting between officials say it poses a challenge to deliver this on time, and policies must be “resolved” to see how much can be deducted from payments.

In order to make the deduction, Revenue said it would need information from the Department of Social Protection‘s customer files.

More resources would also be required by the Department of Social Protection, the minutes, released under the Freedom of Information Act, state.

The matter was discussed when the Department of Social Protection and Revenue’s “High Level Steering Group” met on 27 September. They are set to meet again on 13 December, after the Budget.

Fr Seán Healy of Social Justice Ireland said that there is no justification for taking part of the property tax from Social Protection payments.

He said that 88% of people aged 66 and over would be in poverty without the Old Age Pension.

via Property tax may be taken from social payments – RTÉ News.

via Property tax may be taken from social payments – RTÉ News.

 

Families can’t take any more punishing tax hikes


HOUSEHOLDERS have now reached a point where they cannot bear more tax hikes in the Budget, experts warn.

A family with one income of €55,000 and two children is paying an extra €3,400 a year in taxes and levies since 2008.

A sixth austerity Budget next month will be too much for large numbers of people to cope with, the Irish Tax Institute said.

But next month’s Budget is expected to see the introduction of a property tax that is expected to cost a family with a €350,000 home €875 in tax in a full year. The charge is likely to be set at a rate of 0.25pc on the value of the home.

There are also expected to be changes in pay related social insurance (PRSI) and the universal social charge (USC).

President of the tax body

Martin Phelan said more taxes would mean people will spend less, some will work less, while there will be a growth in the black economy.

“A small base of people are contributing vast amounts of revenue for the Government. It is getting to a dangerous level with fewer people paying more and more taxes with less income,” Mr Phelan said.

Some €1.25bn in extra taxes is expected to be imposed by Finance Minister Michael Noonan in two weeks’ time.

Cuts

And an additional €2.25bn is expected in expenditure cuts. But the tax body said there should be an even greater emphasis on spending cuts, as it would be too damaging to the economy to tax income earners even more.

There is a limit to how much more can be imposed, the tax

body said. Changes to income tax, the introduction of the universal social charge, the removal of tax reliefs and child benefit cuts have meant those still in a job are paying vastly more tax since the economic downturn hit in 2008.

There are now 1.8 million income taxpayers, down 300,000 from 2007, the tax institute said.

Plans to introduce water charges and a property tax will mean there will have been 10 new taxes imposed on households in the last four years.

These include the income levy and the health levy, which became the universal social charge.

Also included are carbon taxes, the second-homes tax, the household charge, the domicile levy on high earners, the pensions levy on private sector retirement funds and the insurance levy.

via Families can’t take any more punishing tax hikes – experts – Personal Finance, Business – Independent.ie.

via Families can’t take any more punishing tax hikes – experts – Personal Finance, Business – Independent.ie.

Councils to set property tax rates in future, says Minister –


LOCAL AUTHORITIES will in time be given powers to set their own property tax rates in order to generate funds to support provision of services in their areas, Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has said.

The development, announced by the Minister at the publication of a programme of local government reform, would give county councillors power to set the tax at a level that meets financial needs. This was the case under the domestic rates system that was abolished in 1977.

Property tax will become more and more the source of income for local authority services to be funded,” said Mr Hogan. “If they are raising the money locally for service provision, they will have a say in how they spend it. Each local authority can have a different level of property tax in due course. The timing of that is a matter for Government.”

The tax, expected to be levied at an initial rate of 0.25 per cent of the property value, is to be announced in the December 6th budget and is likely to come into force in the middle of next year. The details of the levy, which is to be collected by the Revenue Commissioners, are yet to be approved by Cabinet.

Mr Hogan was speaking at the publication of Putting People First, a programme of local government reform which he said represented the most radical changes to local political structures since the 19th century.

The abolition of 80 town councils, a reduction in the number of local authorities to 31, and a proposal to reduce the number of elected councillors by 42 per cent to a maximum of 950, are among the measures set out in the plan.

It indicates that the role of elected councils should be extended to cover matters such as local economic development and the support of businesses. But it also states that the power of councillors to overturn the decisions of planning officials should be removed. Many of the changes outlined in the plan are to be in place for the 2014 local elections.

via Councils to set property tax rates in future, says Minister – The Irish Times – Wed, Oct 17, 2012.

via Councils to set property tax rates in future, says Minister – The Irish Times – Wed, Oct 17, 2012.

Bad News for Pensioners


Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald has confirmed that various allowances for pensioners will be looked at and confirmed that free travel for pensioners is under review. However, she  insisted that as of now the Government has made no decision yet on next year’s Budget.

the IMF is due to publish a report tomorrow which is expected to push for universal social welfare reform as well as the speedy introduction of the property tax.

If you are a pensioner now is the time to start making your voice heard. Let the ripple of your actions be an inspiration to the nation

The Mayor of Clonmel Cllr Billy Shoer


This man sits on the mayors’ throne as the observant overseer of derelict sites, depleted wallets, empty shops, and decaying infrastructure.
This begs the question what can this man do? In fact, very little, for the powers of local Government are curtailed to the point that they are almost ineffective but not totally.
Now a few words of advice to “Big Billy S” bear in mind you are not totally without power you can do something about rates. You can take action to make derelict sites attractive to prospective business owners, thus creating employment.
However, you know Billy Boy you puzzle me. Your party has advocated the boycotting of the household tax a payment that is now the law of the land and which many householders have already paid. What bewilders me here is the left has always been a strong backer of property taxation. Today such taxation has become a major component of local Government. You as a member of WUAG are suggesting people do not pay their taxes. No taxes, equates to no money for services. I wonder Mr. Mayor where you stand. I hear on the grapevine that a local wordsmith is composing a song called the “Shoer Wiggle”

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