Taxback survey shows 87% support for wealth tax

Economy, Finance | Mon 2 Oct | Author – Business & Finance euro Tax Rebate.org

The Taxback.com survey revealed that almost 9 in every 10 people would be in favour of implementing a wealth tax to raise funds for the Irish Exchequer.

The survey asked 800 taxpayers throughout Ireland their views on the possible introduction of a wealth tax. The question was straightforward: “Would you agree with the implementation of a wealth tax?”

33% were in favour; 24% said yes with incomes > €100,000; 20% agreed for incomes > €250,000; 6% for incomes > €500,000; and 4% for > €1 million and a grand total of 87% some way or another in favour of a wealth tax. Only 13% would not support it.

Barry Flanagan, Senior Tax Manager with Taxback.com, commented, saying: “With Budget 2018 looming, we are all poised for the October 10 announcement to see whether or not we will be better off after the Minister’s speech. Introducing a wealth tax has been mooted for years – with certain political entities loudly voicing their support, while other contributors have suggested it could actually have negative repercussions on Ireland’s ability to attract FDI and talent.

“However, there can be no denying the general consensus amongst the taxpayers we surveyed with 87% in favour of the tax differing only in the threshold amounts they believe at which it should be introduced.”

Introducing and raising taxes is a method for raising more money for the Exchequer. Mr Flanagan says it could have wider implications on the social and economic landscape.

“If a wealth tax were to be introduced then the threshold levels at which it would take effect would be a major issue. As evidenced in our survey, people have different perceptions of what is deemed ‘wealth’.”

According to CEO figures, wealth (total financial assets, housing assets and liabilities of all households combined) is “highly concentrated” in Ireland – 72.2% of net wealth is in the hands of the top 20% of the population. This is above the 67.6% EU average. Research has also shown that the top 10% of the population has more than half of all the net wealth in Ireland (53.8%).