December 02, 2005

POSTCARD CAMPAIGN FOR RETENTION TAX EXEMPTION SCHEME : The Arts Council

POSTCARD CAMPAIGN FOR RETENTION TAX EXEMPTION SCHEME
The Arts Council has warned that the abolition of the artistsĀ¹ tax exemption
scheme could cost Ireland a generation of new and emerging artists. Without the scheme, artists will choose to base their work in more well-established art markets around the world. The Arts Council has launched a postcardcampaign to the Minister for Finance urging him to retain the exemption.
The Council hopes the many people who support the exemption will electronically post its card to the Minister for Finance. The postcard is available on the homepage of the CouncilĀ¹s website atThe Arts Council.
It is a simple-to-send electronic message.

Date: December 2005

To: Mr Brian Cowen, T.D., Minister for Finance

Dear Minister

I am asking you to ensure that the artists' tax exemption scheme, currently under review by your Department, is retained in its entirety. I feel it would be a retrograde step for the arts in Ireland if it were to be changed in any way.

Despite the growing popularity of the arts, most Irish artists still cannot make a living from their creative work. The greatest number of beneficiaries of the scheme earn considerably less than the legal minimum wage. Artists' earnings are subject to very considerable annual variation. The proceeds of, say, the sales from an exhibition or the publication of a book in any one year, may represent all of the artist's significant artistic earnings for a period of three to five years.

The small number of Irish artists who have enjoyed global commercial success on an unimaginable scale are still liable for Irish tax on a significant share of their income - the only part of their income that is tax-free is the income arising from their creative work.

Artists have a unique place in society and the introduction of this tax exemption was an enlightened acknowledgement of that. I appeal to you to keep the exemption.

Yours sincerely
The Arts Council

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