The Revenue Commissioners have published a list of individuals who have qualified for the Artists Exemption from Income Tax since April 2002. The list is divided into 5 categories, covering book writers, playwrights, musical composers, painters and sculptors, and includes a mind-boggling total of 3,343 names.
Ironically, the very first name on the first list is none other Bertie Ahern! And the second is his daughter Cecelia! (If you’re wondering, the lists are compiled, not in order of artistic merit but, in alphabetical order).
While Bertie’s surname enabled him to appear at the top of many a ballot paper, I guess that he would have preferred to kept a lower profile on this particular list – if indeed in Bertie’s world there is such a thing as bad publicity.
The full list can be viewed here.
It still grates that this book qualifies at all. I’ll admit I haven’t read it, but somehow I doubt that it’s a work of art by most people’s definition. A work of fiction in parts perhaps…
It certainly beggars belief that one can qualify for this exemption by merely dictating material to a ghostwriter who then puts it into readable form.
At this rate, David Beckham should apply for the Research & Development Tax Credit for his painstaking work in developing new aftershave fragrances.
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