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Irish Committee Calls For WHT For Overseas Artists

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-news.com, London

21 July 2017


The Irish Parliament's arts committee has recommended the introduction of a "foreign artists' withholding tax (WHT) scheme."

The committee has released a report on the Government's Culture 2025 initiative, which is intended to provide a framework for the development of Irish arts, culture, and heritage over the next eight years.

The report made 42 recommendations that the committee hopes will be incorporated into the strategy. The recommendations included a request that the Finance Minister be asked to design and implement a special WHT scheme for foreign artists.

Committee chair Peadar Toibin told the Irish Examiner that the scheme could involve a specific percentage of the money raised from events in Ireland being taken before the artist leaves the country. An alternative scheme could involve sums being held by the Irish authorities until the end of the year, which would only be repaid if the artist provides year-end tax and expense documents detailing reclaimable costs.

Toibin told the paper: "The legislation here is that, currently, international artists have a tax liability but it's very rarely pursued. You have situations where some artists are making EUR30m-plus (USD34.96m) on concerts here, where others are tax resident in certain countries. What we are asking is for the Government to be creative on this."

The committee also made the following tax-related recommendations:

  • That the Finance Minister be asked to examine the possibility of a tax relief scheme for domestic cultural projects similar to the existing film tax break;
  • That the Finance Minister be asked to scrap the special nine percent value-added tax (VAT) rate for hotel beds, but maintain the rate for bars and restaurants (including those within hotels), and to ring fence some of the additional revenue raised for cultural and heritage spending.

TAGS: compliance | tax | artists | value added tax (VAT) | tax compliance | Ireland | tax incentives | travel and tourism | legislation | withholding tax | tax breaks | tax reform

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