herald

Wednesday 19 December 2018

That's a bit rich... why wealthy stars like Ryan Tubridy won't pay a cent in tax on their books

SIX-FIGURE earner Ryan Tubridy will not pay tax on his recently published book on the late John F Kennedy.

The well-to-do RTE star has been criticised for availing of an artist's exemption tax break.

Late Late Show host Ryan (37), who gets paid €533,000 by RTE for his radio and TV work, was awarded the tax-free status thanks to his JFK In Ireland tome.

The celebrity is among 93 additions to the list of tax-free artists.

This year, the Revenue granted the exemption to 27 painters and illustrators, 26 authors, 16 sculptors, 15 musicians and composers, as well as nine scriptwriters and playwrights.

MEP Joe Higgins criticised the decision the exemption of the Late Late Show host. "The fact that Ryan Tubridy is claiming the exemption is ridiculous, there is no question about that. The rule should be changed, full stop."

Chris de Burgh's daughter and former Miss World Rosanna Davison (26) received the same privilege for illustrating a children's book, The Girl In The Yellow Dress, by Marisa Mackle.

The artists' tax exemption scheme was introduced in 1969 by former Taoiseach Charles Haughey in a bid to promote the arts.

Other high-profile personalities were beneficiaries of the exemption in the past. Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was granted the status for his autobiography, which saved him income tax on an estimated €100,000 advance payment by his published Random House.

His daughter Cecelia Ahern also qualified for the status.

The 29-year-old writer achieved worldwide recognition with PS I Love You, which later became a Hollywood blockbuster.



ROCK

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan slashed the scheme in the December Budget by reducing the limit from €125,000 to €40,000.

Before the new threshold came into effect, one artist -- whose name has not been revealed but is believed to be an Irish rock star -- earned €10m a year without paying tax.

It is understood that no income tax will be applied to Ryan Tubridy's earnings for his book on President Kennedy's visit to Ireland in June 1963. They have been estimated at €480,000.

hnews@herald.ie

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