Collins, M.L. and M. Walsh, Ireland's Tax Expenditure System: International Comparisons and a Reform Agenda - Studies in Public Policy No. 24, Dublin, Policy Institute, Trinity College Dublin, 2010, 1 - 64
Tax Expenditures, also known as tax incentives or tax breaks,
represent an infrequently explored and little understood area of Irish
public policy. Despite this, they account for more than €11 billion
per annum in exchequer revenue forgone – equivalent to over 5.5%
of GDP and more than one-fifth of total tax revenue (2006 figures).
This paper examines the current tax expenditure regime in
Ireland and highlights the role that tax expenditures should play in
the Budgetary adjustment planned for late 2010 and in subsequent
years. The paper first reviews the nature and scale of Ireland’s tax
expenditure system in a national and international context. It then
considers their impact, advantages, limitations and consequences.
Finally the paper outlines a series of reforms to tax expenditures;
reforms which if implemented would yield the exchequer
considerable savings and establish a more appropriate and better
administered tax expenditure system.
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