Letter in Irish Times on Ahern's tax exemption

8 Jan 2010

Madam, – When I wrote a biography of Brendan Bracken I was denied the artists’ tax exemption by the Revenue because a biography, being a recital of facts, did not rank as an original and creative work. Are we to infer from their determination in relation to Mr Ahern’s memoirs that they are fiction? – Yours, etc,


Strand Road,


Dublin 4.

I was under the impression that the Arts Council judged whether work warranted the exemption or not – possibly incorrect.

3 thoughts on “Letter in Irish Times on Ahern's tax exemption”

  1. A well written article indeed well done
    However I beg to differ on one small point
    I do not believe that anybody having earnings over the average industrial wage should be able to avail of this extension from income tax period
    There should be a ban on all public servants from gaining financial from their knowledge of having being a Public servant
    Just my humble opinion!

  2. When I looked into this last year, I was told by the helpful official in the Commissioner’s office that it would be judged of artistic or cultural merit by a member of the Irish Writers’ Union. There was no mention of the Arts Council.

    Either the situation has changed, she was misinformed, or they’re making it up as they go along.

  3. I am baffled as to why Charles Lysaght was refused, I wonder if he appealed.
    However, the interpretation of the rules has considerably softened in the last decade, due to the number of successful appeals. Revenue decided there was no point in rejecting people only to see their rulings overturned by the Appeals Commissioner.
    The Arts Council is consulted about quite a number of applications, but its verdict is in no way binding

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