07/12/10: VAI Seeks Clarification on Implementation of New Cap on Tax Exemption Scheme on Artistic Works and Increase in PRSI Contributions by Self-Employed Artists

Visual Artists Ireland, the representative body for professional visual artists living and working in Ireland today, seeks clarification on the implementation of the new cap on Tax Exemption Scheme on Artistic Works and the increase in PRSI contributions by self-employed artists.

Tuesday, 07 December 2010, – Today the political parties of the current government announced that the already reduced cap on the Artists Tax Exemption scheme is to be hit again by cuts caused by their mistakes.  In addition, the increase of PRSI contributions announcement with no confidence of a fully thought out implementation provides us with cause for concern.

The artists’ exemption scheme is not a ‘rich man’s relief.  Instead, VAI has shown that the small number of visual artists who qualify for it must maintain second and even third jobs to make ends meet.  In addition, there are long years of production during which an artists income may be negligible.  This lowering of the ceiling of €40,000 on the tax exempt earnings of artists brings with it a responsibility for the government to introduce a levelling of payments that takes into consideration this cyclical nature of visual artists’ income.  In addition, the minister must be held responsible for the implementation of a review of the PRSI system as it pertains to self employed artists, ensuring that the system also recognises the cyclical nature of their income, and the ability to balance payments over several years.

Despite words of comfort, it is obvious that more detail is needed on the implementation of this budget.  Taking it at face value, we can see the potential for more of Ireland’s artist population being the victim of a system that fails to understand their career choice.

Noel Kelly
Visual Artists Ireland
37 North Great Georges Street
Dublin 1

01 8722296

Visual Artists Ireland is the all Ireland development and resource body for professional visual artists. With 3750 registered visual artists, it provides services, facilities and resources for artists, operates an artistic programme and acts as an advocate for the interests of all professional visual artists in Ireland.