ESRI research shows income tax take lower than most of EUTuesday 25 June 2013 23.39
Ireland takes a smaller share of national income in tax than most countries in the European Union, new research by the Economic and Social Research Institute has found.
The ESRI's Budget Perspectives 2014 report says the share of tax on national income in Ireland remains well below that in countries such as Germany, Austria and the Scandinavian countries.
It says much of the gap is due to the fact that they have higher taxes on income, which comes in the form of income tax, employee social insurance contributions or employer contributions.
The ESRI says the difference does not arise because of higher tax rates on the top slice of income.
It says that the extra tax yield in these countries comes from applying higher income tax rates lower down the income range, so that they are paid across the board by low, middle and high income earners.
The economic think tank says that the research takes into account the recent tax increases in Ireland along with the profits of multinational companies.
The report's author, Professor Tim Callan, said people in Ireland are paying less in income tax than most other European countries with the difference primarily arising from the amount paid by middle and lower income earners.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Prof Callan said Ireland would take in more revenue from taxation by applying higher tax rates to middle and lower earners as greater taxes across those bands would also impact on higher income earners.
“It isn't the very top that is making us look different [from other countries], it is the tax rates on lower bands", he said.
"If you look at the incomes of people with more than €100,000 ... about two thirds of their income is in the slice that is below €100,000. So if you exclude that, you are excluding a lot of their income."
Prof Callan said Ireland was "on the low side" when it came to taxation, but "not exceptionally low as some statistics would indicate".