As the Deputy will be aware wealth is already taxed in a range of ways. The local property tax is based on the market value of residential properties. Capital acquisitions tax and capital gains tax are levied at 33% on the sale of assets. Bank interest in most cases is subject to deposit interest retention tax and the stamp duty levy on the transfer of shares yielded a net total of €449 million in 2017.
The Comptroller and Auditor General's report notes that both taxable income and income tax payable are determined in accordance with tax legislation which provides the tax expenditures in the form of tax reliefs and tax credits. Such credits and reliefs, where applicable, have the effect of reducing the tax liability of an individual in any given year of assessment. As also stated by the Comptroller and Auditor General in his report, while high earners are well placed to utilise a wide variety of credits and reliefs available, they may also be liable to pay additional tax by virtue of their income in the form of the domicile levy and the high income individual's restriction. This status is determined by assets rather than income, while under the high income individual's restriction, high income earner status relates to those with adjusted income of over €125,000.
The Comptroller and Auditor General's report notes that in 2015, high wealth individuals paid an effective tax rate, including income tax, PRSI and USC, of 39.2% compared with an average rate for all taxpayers of 16.3%. Under the high income individual's restriction, where adjusted income is up to €400,000, a tapered approach ensures that there is a graduated application of this restriction, with the effective rate of income tax increasing towards 30%, as adjusted income increases towards €400,000.