Self-employed levy ‘unconstitutional’

THE proposed income levy for self-employed workers is unconstitutional, according to a top law expert.

Paul Brady, consultant with Astons legal and tax experts said the provisions of the Finance Act 2009 which permit the Revenue Commissioners to impose the higher income levy rates on income earned by the self-employed between January and April are unconstitutional.

He said that in 2005, the Supreme Court held that retrospective tax laws could only be justified if they were to prevent the state going bankrupt.

However, the Government could raise taxes prospectively (ie from April onwards) to meet its current need for revenue, he said adding that while we are in a financial crisis, it is not sufficient to justify the back-dating of the levy increases.


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