While Irish people struggle to survive crippling taxes and cuts, it has emerged that foxhunting groups (whose members can splash out on expensive horses and four-wheel drives) are continuing to enjoy tax exemption. The hunting groups are included in the latest Revenue Commissioners list of “sporting bodies” which have been granted tax exemption under Section 235 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997.
The current Revenue list of exempt groups – http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/sport-bodies-alpha.pdf – contains eight hunts (as well as a number of animal shooting groups). The hunts are: Carbery Hunt, County Limerick Hunt, County Roscommon Hunt, Fingal Harrier Hunt, Laois Hunt, Shillelagh And District Hunt, Island Hunt and United Hunt.
As Section 235 deals with “bodies established for promotion of athletic or amateur games or sports”, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports is renewing its call to Revenue for hunting groups to be rejected due to the fact that they do not fall into the categories of athletic, amateur game or sport.
Fine Gael Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has shamefully defended the exemptions, outrageously arguing in 2013 that the “ordinary meaning” of sport includes activities such as hunting and therefore hunts can benefit.
“It’s disgraceful that Revenue views the terrorisation and killing of Irish wildlife as a sport or game,” ICABS stated in an email to the Games & Sports Exemption Section. “Revenue granting tax exemption to hunting groups is most inappropriate and highly offensive to the Irish majority who want this deplorable activity outlawed. We urge you to recognise that hunting is NOT a game or sport and to withdraw the exemptions for hunting groups.”
Please join us in urging the Revenue Commissioners to recognise that hunting is not a “sport” or “game” and to reject applications for tax exemption from hunts.
Games and Sports Exemption Section
Nenagh, Co Tipperary.
CC: Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD
Tweet a message to Revenue: @RevenueIE
Why foxhunting must be banned in Ireland