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Wednesday 18 September 2019

Tax-free perk for Rosanna: the girl in the yellow dress

Marisa Mackle and Rosanna Davison at the launch of 'The Girl in the Yellow Dress' last year. Photo: Tony Gavin
Marisa Mackle and Rosanna Davison at the launch of 'The Girl in the Yellow Dress' last year. Photo: Tony Gavin

Andrew Bushe

FORMER Miss World Rosanna Davison and 'Late Late Show' presenter Ryan Tubridy have been granted tax-free status by the Revenue Commissioners under the artists' exemption scheme.

They are among 93 new additions to the list of tax-free artists that includes 27 painters and illustrators, 26 authors, 15 musicians and composers, 16 sculptors and nine scriptwriters and playwrights.

Davison gets the perk for her share of earnings from the children's book, 'The Girl in the Yellow Dress'. The book was written by Marisa Mackle and illustrated by Davison, who said it was her first time "to turn my passion for art into a professional venture".

It reached number five in the Irish children's book charts; and a second book by the duo, 'Lucy Goes to Hollywood', is due to be published next month.

Tubridy was granted tax-free status on earnings from his book 'JFK in Ireland' after an application for artistic recognition received a "favourable determination".

The book tells the story of US President John F Kennedy's four-day trip to Ireland in June 1963.


Its earnings come on top of the TV and radio star's salary from RTE -- estimated at around €480,000.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was another beneficiary of the exemption in the past. He was granted tax-free status for his autobiography and did not have to pay income tax on an estimated €100,000 advance payment by his publisher Random House, although the book has had disappointing sales.

His daughter Cecilia Ahern has also qualified as she is the author of a number of fiction novels.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan severely curtailed the artists' exemption scheme -- introduced by the late Charles Haughey in 1969 -- in the December Budget, reducing the threshold from €125,000 to €40,000.

Before the scheme was capped, one mystery artist -- thought to be one of the country's super-rich rock stars -- earned €10m in a year under the scheme without paying any tax.

Latest figures reveal 2,427 people availed of the artists' exemption scheme in 2007.

The total exemption in that year was €84.9m.

Irish Independent

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