Jan 122010

I’m a bit late coming to this due to the distractions caused by Squinting Iris.


What about Bertie Ahern’s autobiography, PS I Skrood Ya?

He got a tax exemption for it.  An artist’s tax exemption.

What does this mean?  It means he pays no tax on his earnings from it.  None at all.

Bertie’s story of how an ignorant North-Dublin corner-boy brought the country to its knees will make him a fortune on which he’ll pay no tax whatever.  Furthermore, the State is paying for the car and driver he uses to tour the country promoting the book.

How did he pull this stroke with your money, do you reckon?

According to the Citizens Advice Bureau,

income earned by artists, writers, composers and sculptors from the sale of their works is exempt from tax in Ireland in certain circumstances.

Section 195 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997 allows the Revenue Commissioners to make a determination that certain artistic works are original and creative works generally recognised as having cultural or artistic merit. Accordingly, earnings derived from these works are exempt from income tax from the year in which the claim is made.

In order to qualify for tax exemption, a book has to be both original and creative, and has to be generally recognised as having cultural or artistic merit.

So here you go.

The work has to meet these criteria:

It has to be original AND creative.

It has to be generally recognised as having EITHER cultural OR artistic merit.

Let’s take that definition to pieces, starting with the second bit.

I reckon nobody would disagree that a biography of Bertie Ahern is of cultural merit, taking the word cultural in its broadest sense, though probably not in the sense originally intended.  We’ll let him away with that.

Generally recognised as having cultural merit.  How did they measure that bit, I wonder?  How did they establish that a book which has been on the shelves about a month is generally recognised as having cultural merit?  Did the Revenue Commissioners, like de Valera, look into their hearts to divine what the people of Ireland think of Bertie’s odyssey?  Did they take the defunct e-voting machines out of storage and leave them in the corner of chip-shops with one question only – Wat didja tink a me bewk?

How exactly did the Revenue Commissioners conclude that a book of such recent origin is generally considered to be of any merit at all?  I’d be fascinated to know how this is done.

Going back to the first criterion, I think there’s probably no real quibble.  It has to be original and creative.

Well, I sincerely hope there aren’t two Bertie Aherns on this planet, so the book is in all likelihood original.

And any biography of Bertie Ahern is going to be thoroughly creative.

After all, if Bertie Ahern isn’t creative with the books, who is?

  34 Responses to “Bertie’s Autobiography Gets Artist’s Tax Exemption”

Comments (34)

    It’s the final insult really, isn’t it. This country is a fucking joke.


    It’s the Final Insult.

    What was the name of that band? Norwegian? Swedish?


    Ah sure, everyone knows Bertie’s a real artist. Piss artist, I think, is the term I’ve heard frequently used.


    Cultural or artistic merit my ring-piece; anyone for a public book-burning?

    We’d need quite a lot of books…

    Any ideas?

    …Did we miss the opportunity to burn an effigy outside O’Mahonys?


    We missed the opportunity to burn the real thing.


    Gerry Ryan also got tax free exemption for his book………..just to cheer you all up even more.


    Bock – his day may yet come: there is bound to be a sequel…

    Seconds out – thanks for making my day!


    My pleasure Shawn, great name by the way. Gerry’s book, like all great art, provokes a strong reaction. After one paragraph – and that;s just the review – you want to find him and kill him, him and his $2,000 bottle of wine.


    Another insult is the fucker didnt even write it, I know genuine artists who applied to qualify for that scheme as it was originally designed to promote creativity and financial aid for fiscally challenged artists, and they were shot down, He had some fucking neck to apply for it in the first place, and it is hard to get


    Well I hope that this gets taken into account and that all anecdotes in this book are taken as the truth and measured against his inexplicable loss of memory regarding his financial problems and handouts, paddy the plasterer, no bank accounts, mysterious horses etc. Hopefully this will be taken into account when we get the tribunal report.

    Mind you, I’m mindful that this is Ireland and not a proper functioning democracy so I’m not holding my breath.


    Wasn’t it Charlie who invented this tax evasion, sorry exemption, so who better to avail of it than Bartholomew:
    “He’s the man. He’s the best, the most skilful, the most devious, and the most cunning of them all.”

    He makes me want to puke.


    Carefull now ! That’s the next president of our glorious Republic that you’re talking about !



    I’ve got no problem with the exemption no matter who provided it. Personally I think that something that encourages creative art is to be encouraged. This is one thing I would give credit to Haughey for, of course he did it as a sop to his own vanity. But in this case he did the right thing, even if it was for the wrong reasons.
    As for the sleveen getting the exemption, wasn’t there something dodgy about Haugheys tax affairs being “investigated” by the revenue commissioners? I think the revenue commissioners do as they’re told, and giving him a free pass to the artists exemption looks like being another example. A major concern to anyone interested in fairness I suspect.


    Following on from my previous post, it looks like it was Berties brother in law that adjudicated on Haugheys tax appeal. http://www.rte.ie/news/1998/1217/primetime.html


    …Bring it on, I say; at some point something like this (Aherns tax exemption) has to provoke a reaction. The more blatant the contempt displayed by his like, the more likely this might happen. (I know, I know – this is Ireland, but one lives in hope…) I can understand yer-man’s total absorbtion in his own vanity, and his misplaced sense of entitlement, but you would imagine that somebody in the “golden circle” might have cautioned more tact/better timing given the ongoing haziness regarding his financial affairs AND the current plight of the country. Should we be surprised that nobody did? – of course not; these people actually believe in their own publicity – while they reside alongside us, they seem to be on -or maybe from – a different planet.

    Steely started the comment thread:
    “It’s the final insult really, isn’t it. This country is a fucking joke.”
    Though I won’t be holding my breath, let’s hope it is.
    And yes, it most definitely is.


    It’s not an exemption for artists though. They chased bands for tax returns a few years ago. Even if you play in a covers band, you should be exempt. Classical musicians predominantly play covers, yet they are called artists. Major difference in musicianship and audience but also a huge gap in earnings. They are the only two differences.


    Aren’t you supposed to show a valid Tax Cert in order toavail of this exemption, and if I’m not mistaken, a valid Tax Cert is one of the many things lacking in our Bertie.


    It’s a first class work of fiction right, is that why he got the exemption.


    Bono is tax free also, me cheering ya’ll up again. Bono, Gerry Ryan and Bertie. Marty Morrissey, who some claim is Joe Dolan’s illegitimate son, introduced Ryan to the O2 crowd before the Dunne v Poonsawat Kratingdeanggymningddgyymnngnnmmmyyyhennnmmmmannnean and a g – for linguistical reasons we called him the Thai – fight and 9,000 instinctively booed. Even Ryan’s friends, sitting alongside him at ringside. booed. Kill the cunt they were shouting. That’s just the way it is for Gerry these days, 24/7. Even his dog fucked off and sat with Osama Bin Laden on the night.


    As long as Bertie the bollix and his type are bolstered up by their local constituency gobshites, they’ll remain as out of touch with the real world as ever. The best example of this I saw was a drawing years ago,which showed a local gobshite hugging Haughey, as Haughey’s hand was taking the wallet out of the gobshites back pocket, complete with slimey smile.
    Nothing has changed, nor will change, as long as arrogant fuckers like Bertie the bollix keep geting the “Good man yerself” pat on the back from their local inbreds.


    Just out of interest has anyone in Ireland done a book exposing this crook?


    Sorry to be a bit of a serious big sister but…. this Bertie thing is NOT funny. Here’s what I sent to the Irish Times on the same matter: On this “less moderated” page – let me say: Let’s stop laughing and indulging these effers. The country needs to start a revolution!

    It is an absolute disgrace that Bertie Ahern should get artist tax exemption. But in addition to anger being directed at him – a number of questions arise: Bertie is simply doing what many a cute hoor Irish person would do – if you can get away with exploiting a loophole in the law, “shur more power to ya”. We, as a nation need to review our attitude to this willingness to tolerate such behaviour. The fact that he is a former Taoiseach increases the level of disgrace, of course. And the shock and indignation expressed on these pages is encouraging. But beyond the pages of the Irish Times and other liberal circles, is there any real anger? Are people marching outside his book signings? Or is the news met with eyes to heaven and a complict giggle?

    Secondly – why did the Arts Council approve his tax exemption status? Bertie Ahern is NOT an artist. The memoir is not an artistic work. (nor is the chicklit oeuvre of his daughter, although she allegedly qualifies for tax exemption). Was there fear that by not approving him, the Arts Council might have further cuts to their funding? Until we mature as a nation, and until a measure of self-censure is brought to the mentality of “shur try and get away with it”, there needs to be much tighter regulation. When Fintan O’Toole starts the movement for the Second Republic, I’ll move back from Scotland. For now, it saddens me to say this but I am inclined to agree with other posters – from the outside, Ireland looks like a Banana Republic.


    What Bertie is doing is not illegal fellow inmates. Like U2 moving all their money offshore to “avoid” paying tax, Bertie is just taking advantage of a loophole. Close the loopholes, simple as that really.


    A person told me that Sting was once approached in Shannon Airport by a fan asking “why don’t you sign an autograph for me Mr Sting?

    “Why don’t you fuck off,” replied Mr Sting, allegedly.

    He’s a great man is Mr Sting.


    Howard, Re investigative book on him… All our investigative writers/reporters are probable too busy with the small-fry (the drug cartels) and the real villains (low paid public servants) to be bothered with him… you see the thing is, in order to sell books one has to engage the imagination/interest of the buying public. With your-man I suspect we’ve all more or less got an idea of the type of findings that might emerge….

    Clarnie, Re the Banana Republic analogy: I thought somebody might (mischievously) recommend him for some sort of military award (it would look good on the mantlepiece juxtaposed closely to his honorary doctorate that I believe he was awarded for conflict resolution[?]). Something that might allow him to wear a junta-style uniform festooned with military medals and such, a peaked cap and aviator shades maybe?…
    His ego would surely see him take the bait… Then we would be a proper Banana Republic.

    Seconds Out: the measures introduced to ensure that non-residents that earn over a certain amount pay 200,000 annually to retain their passports might be a step in the right direction?


    Ah, but what did we expect?

    One thing to note on the tax free status of books etc, you have to apply for it – it is not automatic.

    Now you would think that someone who wants to be the President would just pay their tax and get on with his attempt at rehabilitation. i look forward to that next election.


    The Irish public are such suckers lol!


    But Bertie did not write his Book.It’s well known he requires assistance and direction in areas that might demand more than a medium level of literary competence.He is still a quite funning cucker though.


    Who co-wrote the tome with him and did they also avail of the tax exemption? I can’t bring myself to touch it I may burn my hand!!!


    Prof Richard Aldous wrote Bertie’s” Autobiography “?? See Senator Shane Ross’ blog. This country has and is being bled by respectable parasites such as Bertie who operates under the guise of a democratic republican and patriot..


    i must get a copy,help him out.


    Yes it is time to revisit the Bertie issue.He has succeeded in screwing the country along with many others[see The Sunday Tribune’s list-3/10/2010] and continues to do so: artist’s tax exemption,generous state pensions,appearance money for whatever, various board directorships[I’m sure],free travel,security,News of the World rubbish[found his level did our former Taoiseach]….yeah,he continues to screw us; even in his sleep he’s accumulating uncountable euros. But when the truth finally emerges,. that is if the citizens of this state insist,Bertie and his many Political Pals will be exposed for their connivance over a quite long period with Dodgy Bankers and Developers [and solicitors?].Of course the corruption applies to members of other political parties too.The Hope that Full Exposure will come and we will witness a much awaited and thorough Cleansing of the Political system…Every County and Urban Council included, will Bear us through the Dark Years Ahead .. I’m certain there are many.in our Pseudo Patriotic family who are feeling the early signs of the onset of a legally induced Cathartic Diarrhoea that will drain them Financially and Politically and expose them for the Frauds they are! Yes, maybe, there is a Future for this State. .


    @bruno. I don’t know where your optimism is coming from. How many of these people have even seen the inside of a garda station yet. I don’t think it will happen. Why?
    Because their pals, their friends, their fellow crooks are so deeply embedded at senior levels throughout every State, semi state, academic, civil service and judicial organization that there is no chance of the State apparatus moving against them.
    We have a regime not a government.


    Your’re right,Tumbrel,I am too optimistic,but I’m seeking some glimmer of light and I do hope that the carts will roll to an Irish version of the Guillotine.Yes, the state and its institutions are rife with corruption and the Irish public must surely fully realise the endemic nature of the political disease.I have reason to believe there will be legal action taken against some notable miscreants and the wheels of justice will,inevitably, roll and and rope in many of the cowboys and cowgirls who have gained from sleaze throughout this Banana Republic.

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