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Estimating the Revenue Yield from a FTT for the Republic of Ireland

Estimating the Revenue Yield from a FTT

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Author

Micheál Collins

Summary

In 2011 the European Commission outlined proposals for a Europe wide financial transactions tax (FTT). Since then the proposal has been pursued by ten countries under ‘enhanced cooperation’ procedures with plans evolving to introduce the tax during 2017/2018. To date Ireland has not signed up to adopting a FTT.

This paper estimates the revenue that Ireland would collect from participating in the European FTT. Drawing on data from official sources, it first establishes the size of the FTT tax base. Subsequently, the paper estimates a baseline tax revenue and considers the robustness of this estimate using a suite of sensitivity tests.

The paper finds that were Ireland to adopt a FTT, the net revenue yield would be between €320m and €350m per annum. It also considers some of the implications which would accompany the taxes adoption. Of these most are positive although the tax, like all taxes, does carry some distortionary effects. However, it is hard to argue that the benefits would be exceeded by the costs.

In the years to come Ireland will face a decision on its participation in a FTT. This paper is intended as a contribution towards the formation of that policy choice.

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