The average rate of tax paid in 2002, the results of which were just made public, was 28.9 percent, although in practice, many unmarried workers pay much higher rates.
These super-rich — who were not named — avoided paying tax by availing of property-based tax incentive schemes. Government tax breaks allow developers to claim tax relief against their investments on certain construction projects. Projects attracting tax relief include renewal schemes in both rural and urban areas, holiday cottages and hotels, car parks and third-level educational buildings.
The Irish finance minister Brian Cowen responded on Monday pointing out that seven such schemes identified by the Revenue Commissioners as favored by those paying the least tax are being phased out.
The tax breaks — most of which were brought in between 1995 and 2000 — have cost the state around $3.8 billion (