‘Scumbag’ inheritance tax should be scrapped - Deeter

The inheritance tax is a “scumbag tax” that should be repealed rather than increased, accord...
Faye Curran
Faye Curran

09.51 23 Aug 2023

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‘Scumbag’ inheritance tax shou...

‘Scumbag’ inheritance tax should be scrapped - Deeter

Faye Curran
Faye Curran

09.51 23 Aug 2023

Share this article

The inheritance tax is a “scumbag tax” that should be repealed rather than increased, according to financial analyst Karl Deeter.

Recent figures released by the Central Bank show that just over a third of households have received an inheritance.

The accumulated value of these inheritances is estimated to be worth €97 billion.


The study found that wealthier households are more likely to receive inheritances – with the median gross incomes of households that have received an inheritance 17% higher than those that have not.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Mr Deeter said he has an issue with the "morality" of inheritance tax.

"You pay tax all your life, then when you die, the Government wants to swoop in and take a third of your wealth above certain limits," he said.

"It's considered a scumbag tax because you barely have time to put away the measuring tapes to get the person in the ground and there can be a tax liability there.

"If you pay your taxes and you own what you earn, then upon death, how much of what I own belongs to the Government? And why?

"I've never really heard a proper justification for that."


Mr Deeter said the inheritance tax system allows for loopholes for "protected classes" like "farmers, people with family businesses and family homes".

"When you talk about the big money ones, where there's a huge amount of wealth, those people have the capacity and access to the advice that gets them to avoid it altogether," he said.

"It is actually a drag on entrepreneurship. It's a drag on intergenerational upward mobility."

Mr Deeter said the tax should be repealed, rather than made more "aggressive".

"It already got more aggressive in the last few years – they upped the tax rate by 60%," he said.


Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan said the tax base needs to be broadened to pay for the services that "make our society a nice place to live".

"Inheritance tax was looked at by The Commission on Taxation and Welfare last year, and they found it to be a particularly equitable tax," she said.

Deputy Hourigan said the best way to tax the wealthy is to focus on property.

"We prefer to tax assets than tax income because we don't want to affect people's employment," she said.

"We actually really have to look at taxing property ... the versions of that are property tax, which, as an EU standard, our property tax in Ireland isn't particularly high, or inheritance tax.

"The reason we do that is because we know that intergenerationally that's a very equitable way to do it, and it's less likely to have an impact on the housing market."

Housing crisis

Deputy Hourigan said the tax system cannot account for a "completely dysfunctional housing market".

"If we allow people to simply hold on to the property and trade it between the generations, we are deepening the housing crisis and then obviously removing that sum from the exchequer," she said.

"Our inheritance tax still has allowed people who live in their family home to inherit that completely tax-free.

"Ultimately, nobody wants, or likes, particularly to pay taxes.

"What you're trying to do is constantly calibrate the system to make sure that the people who are able to pay, do pay and those who need the support of the State have it."

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Green Party Inheritance Tax Karl Deeter Scumbag Tax Tax The Wealthy Wealth Tax

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