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Revenue Commissioners urged to scrap tax exemption for hunting groups
11 September 2013

Hunting groups are continuing to enjoy tax exemption, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports is disgusted to learn. The fox hunting and hare hunting groups are included in a Revenue Commissioners list of "sporting bodies" which have been granted tax exemption under Section 235 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997.

As Section 235 deals with "bodies established for promotion of athletic or amateur games or sports", we are calling for hunting groups to be rejected due to the fact that they do not fall into the categories of athletic, amateur game or sport.

As of 9th August 2013, the Revenue list of exempt groups contains eight hunts (as well as a number of animal shooting groups). The hunts are: Carbery Hunt, County Limerick Hunt, County Roscommon Hunt, Fingal Harrier Hunt, Laois Hunt, Shillelagh And District Hunt, Island Hunt and United Hunt.

"Does Revenue seriously view the terrorisation and killing of Irish wildlife to be a sport?" ICABS asked in an email to the Games & Sports Exemption Section. "Revenue granting tax exemption to hunting groups is very inappropriate and highly offensive to the Irish majority who want this deplorable activity outlawed. We urge you to recognise that hunting is NOT a game or sport and to withdraw the exemptions for hunting groups."


Please join us in urging the Revenue Commissioners to recognise that hunting is not a "sport" or "game" and to reject applications for tax exemption from hunts.

Revenue Commissioners
Games and Sports Exemption Section
Revenue Commissioners
Government Offices,
Nenagh, Co Tipperary.
Tel: 067-63377
CC: Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD
Tweet a message to Revenue: @RevenueIE

Video: Hunting cruelty


Tax exemption for hunts: Minister Cowen questioned

20 October 2005

ICABS Vice-president, Tony Gregory TD, has asked the Minister for Finance to clarify what constitutes a sport for the purposes of the Taxes Consolidation Act. This follows the sickening revelation that several hunts are currently enjoying tax exemption under Section 235 of the Act. The text of the Dail Q&A appears below.

Dail Question & Answer

Question 89 - Answered on 13th October 2005

Tony Gregory: To ask the Minister for Finance the areas in which the Revenue Commissioners grant tax exemptions to sporting groups; if the definition of sport is that as outlined in section 25 of the Finance Act 1932; and if this definition will be followed when deciding on qualifying activities for the purposes of a tax exemption under the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. [28509/05]

Written reply

Minister for Finance (Mr Brian Cowen): Section 235 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 governs the operation of the tax exemptions provided in the case of sporting bodies. The provisions of that section are administered by the Revenue Commissioners. Section 235 provides tax relief upon the income of any body of persons established for and existing for the sole purpose of promoting athletic or amateur games or sports. Relief from capital gains tax and dividend withholding tax is also provided for under the Taxes Consolidation Act. Two categories of sports bodies are embraced by the provision: a body promoting an athletic game or athletic sport; and a body promoting an amateur game or amateur sport.

Section 25 of the Finance Act 1932 was an amendment to the Finance (New Duties) Act 1916 which provided for the charging of a since defunct excise duty on specific entertainments. That has no relevance to the tax exemption provisions in the case of sporting organisations and is therefore not followed when determining which bodies qualify for the relief.

In addition, a scheme was introduced in 2002 whereby tax relief is available on donations to approved sports bodies for approved capital projects similar to the tax relief in place in respect of donations to charities. This relief is aimed at providing support to sports bodies around the country that are engaged in projects of a capital nature such as the construction or refurbishment of sports facilities. There are currently some 1,500 tax exempted sports bodies, a full list of which is published on the Revenue website under publications/lists of bodies and organisations that qualify for relief - No. 17.

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