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More taxpayers get bumper pay packets as recovery grows

The number of people earning more than €200,000 in gross income is set to be almost a third higher this year, compared to four years ago.

That’s according to figures compiled by the Revenue Commissioners and released by Finance Minister Michael Noonan last month, which show that nearly 25,000 individuals and jointly assessed couples are set to earn more than €200,000 in 2015.

It’s an increase of around a third on 2011, when 18,741 taxpayers were earning €200,000 or more.

The numbers are a further sign of general improvement in the Irish economy, Merrion Capital economist Alan McQuaid told the Irish Independent.

“Things are improving quite rapidly compared to the rest of Europe,” Mr McQuaid added.

“People in high-skilled jobs, high-tech jobs, and the professions have recovered.

“There’s obviously a lot of focus in terms of the banks and the bonus payments, you’re getting back to an era where people are getting bonuses in financial services, as things get back to normal so to speak.”

Mr McQuaid said the numbers might also reflect a growing number of successful Irish entrepreneurs.

“People may have lost their jobs and gone out on their own, more entrepreneurial skills have helped, particularly in the software and computer areas, where you see young entrepreneurs setting up things and making lots of money on the back of a lot them, and that’s what we’re probably good at here.”

The Revenue figures project that there will be over 2.3m incomes in 2015, compared to a shade under 2.05m in 2011. Married people and civil partners that have elected or deemed to have elected for joint assessment count as one tax unit.

The income category with the highest number of people in it is those earning less than €9,000. Almost 370,000 people fall into that category.

In 2011 there were around 364,000 taxpayers earning less than €10,000.

So despite the fact that the lowest bracket has become smaller in terms of the range of income it covers, there are still more taxpayers in the lowest bracket than there were four years ago.

However, that change is probably down to the increase in the total number of incomes.

As a percentage of the total, the numbers in the lowest bracket look set to be around 2pc lower this year than in 2011.

The figures also show that things are getting better for those on middle incomes too.

In 2011 the second-most populous bracket was taxpayers earning between €20,000 and €25,000, with almost 200,000 falling into that category.

But this year Revenue projects the second-most populous bracket to be those earning between €30,000 and €40,000, predicting that around 325,000 taxpayers will fall in to that category.

The least populous bracket is set to be for those earning €150,001 to €200,000.

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