I hear rumblings about introducing a licence to photographers. I would be instantly in favour of such a move if a licence number after their name would show that the Revenue Commissioners has them on record. And anyone doing nixers or advertising their services without a valid number would have their details passed to the tax man by the licensing body.
The Revenue Commissioner does not send out letters saying “when you have a moment to spare would you be so kind to let us know if you made a profit last year?” He sends out a payment demand for €50,000+ in unpaid VAT & TAX and it’s up to you to prove he got it all wrong.
I think every professional photographer in the country has had a visit from the taxman at this stage and in spite of the adverts which proclaim tax inspectors to be a friendly bunch; I would be less stressed if an Aids ridden Dracula told me he was coming for a visit. So if the tax man turned his attention to the cowboy photographers for a change it would help them focus their minds on what they charge for their services. Because they don’t pay VAT or TAX they can charge 1/3rd that of a professional photographer’s fee and still make more profit than the professional.
And if they are already in full time employment they are not only depriving the country of much needed tax they are depriving professional photographers of a living.