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Friday photo

The view from where I'm sitting right now

The view from where I’m sitting right now

Friday Photo

Sometimes – with a major stretch of the imagination – we could pretend we live in Tuscany!!

almost like Tuscany

almost like Tuscany

If you live in Ireland you would have had to be living in a bubble this past week not to be aware of all the controversy regarding AirBnB and Irish Revenue.

Let me explain for those not living here…. AirBnB have set up their European headquarters in Dublin as of May 2014, so they now have to abide by Irish Revenue rules.  All fine and dandy.

However, most of the people who are ‘hosting’ via the AirBnB website were under the impression that they could earn up to €12k without having to pay tax on it. This was under what Irish Revenue call the ‘rent a room’ scheme.  This past week it has emerged that this was an erroneous believe, and that AirBnB hosting cannot be classified under this tax scheme.

The radio, the newspaper, social media sites have been full of the story.  Labels such as tax evaders have been levelled at AirBnB hosts.  Rants have been had about data protection etc. etc. as AirBnB are now obliged to reveal details of all their Irish hosts to the Irish Revenue.

Oldfarm, Redwood

Oldfarm, Redwood

I thought I’d share our thoughts on the whole thing.

Yes, we too thought that the hosting would come in under this ‘rent a room’ scheme.

The ‘rent a room’ scheme allows a homeowner to rent out a room, or many rooms, in their home to students, interns or professionals, TAX FREE, as long as they do not earn over the magical €12,000 per annum.  Revenue’s argument is that in the above scenario the person renting the room is a ‘resident’ whereas under the AirBnB scenario they are a ‘guest’.  The argument further continues that because they are a ‘guest’ it is now a ‘trade’.

To be honest, it is all very stilted towards city dwellers.  We’d gladly be surrogate parents to a student or intern, if there was the opportunity.

Living in prime agricultural/rural Ireland, there are no hospitals or industry within a 40 mile radius.  There is a massive exodus of students from here to the cities every Sunday during term time…. heading off to line the pockets of the ‘non-trading’ ‘rent a room’ folks.

Parts of rural Ireland are dead during the week… waiting patiently for the young people to come home again at the weekend.

Can anyone explain to me what’s not a ‘trade’ about renting a room to a student, intern or professional?

We fail to see the difference.

The running costs for what we do are probably more than the ‘resident’ costs…. changing sheets and towels more often!

Here in our little pocket of North Tipperary there are no jobs.  There is no local factory that provides employment.  Everything is based on farming – and there are only so many jobs in that sector too.

We feel that what guests we do entice into the area are at least contributing somewhat to the local economy.  We are buying more to accommodate them.  They are buying/spending in the community.  The visits to the local pub, and the major Friday night attraction of the old time dancing at the GAA hall, all give a little boost to the economy.

We have a couple of guests coming next week to research their family who emigrated from our village, Lorrha.  The local Historical Society have already provided them with so much information.  The guests are overwhelmed with the generosity of people… and they haven’t even arrived yet.

We are rather proud that one guest who came and stayed last summer, liked the area so much they bought a property and have moved here, have set up a business, and again are boosting the local economy by another little bit.

Our little B&B venture has become a community venture.

Don’t get us wrong.  We have no objection to paying taxes.  Oh, and by the way, we’ve earned nothing close to €12k.  Way way below it in fact.  It is just the total and utter confusion that has been caused by this.

In fact, now that I’ve written all this down… maybe there should be a tax break for bringing people into an otherwise neglected part of the country?

Are you listening Mr. Noonan (our Minister for Finance)?

 

Friday Photo

Thought this chap might stop ducks going out onto roadway.  It worked for 24 hours.  Then they went and picked at his boots and discovered he doesn’t move!!!!!

Scarecrow

Dressing for Dinner

And not just for dinner… for all meals.  I mean dressing the table for meals.

I know, you’ll all think I’m crazy.  I know my neighbours do.  I just like to have the table looking nice for all meals.

Curry night

Curry night

 

I don’t mean, all formal, with the linen tablecloth and napkins… that I will do for special occasions, and was why I wanted a house with a diningroom.

For everyday eating in the kitchen, I do, however, like nice place settings and serving bowls.  Even when eating al fresco or having a picnic….. it needs to look nice.

There is a saying that ‘we eat with our eyes’.  If that’s the case not only should the food look good, but the way it is presented needs to please us too.

Teatime

Even if it is just the two of us sitting down to eat, the table must be set properly with the right cutlery, and the correct drinking glasses …. and candles, of course. Yes, I will have the fish knives and forks, the dinner knives and forks, the dessert cutlery, the white wine and red wine glasses.

Nice serving bowls, the correct cutlery and the right drinking glasses are important.

Am I the only one who thinks like this?

I’m often told I’m creating wash-up!!!!  But hey, we have a dishwasher.

And maybe I am creating work, but if you’ve got the nice things why not use them? I don’t usually put what I classify as the ‘good’ drinking glasses in the dishwasher but I came across this product recently…. glass protector.  Now I want to get hold of this and give it a shot. I love their explanations for the ‘cloudy’ look…. think we can blame hard water.

Nor do I put the ‘good’ serving bowls in the dishwasher so there is always an element of hand-washing involved.

Maybe you all think I’m crazy?  Am I?  Do you dress your table for dinner?

 

Disclaimer:  Finish.ie sent me some of their products to try.

 

 

Friday Photo

For the first time in years I just didn’t get a chance to post a Friday Photo…. so instead you’re getting a Saturday snippet of what we were doing yesterday (Friday)!  These guys – The Jive Aces -were good.

Friday Photo

It is summer in Ireland….. and this is what I am looking at….

Rainy July day

Rainy July day