Union, trust and car dealer all hit in Revenue crackdown on tax defaulters

Building & Allied Trade Unions has been hit with a €147,000 fine, including €58,000 in interest and penalties, for the under-declaration of PRSI and PAYE following an audit by the Revenue Commissioners

Overall, Revenue raised €21.4m through settlements with 113 companies and individuals for tax evasion and other offences between July and September.

The biggest settlement for €3.25m was with the Fondation Quatre Chevaux Trust, based in Liechtenstein. Revenue would not disclose the identity of the Irish-domiciled person behind the trust. The tax liability arose when an asset was transferred to the Liechtenstein vehicle without paying the appropriate level of tax in this country.

John McCarthy Motors of Fermoy, Co Cork, was hit with the second highest penalty of €2.6m for the under-declaration of VAT. The company is in liquidation, which means Revenue becomes a preferential creditor as assets are sold.

Of the cases taken, 44 were for amounts exceeding €100,000 while seven were in excess of €500 and three of these were for over €1m.

There were six investigations into offshore funds, with settlements reaching €3.77m.

Revenue also published the details of 276 court cases for tax-related offences with a total of €669,000 in penalties imposed. There were 14 prison sentences.

The two longest custodial sentences were Justin Sheehan from Clarinbridge, Co Galway, who was given a three-year sentence for issuing an incorrect invoice relating to Vat for his plumbing and heating business. Sean Hartigan, a company director from Carrigaholt, Co Clare, was also given a three-year sentence for filing an incorrect Vat return.

Denis Hayes, a farmer from Kilmeaden, Co Waterford, made the third highest settlement for €907,000 for the under-declaration of capital gains tax. Daniel Kelleher, an architectural salvage agent from Shanakiel in Cork made number seven on the list with a settlement for €522,000 for under-declaration of Vat, PAYE/PRSI and capital gains tax.

Inclusion in the defaulters’ list is usually reserved for careless or deliberate acts of evasion. A total of 2,084 Revenue audits and 12,255 case queries were made over the three-month period which yielded a further €87m for Revenue.

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