Medical consultant makes €890,000 settlement with Revenue

A Dublin-based medical consultant has made a near €900,000 tax settlement with Revenue — the second highest case on the latest quarterly tax defaulters’ list — despite a recent major clampdown on such companies having been deemed to have cleaned up the area.

Michael Geary, of Foxrock, settled for €894,470, after interest and penalties, in a case involving the underdeclaration of income tax.

While down on the €46.5m recouped from medical consultants in the first quarter, three such businesses made the latest list settling for a combined €1.35m.

At the beginning of this year, Revenue said that it was “satisfied” with progress made on its “medical consultants compliance programme”, which brought in €39m in 2014 and 2015 and has investigated things such as the claiming of personal expenses against professional income, incorrect tax deductions claimed in relation to salaries or pensions of spouses, and insufficient documentation to support large expenses claimed as tax deductions.

Also mentioned on the latest list — covering the three months to the end of September — were Dalkey-based medical consultant Michael A Murphy, who settled for €242,731, and Dublin firm Reproductive Medicine Specialists, which settled for €213,332. The second quarter of the year yielded just €534,252 from one business in the sector.

In total, Revenue recouped just over €12.7m from tax settlements in the third quarter of the year, nearly €5m less than in the preceding three-month period. The third quarter tends to be the quietest for tax settlements.

The latest list details 64 cases, down from 101 in the second quarter, but roughly unchanged on a year-on-year basis.

Half of the 64 cases were for amounts exceeding €100,000, of which eight exceeded €500,000. Three cases — yielding a combined €630,000 — related to Revenue’s investigations into offshore assets and/or funds. There were 10 settlements from persons/businesses in the Cork region, worth a combined €1.72m.

Topping the latest list was Co Armagh-based property developer O’Keefe Developments — which is in liquidation — which settled for €895,931, after interest and penalties, for underdeclaration of Vat.

Two more property developers made the list with settlements of more than €500,000 — the Co Donegal-based EL McGettigan & Sons, for €733,639, and dissolved Ballsbridge firm Highball, which settled for €669,315.

It was revealed last month by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan that of the €41.1m in tax settlements published in 2016, prior to yesterday’s list, less than half has been paid in full so far.

In response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming, it was revealed that of 189 settlements worth €41.1m, only €20.3m was recouped from 71 settlements.

Mr Noonan also revealed that the value of settlements part paid or being paid by phased payment agreement so far in 2016 came to €6.9m.

The value of settlements subject to collection or recovery enforcement proceedings was €7m.


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