Former car tycoon makes €6.25m tax settlement

A former Cork car sales tycoon and witness at the Mahon Tribunal has made a €6.25m settlement with Revenue for under declaring income tax, capital gains tax, and stamp duty.

John Joseph McCarthy, formerly based at Flower Lodge, Strawhall, Fermoy, Co Cork, is now believed to spend the majority of his time abroad, possibly in Brazil.

Mr McCarthy paid penalties and interest of €3.8m on a tax bill of €2.4m, leaving him with a total settlement of €6,248,865.

His company, John McCarthy Motors of Fermoy, made an appearance in last year’s defaulters list when it was fined €2.6m for the under-declaration of Vat. The company was in liquidation, meaning Revenue becomes a preferential creditor as assets are sold.

In evidence to the tribunal in 2008, Mr McCarthy said he brought a blank cheque to a private dinner attended by former taoiseach Albert Reynolds at a Cork accountant’s home.

Mr McCarthy said he and others gathered in their host’s courtyard, and after discussion, the guests agreed to each give Mr Reynolds a £5,000 contribution.

Separately at an Allsop’s auction in Dublin last night, McCarthy Motors’ former car showroom in Fermoy sold to an unknown bidder for €357,500. It had been guiding at €195,000-€225,000.

The other large settlements to appear on yesterday’s tax defaulters list included Skeffington Arms, a pub and hotel on Eyre Square in Galway which made the second largest settlement for €4.1m.

The Revenue said that in the three months to the end of September, settlements relating to 88 taxpayers worth €27.6m were published.

Revenue said it was a portion only of all audits and investigations concluded in the period and the names on the list are only released when chances to make voluntary disclosures are not availed of and the default is classed as careless or deliberate behaviour.

Elsewhere on the defaulters’ list, 50 people were prosecuted for using laundered fuel.


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