Wallace ‘confess’ claims left in tatters

Tax-evading TD Mick Wallace’s claim he alerted the Revenue to his illegal actions appeared in tatters last night.

Revenue documents showed the investigation was classed as a “prompted qualifying disclosure”, meaning that tax authorities were set to swoop before any confession by Mr Wallace.

The revelation looks set to ratchet up pressure on the disgraced deputy to resign his Dáil seat as Taoiseach Enda Kenny added his voice to the outrage after Mr Wallace admitted knowingly breaking the law, resulting in his company owing the State €2.1m — a debt the TD says he will likely be unable to pay.

Revenue documents make it clear that in cases such as Mr Wallace’s, they acted first — and the size of the fine his company received reflects that.

When Mr Wallace made his illegal acts public last week, he said he put in fraudulent Vat claims to try to save his company, and when he realised that was not possible he went to the Revenue in Oct 2010.

“When I reached the point where I felt that prognosis was not going to work, I made my declaration to the Revenue,” he said. “The Revenue came in then and they found the declaration we made was accurate.”

However, Revenue documents show the size of the company’s penalty mean they moved first.

“A prompted qualifying disclosure is a disclosure made after an audit notice has issued from Revenue but before an examination of the books and records or other documentation has begun,” the body revealed.

“A penalty rate of 30% applies where the category of default is careless behaviour with significant consequences, and where there has been a prompted voluntary disclosure and co-operation.”

Mr Kenny said the Government “stands ready” to table an all-party censure motion on Mr Wallace’s tax affairs: “Deputy Wallace’s position is of the utmost seriousness, and I’m not going to say anything that might prejudice any case that may or may not be taken.”

A censure motion decision will be taken after the Dáil members’ interests committee examines the matter today. However, a censure motion can merely ask a TD to resign. A deputy can only be removed if declared bankrupt or given six months in jail.

The moves came as Fine Gael TD Tom Barry said he would be writing to the director of corporate enforcement seeking an investigation into Mr Wallace’s company. Businessman Mr Barry said Mr Wallace’s actions were completely unacceptable and that he should resign from the Dáil.

“It comes down to the fundamental issue: Lawmakers cannot be lawbreakers,” said Mr Barry.

Mr Wallace’s company, MJ Wallace Ltd, is included in the tax defaulters’ list published by the Revenue Commission showing a tax under-declaration of €1,418,894, interest of €289,146, and penalties of €425,668, giving a total settlement of €2,133,708.


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