Gilson’s €73k bill as she joins tax default list

TV3 presenter Glenda Gilson and a private Catholic school owner who refused to enrol a pregnant teenager are among 106 tax defaulters who settled with the State for a total of €19.8m.

Former model Ms Gilson had to cough up €73,000 in total, including interest and penalties for under-declaration of income tax and Vat, in figures released by the Revenue Commissioners yesterday.

Other high-profile names include Padraig O’Shea, the private school owner from Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary, who caused a national outcry in 2009 when he refused to enrol a 16-year-old pregnant schoolgirl. Mr O’Shea settled for a total €705,000.

Elsewhere, bloodstock agent Hugo Merry, whose mansion at Kilshannig stud in Co Cork has been linked to Princess Diana’s Spencer family, was left with an €84,477 bill and farrier Martin Leahy, from Melitta Park, Kildare, settled for €360,198.

Barry McDonald, former proprietor of Cork-based McDonald Cleaning Services, who was jailed in May for tax fraud, had a total settlement of €1.17m for the under-declaration of income tax and capital gains tax.

The highest settlement of €1.22m came from retired company director David Delahunty, with an address in Rathmines, Co Dublin.

There were 19 builders on the defaulters’ list, making them joint highest offenders along with company directors. But most professions and backgrounds got a notable mention. There were seven restaurant/fast food outlet owners; six farmers; five landlords; five publicans; two doctors/dentists; two fishermen; and a hairdresser.

Wexford was disproportionally represented among tax defaulters, with a total of 10, which makes it second on the list behind Dublin with 29. Cork came third with nine settlements. Louth, Cavan, and Kerry are among the most tax-compliant counties, with one defaulter each.

There were six settlements for a total of €1.95m which related to the Revenue’s investigations into offshore funds. There were seven settlements coming to €2.89m for the Revenue’s investigations into single premium product insurance products.

Eligibility for the list can come from failing to file a return; filing an incorrect return; illegal selling of tobacco; cigarette smuggling; and various excise and licensing offences.

In the past, inclusion on the list was for settlements that had been paid in full. But a recent change in legislation means the published list includes all tax defaulters, including those who still have to discharge their obligations.

* Read more here

More in this section