Broadcaster Neil Prendeville sued his former accountants after he had to settle a €541,000 tax bill.
Mr Prendeville told the listeners to his talk show on Cork’’s RedFM yesterday that his former accountants had failed to make the correct tax returns on his behalf. He described the amount involved as “life-changing” and said resolving it
“I want to explain to listeners that I had not deliberately or consciously failed to pay my correct taxes, but I had relied upon and trusted my accountants,” he said.
“The issue has now been fully resolved with the Revenue and all of my taxes have been paid to Revenue.
“It could have cost me everything. It has been my first thought every morning and my last thought every night, for the last two and a half years.”
He made his comments just hours before his name was published in Revenue’’s latest tax defaulter’’s list.
He was among 45 settlement cases who paid some €19.7m the last quarter of 2019 in total settlement of their tax liability. He was one of just five cases which exceeded €500,000.
Restaurateur and publican, Sherwood Investments Ltd in Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louth, owed €10.9m for under-declaration of PAYE, PRSI, USC, and Vat. As of December 31 last, €10.4m was unpaid.
Following an audit, Mr Prendeville was deemed to have a tax liability of €327,663 in relation to the under-declaration of income tax. Interest of €115,674 and penalties of €98,299 brought the total tax bill to €541,636.
Mr Prendeville, with an address in Douglas, Cork, spoke of his sense of shock when he learned of the tax issue.
Court records show that he lodged legal proceedings in the High Court in January 2019 against Cuddy, O’Leary and Foley, for damages for alleged breach of contract and for negligence.
The company did not respond to repeated requests for comment yesterday.
Mr Prendeville said the legal case has been settled with the accountancy firm’s insurance company paying the tax liability, his legal costs and the accountancy fees for Mr Prendeville’s new accountants, Quintas Partners.
He was also awarded "substantial compensation" for the publication of his name on the tax defaulters list, according to a statement issued by his solicitors.
“I was looking down the barrel of a High Court case in Dublin that could have gone on for weeks and could have cost me everything, which was terrifying,” Mr Prendeville said.
“The longer this case went on the bigger the worry grew both professionally and personally.
“I am grateful that this enormous worry and distraction that has been hanging over me personally and professionally for some time is now over.”
He thanked his “very supportive wife and family”, RedFM management, Quintas Partners, and his legal team, BDM Boylan Solicitors and Eoin Clifford SC for their support.