District Court fines doctor for failing to file tax returns over four years

Thu, Dec 6, 2012, 00:00

A Dublin doctor was yesterday convicted of four charges of failing to file a tax return.

Dr Joseph McDonnell (62) of Prospect Drive, Rathfarnham, was before Dublin District Court on six charges of failure to furnish tax returns for the years 2002 to 2007. The charges related to Section 1078 of the Tax Consolidation Act (1997).

The Director of Public Prosecutions, at the suit of the Revenue Commissioners, said an investigation of McDonnell’s tax affairs found he was in receipt of “substantial” amounts of money from health insurance companies.

Following Revenue’s investigation, he filed overdue returns on November 26th, 2009, paying €99,874 in taxes. Returns have continued to be made since 2009, the court heard.

Asking about any other liabilities, Judge John O’Neill heard that McDonnell’s accountant was in “ongoing discussions” with Revenue in relation to the payment of €41,762 in interest and €99,874 in penalties relating to his failure to make the tax returns.

Guilty plea

Taking into account that McDonnell had no previous convictions and had pleaded guilty to the charges, Judge O’Neill convicted him of four counts of failure to pay a tax return. Charges in relation to a failure to make returns in 2002 and 2003 were withdrawn.

The judge said he would mitigate the fines open to the court and fined McDonnell €750 in respect of the 2004 tax year, €1,000 in relation to 2005, €1,250 in relation to 2006 and €1,500 in relation to 2007.

Last year, the Revenue Commissioners charged taxpayers interest and penalties totalling almost €191 million on tax settlements following audits.

Interest arises in respect of late payment, underpayment or phased payment of tax. In 2011, €158.5 million was charged in interest. Penalties of €32.34 million arose following audits during the same period.