Revenue penalty 'at the lighter end'

Sat, Jun 9, 2012, 01:00

POSSIBLE ACTIONS:THE DIRECTOR of Corporate Enforcement could yet consider taking an action against Mick Wallace, chartered accountant Des Peelo said yesterday.

“Certainly a complaint of some sort will be made at some stage in that regard, and it’ll certainly be looked at.

“Whether it’ll be pursued I don’t know, but it will be considered,” said Mr Peelo, who was a financial adviser to former taoiseach Bertie Ahern and a close personal friend of Charles Haughey.

Speaking on yesterday’s News At One on RTÉ Radio, Mr Peelo described the penalty imposed on Mr Wallace by the Revenue Commissioners as “at the lighter end of penalties”.

He said that were Revenue to try to prosecute Mr Wallace in future, there might be a legal impediment to their doing so.

“I stress I’m not a lawyer in saying this, but there could be a hurdle in terms of whether or not they cautioned as to a possible criminal prosecution at the time that they settled with him.”

Speaking in the context that the €2.1 million settlement that Mr Wallace made with the Revenue Commission was for under-declaration of VAT by his company, MJ Wallace Ltd, to make full tax returns on apartment sales, Mr Peelo said: “I’d also point out that the people who bought the apartments – that he took their VAT for use in the company. People who paid money [did so] in the expectation that they’d paid the Revenue.”

He said Mr Wallace’s actions were “getting into the area of what I’d describe as irresponsibility” and could possibly be interpreted as reckless trading, “because at that point you do know that you’ve fallen foul by being unable to pay your debts as they fell due”.