Former aide to Princess Diana named on Ireland’s tax defaulters list

The founder of Dean Waste makes biggest settlement on latest list

The former private secretary to Princess Diana is among the names on the latest list of tax defaulters released by the Revenue Commissioners.

Irish-born aristocrat Patrick Jephson is named alongside his brother, Michael Jephson. They are listed as "property dealers" each owing €172,000 in tax and penalties for underdeclaring capital gains tax on the disposal of an asset.

The Jephsons are members of a family with long historical links to Mallow in Co Cork. Their ancestors previously owned Mallow Castle.

Patrick Jephson, a former naval officer, was a royal equerry, or aide, and subsequently served as the private secretary to the late Princess Diana for eight years until 1996.

Following her death, he published an unflattering portrait of her, Shadows of a Princess, which became a bestseller. He now runs a communications consultancy in the United States and has written for the Spectator and the Daily Telegraph.

In 2006, the brothers became embroiled in a local row when the 99-year lease to the State ran out for Mallow town park. At one stage, Michael Jephson asked councillors to hand back the park.

After years of talks, Cork County Council paid the brothers just more than €1 million for the park, in a deal finalised in 2015.

When asked if the tax demand related to their sale to the State of the park, Patrick Jephson confirmed that it did and said the tax had since been paid in full.

He said he was unaware of being named as a tax defaulter here.

Dean Waste

The founder of Dean Waste made the largest settlement with Revenue on the latest tax defaulters’ list, which also includes the firm behind well-known Dublin PR agency Insight Consultants.

Anthony Dean, the founder of Dean Waste, which previously sold skip bags and with an address in Milltown, Dublin 14, made a settlement for €2.35 million on foot of the Revenue's investigation into offshore holdings, and for the underdeclaration of income tax.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) previously secured orders for €2.6 million against Mr Dean's former company, Dean Waste, which is now defunct, as part of an investigation into illegal dumping.

Bellane, which owns Insight Consultants, headed by well-known PR agent Michael Parker, was also listed as having made a settlement of €51,186 for the underdeclaration of corporation tax and PAYE/PRSI.

Mr Parker previously advised Rehab and its former chief executive Angela Kerins during an Oireachtas committee investigation into her role with the charity.

Also on the list was BPI Telecoms Ltd with an address in Sandyford, Dublin 18, which is 80 per cent owned by telecoms entrepreneur Barry Napier, who is the current chief executive of Cubic Telecom. BPI Telecoms made a settlement of €182,000 for the underdeclaration of corporation tax, income tax, VAT and PRSI.

Settlements amounting to more than €14.4 million were agreed with Revenue in the latest list of defaulters, which covers the first quarter of 2017.

A total of 41 cases were for amounts of more than €100,000 while five exceeded €500,000. There was just one case where the tax settlement eclipsed €1 million.

Other big settlements on the list included one for €891,592 agreed with the owners of McGee petrol station in Moate, Co Westmeath, for the underdeclaration of VAT, PAYE and PRSI.

Consulting firm

Tom Moran and Son car dealership in Bannow, Co Wexford, also made a settlement for €602,465 for the underdeclaration of VAT following an investigation, while management consultant firm Searing Insights with an address of Frankfort Building on Dundrum Road, Dublin 14, agreed a settlement €584,271 for the underdeclaration of corporation tax, income tax, VAT and PRSI.

For the first time, additional information about tax defaulters who have failed to discharge an outstanding liability within an agreed time limit was also included.

The previously mentioned owners of McGee petrol station still had an outstanding debt of €822,918 as of March 31st this year, which was the highest one listed.

The Revenue also released details of fines, penalties and imprisonments secured as a result of tax or duty offences.

It said there were three cases of oil laundering in respect of which court penalties of 21 months, 18 months and two-year imprisonment terms were imposed.

There were also 45 cases of excise, licensing and VRT offences including the illegal smuggling of tobacco and alcohol products.

“Revenue vigorously pursues collection/enforcement of unpaid settlements,” Revenue said in a statement. However, it noted that in some cases collection or recovery of the full unpaid amount was not be possible, particularly in cases where a company is liquidated.

* This article was amended on the 28th of June.