A pub featured in sitcom Father Ted, a company owned by a well-known developer and a defunct medical equipment seller were among the tax defaulters hit with bills totalling €22 million by Revenue in the first quarter of the year.
More than 60 businesses and people settled for €21.1 million in tax, penalties and interest following scrutiny of their affairs by Revenue in the three months ended March 31st, the latest list of defaulters shows.
Court-imposed settlements resulted in a further €392,062 while fines and other penalties for tax-law breaches yielded €517,742.
The biggest settlement was €12.4 million by Eurosurgical Ltd, a medical equipment seller placed in liquidation three years ago. Its bill included €5.1 million in tax, €3.5 million interest and €3.8 million penalties.
The High Court appointed George Maloney of accountants RSM as liquidator to Eurosurgical in May 2016. Revenue was the biggest creditor and shortly before had issued the company with an assessment for more than €3 million. However, it was known that the final liability was likely to be bigger.
Revenue petitioned the court to appoint Mr Maloney to Eurosurgical. Shareholders at the time sought to have a different liquidator take charge of the company.
According to the details published yesterday, Eurosurgical’s settlement followed an investigation into underdeclaration of corporation and workers’ income taxes, social insurance and VAT.
The figures show that €11 million was due at the end of March. It is understood that the settlement relates to a period stretching back more than 10 years before Mr Maloney’s appointment as liquidator.
RSM said that following an investigation by the liquidator into the company’s affairs, “a settlement of the liability due has been agreed which pertains to a lengthy period preceding liquidation”. The firm added that it could not comment further as the matter was ongoing.
Vaughan's pub in Kilfenora, Co Clare, which featured in several episodes of Father Ted, paid €55,458. Kilfenora Taverns, trading as Vaughan's, paid €37,864 in tax, €6,234 in interest and €11,359 in penalties for under declaring corporation tax – levied on company profits – following an audit. The company did not comment when contacted yesterday.
Its appearances in the 1990s television hit included an episode in which one of its barmen uttered the last words: “Sorry, the bar is closed.” Vaughan’s is popular with fans who attend the Father Ted festivals still held Kilfenora.
Lurganmore Ltd, owned by developer Ciaran Larkin, agreed a settlement of €2.2 million, €1.4 million in tax and the remaining €800,000 in interest and penalties.
The figures show that Lurganmore, which Mr Larkin owns through another company, Bee Bee Developments, had paid off about €1.1 million of the total by the end of March.
Mr Larkin was not available to comment. Another of his businesses, Players Square, once planned to redevelop the old Players Wills factory in Dublin, but is no longer involved in that project.
Most the settlements published yesterday resulted from Revenue investigations of offshore assets, underdeclaration of income, company or social insurance taxes, or audits of the same tax categories.