Revenue gets court order over non-declared income


The Revenue authorities have secured a High Court order requiring a Tipperary man to explain why income related to an assurance policy taken out in the Isle of Man had not been returned to the authorities.

The information sought relates to a policy taken out by Mr James Ward, Coole, Birdhill, Co Tipperary, with a company in the Isle of Man, Clerical Medical Insurance.

Mr Denis McDonald SC, for the Revenue, said they had information from National Irish Bank confirming that such a policy was taken out in Mr Ward's name.

They also had an admission from the taxpayer's agent that income related to that policy had not been returned in the taxpayer's returns. It was in those circumstances the information was sought.

Mr McDonald said the application was brought under the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 for books and records and explanations from Mr Ward. Under the particular provision of the Act, it was not a case to be heard in camera.

At an earlier hearing, Mr Justice O'Donovan had directed service of the Revenue proceedings on Mr Ward at Coole, Birdhill. He had been served with the notice of motion, affidavits, exhibits and the judge's order on April 28th.

The Revenue had received a note from someone at the address, which was addressed: "To whom it may concern."

The note stated Mr Ward no longer resided at the address. However, when the matter was before Mr Justice O'Donovan last month, the evidence was that a motor car registered to Mr Ward was parked outside that address, Mr McDonald said.

Calls were made to the address on several occasions to try and serve Mr Ward personally and the callers were told Mr Ward was not at home.

Mr Justice Gilligan said the note to the Revenue authorities stated that Mr James Ward no longer lived at the address and seemed to be signed by a Mr Dan Ward.

Mr McDonald said there had been solicitors acting for Mr James Ward at one stage who were aware of the application being made.

When the matter first came up in the court lists, the Revenue were informed by those solicitors that they had no instructions on behalf of Mr Ward.

The solicitors never came on record but papers had been sent to them.

Mr McDonald said the application before the court now was being made after a fairly long process. It started with ordinary correspondence to the taxpayer seeking information. When that was not produced, a formal notice was then served on the taxpayer. Again there had been no answer and only in those circumstances was the present application being made.

It was not being made lightly or without going through all the steps.

Mr Justice Gilligan said that in granting the order he would require a copy to be served on the previous professional advisers or solicitors of Mr Ward.