UK tax collector contests pension payment at MacSharry firm


THE INLAND revenue in the UK is contesting a £2 million (€2.35 million) pension payment made to directors of a company associated with Ray MacSharry Jnr.

Cheshire-based Norwest Foods International saw its turnover increase to £61.2 million in the year to July 31st, 2009, from £31.5 million the previous year.

Gross profits jumped to £4.2 million from £1.7 million. However, profits before tax were a more modest £687,227. The jump in sales was due to the continuing development of markets in the Far East, growth in seafood sales, and general food price inflation, according to the accounts.

“In the light of this strong performance the directors have decided that the company should contribute £2 million into a pension fund for the benefit of the directors.”

The directors during the year were Mr MacSharry, his Kildare-based business partner Frank Robinson, and English directors Stuart Handley, Simon Rowe and Colin Ward.

Notes to the accounts state that the UK Inland Revenue has challenged the right to deduct the pension contribution against the company’s corporation tax liability.

They also state that during the year the company purchased goods and services totalling £268,769 from Celtic Foods Trading House Ltd, a company based in Kildare.

The abridged accounts for Celtic Foods, filed recently, do not give a profit figure but show a fall in accumulated profits in the year to the end of December 2009.

That figure at the end of the period was €1.44 million, dropping from €2.5 million at the end of the previous year.

The notes to the company’s accounts state that the holders of its C ordinary shares are entitled to any dividends the company derives from Norwest Foods International. The C ordinary shares are held by Mr Robinson.

Likewise he owns the B, D, and E ordinary shares, which entitle him to the profits deriving from the company’s shareholding in Cuisine Express (Freshfood) Ltd; the Celtic Foods property at Cookstown Business Centre, Tallaght, Dublin; and the company’s property at Newlands Business Park, Newlands Cross, Dublin.

Mr MacSharry owns the ordinary shares in the company, which entitle him to the company’s dividends as determined at a general meeting.