Five nomadic businessmen want to appeal income tax assessments by CAB

The members of the Travelling community who are tarmac contractors say they were not resident in Ireland for tax purposes

Mr Justice Charles Meenan granted permission, on an ex parte basis (one side only represented), to bring their judicial review challenge.

Mr Justice Charles Meenan granted permission, on an ex parte basis (one side only represented), to bring their judicial review challenge.

 

Five men who say they are “nomadic businessmen” have brought High Court proceedings arising out of income tax assessments issued against them by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

John Sheridan Senior, John Sheridan, Thomas Sheridan, Daniel Sheridan and Patrick Sheridan, all related to each other, all say they carry out business in various EU countries outside Ireland.

They are members of the Irish Travelling community and say, when they are in Ireland, they reside in Rathkeale, Co Limerick.

CAB had in 2016 issued income tax assessments for the years 2004 to 2014 on John Sheridan Snr, John Sheridan and Thomas Sheridan. In the same year, it issued assessments for the years 2006 and 2014 for Daniel Sheridan.

Those four are tarmac contractors, the court heard.

An assessment for the years 2009 to 2014 was issued in 2016 for Patrick Sheridan, who says he is self-employed.

All five dispute the assessments on grounds including they were not resident in Ireland for tax purposes for each of the individual tax years.

They say, due to their nomadic lifestyles and because their tarmac business is conducted outside Ireland, they have spent minimal periods of time here.

Their High Court action arises out of a decision made last April by Tax Appeals Commissioner Mark O’Mahony to allow them bring appeals concerning most, but not all, of the assessments.

The Commissioner said some of the assessments issued by CAB could not be appealed on grounds including self-assessed tax liabilities had not been paid and that income tax returns had not been filed.

CAB had objected to the admission of the appeals.

The Sheridans opposed its objections and argued before the Commissioner they should be allowed appeal all of the assessments.

Represented by Tim Dixon BL, instructed by Patrick Cunningham solicitor, the five businessmen said the Commissioner’s refusal to allow appeals over some of the assessments should be set aside due to failure to give any adequate reasons for the refusal.

Lack of literacy

The Commissioner failed to determine if any of the Sheridans were tax resident in the state during any of the material periods and had failed to consider submissions made on their behalf, counsel also argued.

It was further submitted the Commissioner had failed to consider unique and exceptional facts relating to the Sheridans regarding their lack of literacy and their nomadic lifestyle.

In their judicial review proceedings against the Commissioner, the Sheridans want orders quashing his decision of April 30th last refusing to allow the businessmen bring appeals against the assessments for certain income tax years.

Mr Justice Charles Meenan granted permission, on an ex parte basis (one side only represented), to bring their judicial review challenge. CAB is a notice party to the action.

The judge granted the Sheridans a stay, pending the outcome of the case, on further pursuit of the sums allegedly due to the Revenue on foot of the assessments.

The matter was made returnable to November.