Foreign accounts not mentioned in tax returns


Tax returns filed by Mr Haughey between 1985 and 1996 made no reference to foreign bank accounts or any other such income, the tribunal heard.

Mr Robert Harrington, now assistant secretary with the Revenue Commissioners, said the returns covered Mr Haughey's State income, rental income - presumably from farmland - and deer farming profits.

In 1991, Mr Harrington was informed by chief inspector Mr Christopher Clayton that Mr Haughey's tax returns were "unsatisfactory". He said it was unusual that the chief inspector would request him to check the tax returns of a PAYE worker.

Asked how many people he would have targeted in a similar way to Mr Haughey, Mr Harrington said "it would have been no one else on the simple issue of sending in returns".

Tribunal chairman Mr Justice Moriarty asked if it was true that 80 per cent of PAYE workers would not have filed returns at that time. Mr Harrington said he did not know but had no reason to doubt it.

He said he may have been asked to seek the returns because of Mr Haughey's position. "Here was somebody very important in society, an apparently wealthy man and that it would not be appropriate that such a person should not be reasonably up to date with their returns."

The Revenue Commissioners met with Mr Patrick Kenny, of accountancy firm Haughey Boland and Co in 1992, to seek an improvement in its client's situation. Mr Kenny said the situation would improve.

Returns were then made but with considerable delays. The returns for 1985/86 were issued in 1990/91. Returns for 1991 to 1993 were made in 1995. In January 1996, returns were made for 1994/95, while returns for 1995/96 were made in January, 1997.