Michael Lowry did not declare tax appeal in Dáil debate

Independent TD tried to change law on tax appeals regime by moving amendment

Independent TD Michael Lowry. File photograph: Eric Luke

Independent TD Michael Lowry. File photograph: Eric Luke

 

Independent TD Michael Lowry did not declare that he had an unfinished appeal against a Revenue Commissioners tax bill when he unsuccessfully tried to change legislation on a new tax appeals regime.

In moving his amendment on the Finance (Tax Appeals) Bill at report and final stage on December 11th, Mr Lowry said taking cases to the Appeal Commissioners, who hear appeals against tax assessments, is “hugely expensive” and that once an appeal has been determined, “it should be sacrosanct”.

Any appeal determination already made by the Appeal Commissioners “should stand and not be capable of being reversed, whether it was won or lost”, he said.

Full rehearing

Simon Harris

In the High Court last month, Mr Lowry argued that a trial where he is facing alleged tax offences should not go ahead or should be delayed.

Among the points argued was that the trial should not go ahead until a final determination had been arrived at by the Appeal Commissioners in a case involving an income tax assessment against Mr Lowry.

The court heard that the Appeal Commissioners had reduced to nil an income tax assessment against Mr Lowry for €516,000, but that a new assessment could be raised.

It also heard that an assessment against Mr Lowry’s refrigeration company, Garuda Ltd, had been substantially reduced on appeal.

Mr Lowry said Revenue had requested that a “case stated” be made to the High Court.

A request for a comment from Mr Lowry yesterday met with no response.

Under Oireachtas rules, TDs who have a material interest in a matter under discussion must make a declaration “before or during the course of your speech”.

Mr Lowry did question Mr Harris about how unfinished cases before the Appeal Commissioners would fare under the new law. Several cases had, he said, been determined but had not yet gone to the High Court.