Tax settlements to be examined

 

The Revenue Commissioners seemingly made no effort to find out where Mr Charles Haughey got £102,330 he used to settle a tax bill in the 1980s.

At the time, the Revenue was being told by Mr Haughey his only income was from his Dail activities.

Mr Jerry Healy SC, for the tribunal, said in an opening statement the tribunal was going to examine the relationship between Mr Haughey and the Revenue in the course of this series of public sittings.

Initially the focus was to be on Capital Gains Tax. Mr Haughey paid two Capital Gains Tax bills in a number of payments in the period July 1986 to January 1988.

The first two payments, for £50,000 and £25,000, came from the Haughey Boland number 3 account used for Mr Haughey's bill-paying service. The funds for this account came in turn from accounts controlled by the late Mr Des Traynor. The third payment came from a different source.

One of the bills arose from a purported land deal between the Mr Haughey and his wife Maureen, on one side, and the Gallagher Group on the other, and involving a £300,000 deposit.

It appeared this matter would not have been brought to the attention of the Revenue if the Gallagher Group had not collapsed and the matter brought to its attention by the group's receiver, Mr Laurence Crowley.

Should the Revenue have investigated further, Mr Healy asked. Should it have looked behind the Gallagher deal at the circumstances of how it arose "in order to form a picture of the activities of the taxpayer".

Another question the tribunal would look at was why the former chairman, Mr Seamus Pairceir, was "intimately involved" in the raising of the assessments against Mr Haughey, especially in circumstances where the Revenue did not believe the taxpayer's circumstances warranted his being charged interest and penalties.

The tribunal will be examining whether the Revenue had the powers which, if used, would have led to the discovery of payments to Mr Haughey.

It will be looking at income tax, farm tax, Capital Gains Tax, Capital Acquisitions (gift) Tax, and residential property tax.