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News : Irish Last Updated: Apr 24, 2009 - 5:31:05 PM

Brother of the Minister for Finance Brian Cowen is on Tax Defaulters' List of 120
By Finfacts Team
Mar 28, 2008 - 3:30:11 PM

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The Tánaiste and Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen T.D.

A brother of the Minister for Finance Brian Cowen has been named in the latest list of 120 tax defaulters published by the Revenue.

Christopher Cowen of River St Clara, Co Offaly - a publican - is listed as having settled a tax bill for €96,351 during the final three months of last year.

Statement by the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, TD

As Minister for Finance I acknowledge the importance of pursuing those who default on their tax obligations. Without a rigorous system, including appropriate sanctions, those of us who meet our obligations would be let down by the State. The independence of the Revenue Commissioners guarantees that the system is applied in a fair and transparent manner. That is how it should be.

My other reaction is on a personal level. I accept that my position as a public representative means close attention will be paid to my financial affairs. I had and have no involvement whatsoever in my brother’s business so it would not be fair to him were any greater media attentions paid to his revenue difficulties on account of my position in Government. I know from him that he gave full co-operation during the Revenue audit and I understand that these matters have now been resolved.

It should also be pointed out that it is the long established practice of the Minister for Finance not to comment on the tax affairs of private individuals. I do not intend to make any further comment on this matter.

Today's edition of Iris Oifigiúil contains details of published audit /investigation settlements completed by Revenue in the period 1 October 2007 to 31 December 2007.

The list is published in two parts:

Part 1 lists every person upon whom a fine or other penalty was imposed by a court. This includes the following categories:

* Failure to file a return
* Filing an incorrect return
* Illegal selling of tobacco
* Cigarette smuggling
* Various excise and licensing offences

Part 2 lists audit settlements where the Revenue Commissioners accepted a specified sum in excess of €12,700/€30,000 in settlement of any additional liability for tax, interest and penalties instead of instituting proceedings for the recovery of the penalties and where:

* a qualifying disclosure was not made by the taxpayer prior to the commencement of an audit and
* the amount of fine or penalty included in the settlement exceeded 15% of the tax.

In the 3-month period to 31 December 2007, there were 120 settlements accepted, which fall to be published. The settlements in these cases have been agreed and paid by the respective taxpayers and total €22.85 million.

Of the 120 published settlements 57 were for amounts exceeding €100,000; of which 10 exceeded €500,000 and 3 of that 10 exceeded €1,000,000.

Of the 120 settlements:

* 1 settlement totalling €1.15 million relates to Ansbacher account holders
* 14 settlements totalling €3.34 million relate to Bogus Non-Resident holders,
* 36 settlements totalling €6.62 million relate to Revenue investigations into Offshore Funds
* 23 settlements totalling €3.58 million relate to Revenue's Single Premium Insurance Products Cases, and
* 1 settlement totalling €0.61 million relates to Revenue's NIB/CMI investigation

The published settlements reflect a portion only of all Revenue audits and investigations concluded in the 3-month period to 31 December 2007. The total yield from Revenue audit and investigation programmes settled in the period 1 October 2007 to 31 December 2007 was *€250.13 million.

* The total figure includes tax, interest and penalties

To go directly to the lists click here.

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© Copyright 2007 by Finfacts.com

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