‘£248,000 w as salary to Low ry and sub­ject to in­come tax,’ court told

Irish Independent - - News - Sonya McLean

A TAX in­spec­tor said he car­ried out three as­sess­ments on In­de­pen­dent TD Michael Lowry and his com­pany af­ter it was dis­cov­ered a pay­ment ac­counted for in

2006 had ac­tu­ally been re­ceived four years ear­lier.

It is the State’s case that Mr Lowry’s com­pany re­ceived

stg£248,624 in com­mis­sion from Norpe OY, a re­frig­er­a­tion com­pany based in Fin­land, in Au­gust 2002.

It is al­leged that Mr Lowry ar­ranged for this pay­ment to be made to a third party, re­sid­ing in the Isle of Man, and there­fore it didn’t ap­pear in the com­pany ac­counts for that year, nor did he de­clare it as in­come.

It is fur­ther al­leged that the ac­counts were then fal­si­fied in 2007 to re­flect that the pay­ment was re­ceived in 2006.

Mr Lowry (64), of Glen­reigh, Holy­cross, Co Tip­per­ary, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Cir­cuit Crim­i­nal Court to four charges of fil­ing in­cor­rect tax re­turns on dates be­tween Au­gust 2002 and Au­gust 2007 in re­la­tion to a sum of stg£248,624 re­ceived by his com­pany, Garuda Ltd, and one charge in re­la­tion to fail­ing to keep a proper set of ac­counts on dates be­tween Au­gust 28, 2002, and Au­gust 3, 2007.

He fur­ther pleaded not guilty on be­half of Garuda Ltd to three sim­i­lar charges in re­la­tion to the com­pany’s tax af­fairs and one charge of fail­ing to keep a proper set of ac­counts on the same dates.

Henry Oliver, in­spec­tor of taxes in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion unit of Rev­enue, told Remy Far­rell SC, pros­e­cut­ing, that he car­ried out a cor­po­ra­tion tax com­pu­ta­tion in Au­gust 2013 be­cause he be­lieved Garuda had a tax li­a­bil­ity as a con­se­quence of the 2002 Norpe pay­ment be­ing in­cor­rectly ac­counted for in 2006.

Mr Oliver told the jury he had de­cided that the pay­ment was an emol­u­ment, a wage or salary, re­ceived by Mr Lowry, which meant it was sub­ject to in­come tax.

The wit­ness re­fused to ac­cept a sug­ges­tion from Michael O’Hig­gins SC, de­fend­ing Mr Lowry, “that the ques­tion of whether it is an emol­u­ment or not is com­pli­cated”.

“I dis­agree,” Mr Oliver replied.

“Would there be room for two views?” Mr O’Hig­gins asked.“No,” Mr Oliver an­swered.

The trial con­tin­ues.

Photo: Collins

Michael Lowry out­side court yes­ter­day.

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