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Sunday 22 January 2017

Taxman dumps on Mr Binman over 'unacceptable' €1.8m bill

RESTRUCTURING

Published 19/10/2011 | 05:00

OFFICIALS from the Revenue Commissioners have launched a stinging criticism of Mr Binman's engagement with the taxman, claiming the waste management giant racked up an "unconscionable" €1.8m bill after using tax money to "shore up" its cash flow.

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The claims are made in affidavits lodged with the courts in light of Mr Binman's petition for examinership protection that would give the company 100 days to get new investment and restructure its debts.

The company's largest creditor, Bank of Scotland (Ireland) (BoSI), which is owed €50m, is opposing the examinership and instead wants to appoint a receiver to take control of the company.

Officials from the Revenue Commissioners told the court they had a "guardedly neutral" position on the examinership, but went on to launch stinging criticisms of the company's relationship with the taxman.

In affidavits, the officials detailed how Mr Binman built up a "simply unconscionable" €1.8m debt to the taxman after reducing monthly direct debit payments and failing to stick to agreed repayment schedules.

Cashflow

"As far as Revenue is concerned, [the company] used monies received and held for the benefit of Revenue to 'shore up' cashflow in the short term," Tim Ryan said in a sworn affidavit.

Mr Ryan pointed out that the Revenue Commissioners had "reminded" the company that it was "unsatisfactory" to use tax money to subsidise day-to-day expenses.

Mr Ryan went on to say that he was "not in a position to confirm" that he had "confidence in the ability of current management to address the company's tax affairs . . . going forward".

His comments were echoed by his colleague Noel Wall, who expressed "serious concerns" about the level of Revenue debt and the way that debt had been built up.

Mr Wall also said that the examinership proposals did "not provide sufficient comfort" that Mr Binman's management would be overhauled as part of any rescue.

The Revenue Commissioners also lodged February correspondence from the company's finance boss which claimed that the debt had built up because of delays in securing money from its lender and "a sustained attack" from a competitor.

Minutes from a meeting between the Revenue officials and the company in March said Mr Binman claimed to be in "advanced" talks with BoSI on a deal that would see the bank take a 50pc stake in the company and reduce its debt from €52m to €20m.

The case is due before the courts again tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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