Business Irish

Monday 25 September 2017

Top Revenue tax-avoidance chief joins tax firm Deloitte

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Top Revenue Commissioners official Tadhg O'Connell join-ed one of the country's biggest tax advisers, Deloitte, after his departure from the State body, the Sunday Independent has learned.

Mr O'Connell served in the Revenue's crack anti-avoidance unit. In 2005, he testified to the Moriarty Tribunal about the supermarket-owning Dunne family's tax affairs.

Deloitte & Touche, which later became Deloitte, served as agents to the Dunnes' trustees at the time. Mr O'Connell told the tribunal of correspondence with Deloitte & Touche in which the firm appealed the Revenue Commissioners' assessment of tax due.

He also served as the Revenue Commissioners' representative on the board of the Irish Auditing and Accountancy Supervisory Authority (IAASA) from 2009 until stepping down in January 2012. IAASA serves as the regulatory body for the accountancy sector in Ireland.

Mr O'Connell's insights into the operations of the Revenue Commissioners will be invaluable to Deloitte – one of the Big Four accountancy practices in Ireland. Deloitte's clients include Microsoft, Vodafone, Covidien, Kerry Group and Shire.

Last week Deloitte was appointed as the new auditor of AIB replacing KPMG, which had served at the bank through the property boom years.

Mr O'Connell's departure continues the brain drain from the public sector to the private sector.

"Some 54 principal officers retired since June 1, 2009, one of which subsequently joined a large tax firm. That official sought permission under the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour and met the conditions outlined," said the Revenue Commissioners.

Moves from the public sector to the private sector have come under increased scrutiny recently.

Several key Nama executives have left the State body to take up jobs with private equity groups which may be interested in buying Nama assets or Irish bank loans. This has led to concerns that information gained while working for the State may be used for the advantage of private companies. Guidelines relating to movement between the public and private sector are to be tightened up.

Irish Independent

Also in Business