THE High Court has ordered that a Dublin businessman must pay a penalty of €230,000 to the Revenue Commissioners for deliberately filing incorrect income tax returns.
Mr Justice Peter Charleton yesterday ruled, following an application by the Revenue, that Simion Cosma, Manorfield Walk, Dublin 15, is liable to the pay a penalty in respect of tax returns he filed for the years 2008 and 2009.
Revenue brought proceedings against Mr Cosma, an interior fit-out specialist who worked in the construction industry, after discovering discrepancies in returns made on his behalf relating to the amount he paid out in salaries and wages to employees during the relevant period.
In his income tax returns for the years 2008 and 2009, he had said he paid wages and salaries to workers of more than €1.4m.
However, corresponding figures on P35 returns, a PAYE/PRSI record submitted for every employee at any time during the tax year, filed on Mr Cosma's behalf for the same period recorded a figure of €920,000 in wages paid.
Revenue then decided to conduct an audit and, in a bid to identify the basis of the discrepancy, engaged with Mr Cosma and his advisers.
It was put to Revenue on Mr Cosma's behalf the discrepancy may have been related to six workers who had allegedly not been accounted for on the payroll records.
However, Revenue said that despite making several attempts, they have not been able to find any relevant records or details about the six workers.
As a result it was not able to allow Mr Cosma any credits for the six employees he alleges he omitted from his payroll records.
Revenue said that as a result of further meetings with Mr Cosma during 2011 and 2012 it was not able to agree figures to to conclude its audit and matters stalled.
Revenue assessed Mr Cosma's liability to it at €230,000, which is 100 per cent of his liability. No appeal was brought against this assessment.
New accountants were brought in by Mr Cosma, who sought to put in revised figures. However Revenue said no new adequate documentation or explanation was provided to it to substantiate those figures.
Today's application by Revenue was not opposed.
In his ruling, Mr Justice Charleton said he was satisfied to make a determination that Mr Cosma is liable for the penalty of €230,000.
Revenue was also entitled to an order that it can recover the penalty from Mr Cosma.