Businessman who failed to pay tax bill avoids jail
A BUSINESSMAN avoided jail after a judge agreed to allow him more time to sell his property portfolio to pay his massive tax bill.
Tadhg Feeney, who previously spent time in prison for not cooperating with Revenue, yesterday agreed to hand over the proceeds of the sale of his properties to the taxman.
When he was prosecuted in 2009, he owed €1.1m but later that year he paid €272,000 off this bill.
Since last April a further €12,900 has been paid off after he repatriated money from a Spanish bond.
Feeney, of Jerpoint West, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, pleaded guilty in 2009 to a number of tax-related offences and agreed to make staged payments to meet his bill. However, he failed to raise the cash as he was unable to sell any of the properties he owned. Waterford Circuit Court heard yesterday that Feeney had answered a "substantial number of queries" from Revenue officials about his finances including bank accounts he held abroad.
Defence counsel for Feeney stated he had switched auctioneers recently in the hope of selling off his properties.
The court heard he has seven properties for sale in Ireland and two commercial properties on the market in Spain. He also previously told the court he was willing to sell his own family home, which has no mortgage.
Yesterday, Feeney gave an undertaking to the court that the proceeds from the sale of his properties would be handed over to Revenue to pay his debt.
The judge extended a two-year suspended sentence hanging over Feeney for a further year from January 2012.