Saturday 3 December 2016

Lowry going to High Court over his tax returns

Published 17/06/2015 | 02:30

Michael Lowry
Michael Lowry

Independent TD Michael Lowry will next month ask the High Court to strike out criminal proceedings taken against him by the Revenue Commissioners.

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The former Energy and Communications Minister is also taking legal advice on the cost of a successful appeal against the Revenue Commissioners who had said he filed wrong tax returns going back to 2003 and 2007.

The statement by Mr Lowry follows a decision by the Tax Appeals Commissioners who ruled that Mr Lowry had no tax liability as asserted by Revenue. Mr Lowry, a TD for Tipperary North, said the Tax Appeal Commissioners unanimously ruled that he had no liability and his tax returns were correct.

In a statement he added that his company Garuda, trading as Streamline Enterprises, was also successful in its appeal against a Revenue assessment for PAYE and PRSI. Mr Lowry described the outcome as a "decisive, clear-cut rejection of Revenue's position".

He said his legal team would proceed in the High Court next month with a case already filed. This is to seek the striking out of a case brought by Revenue and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

"I am also taking legal advice on the issue of the cost of the tax appeal which was successful. As things stand, despite being successful, I must bear my own costs, which were considerable, and that seems unjust," Mr Lowry told the Irish Independent.

The move is the latest in a series of tilts between the maverick former Fine Gael star, once tipped as a potential Taoiseach, and various official inquiries and the Revenue Commissioners. Mr Lowry headed the poll with over 14,000 votes in the February 2011 election as he has done at every single election since being forced out of Fine Gael in 1996.

In March 2011 the Moriarty Tribunal, after 14 years of investigation, produced its final report including the investigation into links between Mr Lowry, as Communications Minister in 1995, and businessman, Denis O'Brien. The Moriarty report stated that Michael Lowry helped Mr O'Brien to secure Ireland's second mobile phone licence.

Both men have strongly rejected these findings.

Irish Independent

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