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Saturday 21 October 2017

Fine Gael senator denies he is not tax compliant

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

A Fine Gael senator last night insisted his tax affairs were in order, after the state ethics watchdog published an investigation for not providing evidence he is tax compliant.

Senator Pat O'Neill has failed to provide a tax clearance certificate or an application statement from the Revenue Commissioners.

Fine Gael said it would investigate the matter fully and deal with it "expeditiously".

The Standards in Public Office Commission has sent its report to the Seanad's committee of members' interests.

The watchdog said it was up to the committee to table a motion in the Seanad for action to be taken against him.

The disciplinary action the motion can propose includes:

• Noting the contents of the report.

• Censuring the senator.

• Suspending the senator for up to 30 days or, if the contravention is continuing, for a longer period to force compliance with the legislation.

Resolved

But Mr O'Neill told the Irish Independent his tax affairs were now in order. "I have paid the Revenue and am seeking a tax clearance certificate," he said.

It is understood he owed the Revenue for capital gains tax arising from investments and it was not an income tax issue.

Under the law, he was obliged to furnish evidence of compliance with taxation legislation to the commission within nine months of the date of his election -- by January 26.

He was obliged to provide a Statutory Declaration made by him between March 2011 and May 2011 and either a Tax Clearance Certificate or an Application Statement issued to him by Revenue between July 2010 and January 2012.

But the senator didn't provide any of the relevant documents by January 26.

Three weeks later, he did provide a Statutory Declaration made by him on May 24, 2011

"To date, he has not furnished either a Tax Clearance Certificate or an Application Statement," the commission said.

Irish Independent

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