Wednesday 18 October 2017

'I've been waiting for a Revenue audit letter for years' - Tax lecturer is 'mortified' to be named on list of defaulters

Kilkenny owes a total of €284,000 for the under declaration of income tax
Kilkenny owes a total of €284,000 for the under declaration of income tax

Sarah-Jane Murphy

A PROMINENT tax lecturer and text book author has said he is "mortified" after being named on Revenue's latest list of tax defaulters.

Mel Kilkenny of Ballina, Co Tipperary owes the state a total of €284,000 for the under declaration of income tax between 2009 and 2015.

"I want to apologise to my family and friends and to your listeners for the embarrassment caused.

"I am absolutely mortified.

"I have had about 20 jobs during my lifetime and my problem is that I can't finish jobs.

"I'm a workaholic who works 18 hours a day but I just don't get anything finished," he told RTE Radio One's liveline.

Mr Kilkenny is billed by City Colleges as "one of Ireland's most popular taxation lecturers" - said that he believes the mistake he made was to accept a self-employed job rather than one where taxes are deducted at source.

"I just couldn't get myself to do my returns, I knew this day was coming.

"I knew the cost of fixing this was impossible.

"People know I'm a genuine, decent person but they also know I'm a disaster for completing tasks," he said.

Mr Kilkenny recounted that he had done well in his Inter Cert at school but subsequently failed his Leaving Cert.

"My life has been a series of not finishing things.

"I'm not trying to make excuses, I'm just explaining how it happened.

"I hope there are people out there who can emphasise with the feeling of not being able to get things done," he said.

Read More: Tax lecturer on Revenue's latest tax defaulters list

Mr Kilkenny explained that Revenue were not aware that he was a self-employed person.

"I had other income that I was paying tax on.

"If I could give you a logical reason I would but there's no logic to this.

"I've been waiting for a Revenue audit letter for years.

"Perhaps a psychologist can give a reason for this but I can't," he said.

Mr Kilkenny revealed that rather than wait for Revenue to conduct an audit on his tax affairs he went to them and admitted to being in default for the past 4-5 years.

"The Revenue are taking my pension under the attachment rules and they have also registered a debt against me.

"They could try to take my family home," Mel said.

One caller to Liveline, Nick, said that Mr Kilkenny's behaviour was typical of someone who has done wrong and been subsequently found out.

"It's typical. This guy is supposed to be a tax expert," he said.

Other callers were more supportive of Kilkenny's position and said that they could identify with the fear associated with owing money to Revenue or a bank but being powerless to do anything about it.

This figure owed by Kilkenny includes €167,500 in tax, as well as interest and penalties.

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