INDEPENDENT TD Michael Lowry has been charged with filing a false income tax return and could face up to five years in prison if convicted by a jury.
The Director of Public Prosecutions directed the case be taken against the North Tipperary TD relating to income tax for 2002.
Mr Lowry is charged with "knowingly or wilfully" delivering an incorrect return relating to income tax, to the inspector of taxes, collector general, at the Revenue Commissioners on October 21, 2003.
Mr Lowry (60) of Glenreigh, Holycross, Co Tipperary was charged in Thurles District Court on Tuesday this week.
He appeared before Judge Elizabeth MacGrath and was remanded to a future date in January.
Mr Lowry was charged under Section 1078 (2)(a) of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997 as amended by Section 211 of the Finance Act 1999.
A person convicted of an offence under this section is liable on conviction for a fine of up to €1,000 or 12 months imprisonment if dealt with in the district court.
If the matter is dealt with before a jury in the circuit court, however, a convicted person faces a fine of up to €10,000 or imprisonment for up to five years.
Mr Lowry is a former Chairman of the Fine Gael political party and was also Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications between the years 1994 and 1996.