Tuesday 28 February 2017

Musicians say €6m tax bill has put group 'in limbo'

Eoghan MacConnell

Tony Allen: wants to keep
making records
Tony Allen: wants to keep making records

COUNTRY singers Foster & Allen have admitted the group is "in limbo" after being hit with a €6m bill from the taxman.

However, Tony Allen, who took to the stage in Athlone, Co Westmeath, last night for a charity gig, said he hoped the group would be able to continue playing and recording music.

Last week they lost a High Court challenge to demands made by the Revenue Commissioners for around €3m each. The bulk of this is made up of penalties and interest, with the unpaid tax portion estimated at approximately €1m each.

The musicians are now appealing that decision.

Speaking about the duo's financial situation last night, Mr Allen said: "There is nothing in the world we can do. We will have to hope at least that they will let us work.

"Our main issue is to be left working, making our records and to keep Foster & Allen alive," he added.

While he is concerned about the legal wrangles, Mr Allen said: "We are just sitting here in limbo but we have to appeal it."

He said around 90pc of the band's income came from overseas sales and concerts. Foster & Allen will tour Northern Ireland and Britain in March next year, before travelling to New Zealand and Australia in September.

Despite their tax problems, the duo are determined to continue performing at charity events both as a band and individually.

Last night, Mr Allen took part in the 'Keep it Country' concert at the Count John McCormack Hall in Athlone IT, which was held to raise funds for a planned amenity park in Moate, Co Westmeath.

"Every little helps. It is in a lovely place and it is going to be a lovely park when it is finished," he said.

Located on land donated by the council, the planned park near the Dun na Si heritage centre in Moate was badly needed, he said. "Every town is struggling at the moment."

He will reunite with Mick Foster to raise funds for Caulry GAA Club in Mount Temple, Co Westmeath, at a charity concert at the Radisson Blu Hotel on December 28.

Irish Independent

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