Friday 18 August 2017

Gene Kerrigan: O'Brien's Ballsbridge house 'investment not residence'

Not 'making his mark or putting his stamp on' mansion saved Denis O'Brien €58m tax

LEGAL WRANGLE: The property on Raglan Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, which businessman Denis O'Brien purchased as an investment in 2000. The High Court has upheld a previous finding that the house was not Mr O'Brien's 'permanent home'
LEGAL WRANGLE: The property on Raglan Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, which businessman Denis O'Brien purchased as an investment in 2000. The High Court has upheld a previous finding that the house was not Mr O'Brien's 'permanent home'
Gene Kerrigan

Gene Kerrigan

In December 2000, businessman Denis O'Brien completed a share deal, which involved Esat Telecom and BT, that benefited him by €284,830,824. Revenue worked out that on this transaction, and some others, he was due to pay total tax of €57,848,753.

However, Mr O'Brien pointed out that he'd moved to Portugal and wasn't liable to Irish tax on this transaction. He'd bought a site there in 1996 and built a house on the site in 1998. In February 2000, 10 months before the conclusion of the share deal, he and his family moved to Quinta de Lago, Almanscil.

Revenue didn't dispute that Mr O'Brien was resident in Portugal for tax purposes. It argued, however, that Mr O'Brien was "a resident of both Ireland and Portugal for the purposes of" the relevant tax laws.

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