Monday 22 October 2018

No laughing matter for Rosenstock: six-figure tax bill for comedian's firm

Settlement: Mario Rosenstock’s firm Blue Elf paid up €118,000. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Settlement: Mario Rosenstock’s firm Blue Elf paid up €118,000. Photo: Gerry Mooney
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A company owned by comedian Mario Rosenstock has made a settlement of more than €118,000 with the Revenue Commissioners as part of the taxman's latest swoop on defaulters.

The company, called Blue Elf, and which is solely owned by Mr Rosenstock, made the settlement in relation to the under-declaration of PAYE, PRSI and USC taxes on foot of an audit by the Revenue Commissioners.

Mr Rosenstock is not a director of the company, but his wife, Bláthnaid, is.

The latest haul by the Revenue Commissioners also includes a €701,000 settlement made by a company called Gaiety Investments, which is controlled by music promoters Denis Desmond and Caroline Downey.

That was the single largest settlement made in the three months to the end of June this year.

His Gaiety Investments group has sold a 50pc stake in music promoter MCD to Live Nation, the global music company.

The total amount secured through settlements by the Revenue Commissioners came to almost €8.9m in the latest quarter.

Of the 66 cases in the period, 29 were for settlement amounts exceeding €100,000.

Those making settlements included medical consultants, company directors, fishermen, landlords, publicans and farmers.

Another company to fall foul of the taxman was Dublin-based Dawson Jewellers, which is based on Dawson Street. The company's directors are Kenneth and Fiona McDonagh, who are also its owners.

The company made a settlement of more than €113,000 with the Revenue Commissioners in relation to the under-declaration of VAT.

The jewellers was the scene of a dramatic attempted armed heist in 2009. Mr McDonagh tackled a raider who had grabbed his wife by the throat and threatened her at gunpoint. During the struggle, he disarmed the gunman and, while defending himself, struck the assailant with the weapon on the head.

The Revenue Commissioners also secured fines totalling almost €495,000 through the courts against people who had committed a tax or duty offence, such as failing to file a tax return or using marked fuel.

They include the €15,000 fine that was levied against independent TD Michael Lowry after he was found guilty during the summer of a tax offence and failing to keep proper books of an account between 2002 and 2007.

His refrigeration company, Garuda, was fined €10,000.

The charges related to a payment of commission of around €372,000 from Finnish company Norpe to Garuda.

Mr Lowry avoided a custodial sentence and was handed the fine at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin.

The Revenue Commissioners said 17 of the cases in which settlements were made in the quarter were not fully paid as of the end of June. The total outstanding amount totalled €2.6m.

The single largest unpaid amount, €440,000, is owed by a Co Galway company called Vehicle Wholesalers.

The firm is owned by Oliver Walsh and Thomas Walsh. The settlement emerged from a Revenue audit case and is related to the under-declaration of VAT.

"Revenue vigorously pursues collection/enforcement of unpaid settlements," the Revenue Commissioners said yesterday.

"In some cases, collection/recovery of the full unpaid amount will not be possible."

Such instances typically involve a situation where a company has gone into liquidation, for example.

Irish Independent

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