Wednesday 13 November 2019

'£248,000 was salary to Lowry and subject to income tax,' court told

Michael Lowry outside court yesterday. Photo: Collins
Michael Lowry outside court yesterday. Photo: Collins

Sonya McLean

A tax inspector said he carried out three assessments on Independent TD Michael Lowry and his company after it was discovered a payment accounted for in 2006 had actually been received four years earlier.

It is the State's case that Mr Lowry's company received stg£248,624 in commission from Norpe OY, a refrigeration company based in Finland, in August 2002.

It is alleged that Mr Lowry arranged for this payment to be made to a third party, residing in the Isle of Man, and therefore it didn't appear in the company accounts for that year, nor did he declare it as income.

It is further alleged that the accounts were then falsified in 2007 to reflect that the payment was received in 2006.

Mr Lowry (64), of Glenreigh, Holycross, Co Tipperary, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four charges of filing incorrect tax returns on dates between August 2002 and August 2007 in relation to a sum of stg£248,624 received by his company, Garuda Ltd, and one charge in relation to failing to keep a proper set of accounts on dates between August 28, 2002, and August 3, 2007.

He further pleaded not guilty on behalf of Garuda Ltd to three similar charges in relation to the company's tax affairs and one charge of failing to keep a proper set of accounts on the same dates.

Henry Oliver, inspector of taxes in the investigation unit of Revenue, told Remy Farrell SC, prosecuting, that he carried out a corporation tax computation in August 2013 because he believed Garuda had a tax liability as a consequence of the 2002 Norpe payment being incorrectly accounted for in 2006.

Mr Oliver told the jury he had decided that the payment was an emolument, a wage or salary, received by Mr Lowry, which meant it was subject to income tax.

The witness refused to accept a suggestion from Michael O'Higgins SC, defending Mr Lowry, "that the question of whether it is an emolument or not is complicated".

"I disagree," Mr Oliver replied.

"Would there be room for two views?" Mr O'Higgins asked."No," Mr Oliver answered.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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