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Monday 21 January 2019

Gift tax was 'properly dealt with' but no figure on cash

Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern would have had to inform the taxman about the gifts businessmen gave him and pay tax on them if the sums were above the limit allowable.

Mr Ahern insisted yesterday that he had "dealt properly" with any cash he received.

However, he would not say how much he got in the early 1990s or if he paid tax on the payments.

Mr Ahern was finance minister in 1993 - when the payments were made - and would have been responsible for the tax law and the Revenue Commissioners.

He would have had to declare the gifts to Revenue if their combined value was over IR£9,160 (?11,600), and would have had to pay gift tax if they exceeded IR£11,450 (?14,540). Nowadays, the threshold is ?23,908. On sums above this figure, Capital Acquisitions Tax is payable.

Mr Ahern would have had to make a gift-tax return and pay tax within four months of the date of receiving the gift if it was over the limit.

He was asked a number of times yesterday if he had paid tax, but he did not fully clarify the issue.

"I have dealt properly with anything that I have done personally, but you're not going to turn me into an investigation, if you don't mind, about something that the inquiry investigation are not doing," he said.

"What I got personally in my life, to be frank with you, is none of your business. I mean, if I got something from somebody as a present or something like that, I can use it; but I've given that detail to show I got nothing wrongly and I dealt with it properly in my books and I did absolutely fairly." Mr Ahern's spokesman said there was no further clarification on his comments and stressed that he said he "dealt properly" with the payments.

The Revenue Commissioners are not allowed to say whether or not Mr Ahern paid tax on the sums back in 1993.

"We would never comment on anybody," a spokesman said.

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