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Monday 15 October 2018

I did not attempt to evade tax: McGurk

Journalist Tom McGurk. Photo: Fennell Photography
Journalist Tom McGurk. Photo: Fennell Photography
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

High-profile journalist Tom McGurk says he "never deliberately attempted to evade tax" after the latest Revenue Commissioners defaulters' list revealed he recently made an almost €77,000 settlement with the taxman.

The settlement was related to the under-declaration of income tax, according to the defaulters' list.

But the writer and broadcaster insisted that he has never sought to avoid his liabilities.

"I never deliberately attempted to evade tax and all of the outstanding tax amounts have now been repaid," he said in a statement.

"For legal reasons I am constrained in what I can say other than to point up what is already on the public record," he said.

An accountancy firm that was previously used by Mr McGurk, Houlihan Cushnahan & Co, is currently being sued by a large number of medical consultants who were also previously forced to make settlements with the Revenue Commissioners. They are suing the accountancy firm because of advice it gave them on their tax affairs.

"I initiated high court proceedings in 2016 against my former accountants Houlihan Cushnahan & Co for negligence and secondly, this firm currently has a large number of other actions pending against them also," said Mr McGurk.

The list also shows that a company of which the rugby pundit is a director, Rima Productions, has also made a settlement with the taxman.

The company coughed up a total of €160,452 for the under-declaration of corporation tax, VAT, PAYE, PRSI and USC.

The other director of Rima is Mr McGurk's wife, PR guru Caroline Kennedy.

Rima's settlement included almost €88,000 in tax due, €37,200 in interest, and €35,200 in penalties.

Mr McGurk's settlement with the Revenue included just under €43,000 in unpaid tax, €16,500 in interest, and €17,164 in penalties.

While the settlements made by Mr McGurk and Rima Productions are the most high-profile, they weren't the biggest hauls made by the Revenue in its latest swoop.

The single largest settlement by an individual was for €2.2m. That was made by horse trainer James Leavey, of Friarstown, Co Kildare.

The next largest individual settlement was made by John Sheridan, a painter and tiler from Courtown Park, Kilcock in Co Kildare. He made a €1.5m settlement.

The single largest settlement in the latest trawl by the taxman was for €3.2m by Westman Plant and Civils Ltd, a company formerly based in Ballinasloe, Co Galway. The company was established in 2014, and went into liquidation last May.

Irish Independent

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