Thursday 22 February 2018

James Fitzsimons: Wallace acted to survive but we can all learn from his mistakes

Tax cheat's plan might have worked had downturn not hit -- but how will Revenue deal with others? asks James Fitzsimons

If YOU must learn from mistakes, make sure they are someone else's and not your own.

Mick Wallace learned the hard way when he falsified his company's tax returns. Subsequently he showed a careless disregard for the consequences of his actions. He openly admitted to falsifying Vat returns and justified it on the basis that he had no other option to save his company.

While he claimed that the Revenue treated his actions as careless, he said what he did was deliberate. Mr Wallace has opened a can of worms because he is using terms that give rise to clear legal consequences. At the end of the day, the Revenue Commissioners made their determination based on the facts. If it turns out that they were deceived, they can reopen the case. But it is likely that they knew what they were doing and the settlement will stand.

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