“A person shall, without prejudice to any other penalty to which the person may be liable, be guilty of an offence under this section if the person—
(a) knowingly or wilfully delivers any incorrect return, statement or accounts or knowingly or wilfully furnishes any incorrect information in connection with any tax”
– s1078(2) Taxes Consolidation Act 1997
I must declare an interest insofar as I have little time for “Independent” politicians (with the exception, perhaps, of Margo MacDonald or Councillor Ron Shepard), who all-too-often run claiming to be more honest/decent/competent than party-politicians before it transpires that they can be every bit as corrupt or incompetent as any other politician.
Such hypocrisy is certainly true in the case of Mick Wallace, who in 2011 ran with slogans like “For a New Politics” and “They Don’t All Have to Be the Same“, who has now admitted that he knowingly under-stated his VAT liability to the Revenue. With a brass-neck that Bertie would be proud of he claims that he lied “in good faith.”
While the Dáil Éireann may be on maneuvers to have Wallace sanctioned or expelled, there appears to be a relatively straightforward way to root this hypocrite out: prosecute him! The above section from the Taxes Consolidation Act makes it an offence to knowingly mislead the Revenue. Furthermore, subsection 5 clearly extends liability to directors and shareholders of companies, like Wallace’s, that engage in such tax-evasion:
“Where an offence under this section is committed by a body corporate and the offence is shown to have been committed with the consent or connivance of any person who, when the offence was committed, was a director, manager, secretary or other officer of the body corporate, or a member of the committee of management or other controlling authority of the body corporate, that person shall also be deemed to be guilty of the offence and may be proceeded against and punished accordingly.”
– s1078(5) Taxes Consolidation Act 1997
An old friend of mine recently asked “does that man own a single suit?” We’ll hopefully find out soon enough!