Inspector can seek O'Brien tax return information

Wednesday 13 January 2016 23.09
Mr O'Brien contested tax inspector's right to make such an inquiry
Mr O'Brien contested tax inspector's right to make such an inquiry

An inspector of taxes can seek information from Denis O'Brien about his tax return for the year 1999/2000 as a result of a High Court decision.

The case concerns a finding by the Revenue Commissioners that a tax return Mr O'Brien made 15 years ago was insufficient.

In 2010, an inspector of taxes sought information in relation to Mr O'Brien's tax return for tax year 1999/2000.

Mr O'Brien contested the inspector's right to make such an inquiry.

A Revenue Appeal Commissioner determined in 2011 that Revenue had a lawful right to do so.

Mr O'Brien wanted to appeal and so he appealed the decision to the Circuit Court.  But he also exercised his right to ask the Appeal Commissioner to state a case to the High Court on the matter.

The Circuit Court found that Mr O'Brien could not pursue the case in both courts.  

Mr O'Brien's case to the High Court was lodged too late and he wanted to continue with the Circuit Court appeal. 

But Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley ruled yesterday that he could not do so.

The tax inspector can now pursue inquiries about the tax year and may or may not raise an assessment.

There was an issue about Mr O'Brien being named yesterday as all taxpayers are entitled to anonymity in such cases at Circuit Court level. 

But this morning Mr O'Brien said he had no issue with being named.

He had previously been named in relation to the same case in a High Court judgment in June 2014.