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Judge questions whether property developer who owes over €1m accepts responsibility for tax offences

The matter has been adjourned until 18 February.

Image: Laura Hutton via RollingNews.ie

A JUDGE HAS questioned whether a property developer who owes more than €1 million in unpaid taxes and penalties accepts responsibility for his offences, a court has heard.

James Jordan (51) of Laochfail, Outfarm Lane, Castleknock, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to knowingly and willfully submitting 16 incorrect VAT returns, six incorrect income tax returns, four incorrect invoices and three false claims of income tax relief.

Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin said she had concerns with a report regarding his fitness for community service in which Jordan presented his fraudulent claims as an “oversight” on his part and said that certain of his employees had been responsible.

Judge Ní Chúlacháin said this made her concerned that either she had attributed a moral complicity to Jordan that was undeserved or that there were issues with his acceptance of responsibility.

Séamus Clarke SC, defending, handed in a signed agreement between his client and Revenue that Jordan will pay around €5,000 a month. Jordan has already made payments totalling €57,500.

The court heard that Jordan came to the attention of a special Revenue unit looking for high wealth individuals due to his having a large property portfolio in the 2000s.

Former Revenue Officer Elizabeth Keane testified that Jordan was required to pay capital gains tax on the sale of five properties which he sold for a total value of €1,960,500 between 2004 and 2010 and that he failed to do so.

She said the tax returns he submitted during that period were incorrect due to the failure to pay capital gains tax. He also submitted four incorrect invoices which lowered his VAT liability.

Judge Ní Chúlacháin noted that Jordan had failed to pay tax on rental income and had waived a tax exemption on this income which he was entitled to in order to offset it elsewhere.

She said he made a number of false claims for Income Tax relief for properties he owned. This relief was ineligible because the properties were not registered to the PRTB.

The total figure owed by Jordan when interest and penalties were factored in was €1,236,881. This figure includes a VAT liability of €162,945 and a liability for €297,974 in capital gains gain.

The balance of €775,962 owed by Jordan was made up of interest and penalties.

Jordan has one previous conviction from 2017 for failure to file an income tax return.

Clarke said Jordan ran a carpet business and that people would lose their jobs if he was given a custodial sentence.

Judge Ní Chúlacháin ordered an updated probation report and adjourned the matter for sentencing on February 18, of this year.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

About the author:

Brion Hoban and Declan Brennan

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