Tuesday, 21 May 1996
Dáil Éireann Debate
91. Mr. S. Brennan asked the Minister for Finance whether the Revenue Commissioners provide funds to liquidators in order to fund joint court actions; if so, whether a sum in excess of £25,000 was paid to a liquidator in or around July 1994 as was mentioned in a sworn statement in a court on 27 June 1994; whether the liquidated company (details supplied) had a taxation liability at the time; whether the company has a current tax liability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10059/96]
Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn): It is established practice that a Minister for Finance does not answer a parliamentary question about an individual taxpayer's tax affairs, other than when the Deputy asking the question was acting on behalf of the taxpayer. In this instance it is not clear that the Deputy is asking the question with the consent of the company concerned. In the circumstances, therefore, I regret that I must accept the advice of the Revenue Commissioners that the information sought should not be divulged on grounds of confidentiality. I should add that the case in question is still sub judice in the courts.
However, on the general issue, the Commissioners have confirmed to me that they do on occasions advance funds to liquidators in the winding up of companies. This is generally done in cases where preliminary inquiries by the liquidator suggest with some certainty that evasion of taxes may have occurred, e.g. through fraudulent trading or some other wrongful acts by the directors of the company, but where the funds remaining in the company are not sufficient to fund the cost of further inquiries by the liquidator. Such funding is provided by Revenue in the expectation  that proceedings by the liquidator against the directors or other agents of the company will realise a sum sufficient to meet any taxes evaded together with the liquidator's costs. In these cases the amount of tax evaded will normally only be quantifiable when the liquidator has completed his investigation.
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