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Lowry – A Conscientious Tax Payer Who Never Intended To Evade Tax

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

“A conscientious tax payer who had put his hand in his own pocket in order to save his company in difficult times” a quote by Mr Justice Martin Nolan, in Court No 9. Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today.

The conviction against Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today, related purely to a submission of incorrect accounts filed on behalf of Garuda Ltd, for the year 2006. The accounts were incorrect. They overstated the position in respect of corporation tax owed, by some €45,000 approximately.

This overpayment arose as a result of an earlier error in the 2002 accounts, latter which had resulted in an underpayment of Corporation Tax in a similar amount. The adjustment in the 2006 accounts was solely for the purpose of rectifying this error.  The net effect of the adjustment was that there was an underpayment of Corporation Tax to the sum of €5,541.00.

The Revenue Commissioners commenced an investigation into the Mr Lowry’s affairs and that of his company Garuda Limited in 2013. The Revenue Commissioners fully acknowledge that both Lowry and Garuda Ltd co-operated in their investigation.

Revenue also raised an assessment against Lowry in respect of alleged Income Tax due, arising from this underpayment. The assessment sought a sum of €1.1 million from Mr Lowry and his company in respect of the unpaid tax. He appealed this assessment and was successful, with the Income Tax demanded by Revenue being assessed or reduced to NIL / NOTHING TO PAY.

Notwithstanding this finding, the Revenue Commissioners continued to persist in the prosecution of Mr Lowry for submitting an incorrect ncome Tax return. The Judge would later direct the Jury to enter a finding of ‘NOT GUILTY’, to this same charge, halfway through the prosecutions case. In addition to his acquittal on a charge of filing an Incorrect Tax Return in 2002, the DPP also entered a Nolle Prosequi  or “Unwillingness to pursue” in a criminal prosecution, in relation to charges of filing incorrect accounts and incorrect information for 2002. The trial Judge went on to observe that the nature of the case against Lowry had changed, following this ruling and that the outstanding charges were far less serious than originally stated.

In imposing a fine only, on Mr Lowry personally and his Limited Company Garuda, Mr Justice Martin Nolan observed that the Revenue Commissioners were not at any financial loss as a result of these matters. He stated that Mr Lowry had no previous convictions, that he was a good employer and clearly a very good Public Representative.

Judge Nolan remarked that Michael Lowry never had the intention to evade tax and that he is a conscientious tax payer who had put his hand in his own pocket in order to save his company in difficult times”.  Judge Nolan made abundantly clear that he did not believe that either a custodial sentence or community service would be appropriate.  He fined Mr Lowry €15,000 on an incorrect Corporation Tax Return in 2006,  while his company Garuda Ltd was fined €10,000, for not keeping proper books of account.

Following the termination of this case, Mr Michael Lowry stated that he wished to express his thanks to his family, relatives, friends and staff for their continued support. He also said that he wanted to thank in particular, the people of Co. Tipperary for their steadfast loyalty and support over 22 years of turmoil.

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4 comments to Lowry – A Conscientious Tax Payer Who Never Intended To Evade Tax

  • Martin

    Delighted for you Michael. The people of Tipperary will always suppprt you.

  • David Commins

    Credit due to all involved, no convictions would have been a truly amazing result and appropriate considering they dragged him up to Dublin. The District Court here in Tipp would have been the correct location for the case if a case had to be answered!
    In fairness to the Judge he saw Mr. Lowry for the man whom we have seen him as, for decades now. A truly decent, honest, caring, honourable, loyal and the most hard working man your ever likely to meet.
    It’s not only a vindication for the man himself but also for the people of Tipperary whom never had any doubt of Michael’s character or commitment to the people of Tipperary.
    We may not have an All Ireland to look forward to in September but one can’t help but feel we won our All Ireland today in a court in Dublin and our Captain was Michael Lowry.
    Fair play and Thank You Michael.

  • Michael

    Well done Michael.

  • Pat

    My concern is the headline on the Tipperary Star this week…..’LOWRY GUILTY’….No dispute with the decision of the Jury or the penalties of Judge Nolan. I believe the Tipp. Star and the author of the article could have been a little bit kinder to Michael Lowry in the headline. At least the Nationalist was more fair in their headline. Michael Lowry has gone through the Courts for over 22 years…let us now leave him and his family alone.

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