Investors in troubled scheme warned to
By Declan Magee
A Donegal tax expert has appealed to investors involved in an alleged fraudulent tax scheme to come forward whether the money they invested has been declared or not.
The scheme is believed to have involved a total investment of between €10 and €20 million and has left investors across Donegal and the north west trying to get their money back.
People that invested undeclared money in the scheme are facing action from the Revenue Commissioners.
But Letterkenny tax consultant Niall Doherty of Niall Doherty Tax Consultants has said those who invested undeclared funds in the scheme would be crazy not to come forward now and those who do, may avoid being named on a tax defaulters list.
Mr Doherty, who has provided advice to people involved in the scheme said: "If someone is caught up in it, the first thing they need to do is come clean and make it clear that they have invested in it and how much they have invested in it. If they have any chance of getting anything back they have to do that to stake a claim. You may not get it all back, you may not get any of it back and you certainly will not get a profit back," he said.
Anyone who invested undeclared funds are facing tax exposure, interest which is running at a daily rate and penalties for non-compliance. "If anybody has put undeclared money into it they would be absolutely crazy not to come forward now and sort it out because Revenue have all the time in the world to look at this and in time they will be able to trace who put in what. Another advantage of coming forward is that they may be able to avoid being named on the tax defaulters list."
He said anyone involved in the scheme is facing financial implications but also the personal ramifications. "There is stress, anxiety, worry, not being able to sleep and it goes on and on and on and that is a very serious side to it as well."
Meanwhile a Letterkenny cafe owner who invested €50,000 in the scheme says she fears she will lose it all.
American Alison Carter, who runs Cafe Magnolia in the town, said she was promised a high return on her money. She said the foreign national who ran the scheme from Donegal, told her he was selling liquated stock at considerable profit and promised her a return of 20 per cent.
"I had no reason to disbelieve him because he had several successful businesses in Letterkenny at the time. But then I kept trying to ring him and he didn't ring me back.
"I'm now in the process of getting my paperwork together and giving it to a solicitor who will then contact the Garda and the Revenue."