Belfast Telegraph

Wallace snubs watchdog's questions

Tax-dodging TD Mick Wallace is facing political exile after refusing to deal with an ethics watchdog over his 2.1 million euro VAT bill.

The Independent TD refused to answer questions from the Members' Interests Committee on a timeline of the scandal - from when he under-declared tax for his construction business until he reached a settlement.

Mr Wallace answered only two of seven questions put to him, claiming the committee was acting outside its remit.

Committee chairman Thomas Pringle said he would refer the matter back to the Dail because he is unable to confirm if the TD came clean about the tax dodge before being elected.

"Despite several contacts ... the committee has been unable to establish whether certain aspects of the matters at issue were done by Deputy Wallace or a connected person during his tenure in office," he said.

The tax cheat has now been referred back to the Dail which could see party whips pass a motion of censure - a rap on the knuckles.

Mr Wallace cannot be forced to resign.

The builder-turned-politician revealed last month that he knowingly lied to tax bosses, under-declaring how much VAT his business owed in 2008 and 2009.

Following the revelations, which included an emotional apology from the unconventional TD, he was warned he faced investigation if the committee established a timeline of his financial affairs.

It is understood Mr Wallace informed Revenue that he had knowingly under-declared how much VAT he owed as tax chiefs were carrying out an audit investigation into his business MJ Wallace Ltd. But it is unknown when this happened, or when he agreed a settlement with Revenue.

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