A LIMERICK Renua Ireland general election candidate who was named on Revenue’s latest tax defaulters list has said his party’s ethics office is investigating the matter.
Desmond Hayes, who lives on the North Circular Road said he cannot comment on whether he will remain a Renua Ireland representative after Revenue disclosed he was fined a total of €1,250 for failing to lodge his income tax returns.
The fine was imposed between July 1 and September 30 last.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Mr Hayes said he voluntarily referred himself to Renua Ireland’s ethics office “because we are very strong on ethics in the party, and it is under investigation”.
Mr Hayes appeared as a Renua Ireland candidate on Vincent Browne’s The People’s Debate, which aired on TV3 this Wednesday night (see opposite page). But asked if he will continue to represent the party into the future, he said: “I cannot comment on that. I wouldn’t ask.
“An investigation is an investigation. All I can do is provide the information. I have to be accountable for my own actions.”
Mr Hayes, 45, who is an accountant and bookkeeper by trade, said the late filing of tax related to a family law case.
“As a result of the case dragging on, the deadline passed, and the return was subsequently filed late,” he explained. “An assessment was created by Revenue, and the matter was settled. I was in a repayable situation all along. There was no income tax liability. This was an administrative element, but obviously it does have repercussions.”
On a personal basis, he says he does not believe a mistake was made.
“This is why I made a full disclosure to the ethics officer for Renua Ireland, and this is why it is under investigation. This is where it stands from my point of view,” he said.
Mr Hayes, a former Independent local election hopeful, joined Lucinda Creighton’s Renua party earlier this year.