Revenue to resume efforts to collect €334m in tax debt after pandemic pause

Seen & Heard: Prem Group sells Tulfarris; State land agency’s delivery questioned; Millennium’s latest Smurfit short bet; watchdog’s crypto warning

The Revenue Commissioners are resuming their efforts to collect more than €334 million in unpaid tax debts, the Sunday Independent reports, after a suspension of activities during the emergency phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The total figure relates to uncollected corporation, VAT, capital gains, income and employer PAYE taxes as well as the wage subsidy schemes rolled out during the crisis.

However, the Revenue has also reminded business owners that the deadline for the Government’s tax debt warehousing scheme has been extended from the start of the year to May 1st, 2023, to give them more time to discharge their liabilities.

It means that businesses will not be faced with the challenge of clearing their debt or entering into a phased pay arrangement until the middle of the second quarter.


Singaporean owners snap up Tulfarris Hotel from Prem Group

The Singaporean owners of the luxury Sheen Falls resort in Kenmare, Co Kerry, and Castlemartyr in Co Cork have paid Prem Group between €15 million and €20 million for the Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort in Co Wicklow, the Sunday Times reports.

The deal, completed before Christmas, is part of Stanley Quek and Irish-born hotelier Peng Loh’s strategy to build up a portfolio of high-end Irish hotels.

Prem Group, the Dublin-based hospitality outfit behind the Premier Suites brand of serviced apartments, paid €8 million for the 89-hectare (220-acre) Tulfarris resort in 2016.

Land Development Agency has not built one home on State lands

The Government agency tasked with turbocharging the completion of dormant private housing projects to deliver new homes has built no homes on State-owned lands, the Business Post reports.

All of the 270 homes that the Land Development Agency (LDA) has developed in the four years since its inception have been bought from some of the country’s biggest developers rather than developed by the agency itself, according to data released to Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin.

Ó Broin described the rate of delivery as “extremely disappointing”. He said that rather than helping to activate dormant housing stock, the LDA is actually competing with first-time buyers and approved housing bodies for scarce properties.

Millennium takes second short bet against Smurfit Kappa

Also in the Business Post, Barry J Whyte reports that Izzy Englander’s Millennium Management has take another short bet against Smurfit Kappa’s share price.

The new position is on 0.5 per cent of the company’s shares is worth more than €43 million and comes just six months after Millennium took a similar punt on 1.1 per cent of the paper and packaging company’s shares in August.

Following that bet, Smurfit’s share price dropped from roughly €38 per share to €30 but has since recovered to just below €35. However, the company’s shares are down substantially on the historic highs seen in late 2021.

Watchdog to warn young consumers over crypto hazards

The collapse in crypto markets in 2022 has watchdogs and regulators all over the world on high alert and Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is no exception, the Sunday Independent reports.

The consumer watchdog is preparing to launch a social media advertising campaign early this year to warn young people in particular of the dangers associated with investing in crypto assets.

It will feature financial planner and consumer advocate Eoin McGee and is aimed at highlighting that the value of the unregulated, risky investments can quickly collapse.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times