Businessman warned he faces jail over delay in repaying €1.5m owed to Revenue

Businessman Warned He Faces Jail Over Delay In Repaying €1.5M Owed To Revenue
William Higgins Sr had previously agreed to repay Revenue €800 per month but no payments had been received yet, the court heard. Photo: Collins
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Seán MacCarthaigh

A Kildare businessman who owes Revenue almost €1.5 million has been warned that he could face jail if he does not “put his best foot forward” about repaying money owed to the tax authorities.

William Higgins Sr, of The Laurels, Bluetown, Allenwood, Kildare, appeared before a sitting of Naas Circuit Criminal Court where he had been charged with a total of 97 offences.


The businessman pleaded guilty to three charges of failing without reasonable excuse to furnish a VAT return to Revenue contrary to the Taxes Consolidation Act as well as three charges of failing to remit VAT to the tax authorities.

He also pleaded guilty to three separate charges of failing to file an income tax return to Revenue without reasonable excuse contrary to the same legislation.

Phased payments

The court heard there was an “ongoing dialogue” between Higgins and Revenue with a further meeting due this week.

Revenue official, Frances Slevin, told the court that she had met with the defendant following a previous court appearance in June to discuss how he might make phased payments.


Judge Mary O’Malley Costello heard that Higgins had agreed to repay €800 per month but that no payments had been received yet.

Ms Slevin said there was an issue over forms that had not yet been completed by the defendant.

The judge was informed that the businessman is currently on a salary of around €54,000.

However, Higgins owes Revenue a total of €1,417,279, comprising €523,330 in tax due with the remainder of almost €895,000 consisting of interest and penalties.

'Dragging it out'

Judge O’Malley Costello warned the defendant he could face a jail term if he was “dragging it out” by not completing forms.

“It is not a business negotiation,” the judge remarked.

The judge warned Higgins that he should have a bag packed for his next court appearance if he did not “put his best foot forward” about repaying Revenue.

She asked that a Probation Service report be compiled to assess his suitability for a community service order.

However, the judge added: “I’m not making any promises.”

Remanding Higgins on continuing bail until he appears again before the same court in early 2024, Judge O’Malley Costello said he had “a history of sticking his head in the sand and not dealing with matters.”

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