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PN leader paid no taxes in 2015

Arrears to be settled by the end of the year

Opposition leader Adrian Delia did not pay any taxes in 2015, a copy of his 2016 income tax return shows.

The assessment, given to the Sunday Times of Malta by Dr Delia, shows how he underpaid €22,026 in taxes during that year.

A copy of his 2015 income tax assessment shows Dr Delia paid €4,039 worth of taxes in 2014, amounting to an underpayment of €33,668.

Times of Malta had asked Dr Delia for copies of his tax returns during the PN leadership campaign but they did not materialise before now. Instead he published a statement of affairs one day before the final round of the leadership campaign.

The statement shows he owes €86,783 to the taxman, including €34,859 in interest and charges on tax balances due.  Asked how he had fallen so far behind on his tax payments, a spokeswoman for Dr Delia said the main reason was of a “cash flow nature”.

The spokeswoman said the bulk of his tax arrears were from 2015 and 2016, however some dated back to 2010.

These arrears would be settled by the end of the year, the spokeswoman said.

Sources told The Sunday Times of Malta that Dr Delia only filed his 2017 income tax assessment this week, several months after the July 7 deadline.

Questioned why the assessment was filed so late, the spokeswoman said there was “no particular reason”.

Dr Delia declared gross earnings of €153,101 in 2016 and €118,413 after expenses claimed, according to his 2017 assessment, which was acquired through Parliament.

His wife Nicky Vella de Fremeaux declared income of €12,660.

Dr Delia has outstanding home and personal loans of €725,084, coupled with overdraft and credit card arrears of €104,426.

Questioned where the money he earned went, given his declaration that he has no savings accounts, the spokeswoman said Dr Delia spent his earnings on loan financing and family expenses.

A financial expert who spoke to this paper questioned how Dr Delia was funding his lifestyle on his current income.

The expert said Dr Delia would certainly struggle to meet his financial obligations if his sole income was a salary of €43,000 as Opposition leader.

Dr Delia has said the sale of his shares in a number of businesses would put him in a position to continue meeting his obligations with the banks. Research by this paper shows Dr Delia has resigned as a director from four of the five companies in which he holds shares.

He still shows up as a director of the wine importation company Carnaby Limited.

All shareholdings in the five companies have so far been retained.

A new offshoot of his legal firm Aequitas was set up on October 18. Although Dr Delia is not a director or shareholder of the newly set-up firm Aequitas Limited, the shares in this firm are still owned by his old one, Aequitas Trust and Fiduciary Limited.

Dr Delia is still a shareholder in the latter firm, along with two other people.

Although Dr Delia has resigned his directorship of the construction company Mġarr Developments Limited, he is still jointly and severally responsible for a debt of €7.2 million owed to HBSC, along with the other shareholders.

jacob.borg@timesofmalta.com

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