Income tax saga comes back to haunt Adrian Delia
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Income tax saga comes back to haunt Adrian Delia

Leaked document suggests PN leader had a €64,000 outstanding bill.

Adrian Delia. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Adrian Delia. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Fresh doubts have emerged on the Nationalist Party leader’s position with the taxman as a leaked e-mail shows that, apart from an €81,000 bill he reportedly settled last year, Adrian Delia still owed the exchequer €64,000.

Times of Malta on Tuesday sought to clarify the matter with Dr Delia, asking if he still had any pending income tax bills, however, he said he was not in a position to reply.

"The leader of the Opposition, Dr Adrian Delia, cannot confirm or deny any of your questions without being given the opportunity to see and analyse the said documents you claim to have,” a party spokesman said.

Asked by the PN spokesman whether Dr Delia could see the document in person, Times of Malta on Wednesday morning said it had no objection.

According to the e-mail seen by Times of Malta, in January last year, Dr Delia had reached an agreement with the Inland Revenue Department to start settling dues dating back more than a decade.

The first bill, which covered the period between 2007 and 2013, totalled €81,751. It consisted of €48,374 in unpaid tax, a €4,604 penalty and €28,773 in interest.

Dr Delia had declared this pending bill himself in September 2017 during the PN leadership race in the wake of serious concerns about his personal finances.

According to that declaration, Dr Delia had no savings in local or foreign banks, home loans totalling over €725,000 and an overdraft of €104,000.

However, thanks to property assets in his possession, he declared a net financial position of €1.6 million in the black. Subsequently, Times of Malta had reported that Dr Delia had received a little help from his in-laws to pay the exchequer.

It transpires from the leaked e-mail that Dr Delia managed to bring his overall tax bill down to €55,042 through an agreement granting him an 80% reduction on the interest due in return for paying the penalty as a lump sum, rather than in installments.

However, the same income tax agreement highlighted a separate pending bill of €64,086, covering the period 2014 to 2017, which had not yet been settled. Apart from €52,973 in unpaid tax, the total comprised €3,181 in penalties and €7,932 in interest.

Moreover, the e-mail pointed out that the amount could be settled in installments over a year but interest would keep accruing at a monthly rate of 0.54% on the balance due.

No details of this tax bill were published by Dr Delia in his 2017 statement of affairs and, in April last year, he had declared game over” in terms of his tax bills saga, saying the issue was done and dusted.

Nevertheless, a few days later, the Labour Party had claimed that the PN leader had lied” about his outstanding income tax payments because he still owed money to the exchequer.

No further details were given on the matter but the Labour media had subsequently accused Dr Delia of using funds raised during a party telethon to pay part of the bill. The PN leader denied the claim.

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