Updated | Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield pins €7,200 in back taxes on employer failings

Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield says he has settled an outstanding tax bill flagged by the Tax Commissioner • Attributes discrepancy to tax charged by employer

Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield
Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield

Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield has said a tax bill of more than €7,200 for past arrears is the result of discrepancies in the tax charged by his employers over a span of years.

Bedingfield said that he has settled the amount with the tax authorities after receiving a judicial letter ordering him to pay €5,600 in back taxes and €1,600 in interest payments.

The court notice filed by the Tax Commissioner for due taxes going back to 2011 was flagged on Friday morning by In-Nazzjon.

The request for payment was filed in the Court of Magistrates, calling on the former Labour MP, to effect payment within two weeks.

In a statement on Friday, Bedingfield said that between 2011 and 2022 he paid €140,000 in taxes, which were deducted by his employers. In some of those years, however, there were discrepancies between the tax charged by his employer and the estimates done by the Income Tax Department.

Bedingfield published a list of the discrepancies for each of the years, ranging from €125 in 2017 to €2,435 in 2018, The most notable discrepancy in 2018 was the result of an unadjusted tax rate for his parliamentary honoraria. The employer deducted tax at a lower percentage than 25%.

He said that he never was notified of these discrepancies before receiving the judicial letter.

"I have nothing to hide. I do not expect to be treated differently to other people and aloong with the hundreds of judicial letters that were filed on 3 February, I also received such a notice. The tax department did its job and I settled the outstanding discrepancies. If the editor of In-Nazzjon wants to know what it means not to pay taxes, all he has to do is walk up one floor at PN headquarters and ask Dr Bernard Grech," Bedingfield said in a political dig at his rival's own tax troubles from 2020.

Bedingfield is also a member of the Foreign and European Affairs Committee, which he chairs, the National Audit Office Accounts Committee, and the Public Accounts Committee.

MPs are paid 50% of the top government salary, which is €48,512. Committee chairmen are paid 65% of that salary.

Bedingfield was made Labour Whip in January 2020 by incoming Labour leader Robert Abela but was replaced after the last election with Andu Ellul. The salary of party Whip is equivalent to 75% of the Scale 1 government salary.