Delia settles €81,000 tax bill with sale of shares and Siggiewi property

Opposition leader sells Aequitas shares and rescinds on €88,000 promise-of-sale agreement to pay off overdue tax bill

Clean sheet for Adrian Delia on his tax bill
Clean sheet for Adrian Delia on his tax bill

Opposition leader Adrian Delia has said he has settled an outstanding tax bill of over €81,000, paid with cash from his liquidated company shares.

Delia told The Malta Independent on Sunday he had used funds derived from the disposal of shares in the legal firms he was involved in prior to becoming PN leader in 2017, as well as the sale of a Siggiewi property.

The Inland Revenue Department formally concluded its assessment of the PN leader, declaring in a letter on 14 May to Delia that he had “no pending tax, FSS and SSC balances”.

The Labour Party had insinuated that Delia was using money raised through party fundraisers to settle his tax bill, which became one of the more inauspicious aspects of the neophyte politician.

Delia said that he had taken the accusations personally: “My money for the tax payments did not come from anywhere that was illicit and it did not come from the Nationalist Party. It came solely from the sale of a property and from the disposal of shares in companies that I owned.”

Delia had reported a due tax balance of €51,924 while interest and charges on that tax balance amounted to €34,859, in an audit report published before his election to the party helm by auditors Mazars.

He contested the Inland Revenue’s assessment on some €5,000 in interest and charges, and agreed to a total payment of €81,000.

Delia showed the Independent a bank draft for €55,042, dated 23 March, to settled the interest charges, and another bank draft dated 20 April for the amount of €64,000 for the amounts still owed, payments which covered the tax dispute and outstanding arrears from recent years.

The source of the funds were the disposal of his shares in three companies Aequitas Legal, Aequitas Trust and Fiduciary and Evolve Consultancy.

The Independent said it had verified the value of the shares and that they exceed Delia’s tax bill but stop short of publishing them “for the sake of commercial confidentiality”.

Delia however said that he had not received all those funds as they are being paid out proportionately.

Delia also rescinded a promise-of-sale agreement on a Siggiewi property after pulling the plug on the purchase in April 2018 when his application for a bank loan for the property “became more complicated” once he became a politically exposed person.

The Independent reported it had seen that the contract was passed on to a third party, and that Delia made no profit on the rescission of the promise-of-sale, taking back the €73,000 payment and €15,000 on movable property inside the house which had also been duly registered – a total of €88,000.