Wallace refused to answer Dáil Committee questions
on 11/07/2012 18:45:06
The Independent TD refused to answer questions from the Members' Interests Committee on a timeline of the scandal - from when he under-declared tax for his construction business - until he reached a settlement.
Mr Wallace answered only two of seven questions put to him, claiming the committee was acting outside its remit.
Committee chairman Thomas Pringle said he would refer the matter back to the Dáil because he is unable to confirm if the Independent TD came clean about the tax dodge before being elected.
"Despite several contacts … the committee has been unable to establish whether certain aspects of the matters at issue were done by Deputy Wallace or a connected person during his tenure in office," he said.
The matter has now been referred back to the Dáil which could see party whips pass a motion of censure.
Mr Wallace cannot be forced to resign.
The builder-turned-politician revealed last month that he knowingly lied to tax bosses, under declaring how much VAT his business owed in 2008 and 2009.
Following the revelations, which included an emotional apology from the unconventional TD, he was warned he faced investigation if the committee established a timeline of his financial affairs.
It is understood Mr Wallace informed Revenue that he had knowingly under-declared how much VAT he owed as tax chiefs were carrying out an audit investigation into his business MJ Wallace Ltd.
But it is unknown when this happened, or when he agreed a settlement with Revenue.
Mr Pringle said the committee could have pursued the matter had it had all the information it required.
"It would have been easier for the committee if we had the full information and we could make a clear decision then on the jurisdictional matter," he said.
He added that Mr Wallace's solicitors explained the Independent TD would not answer all the questions put to him because they believed the committee was acting out of its remit.
He said it was now for party whips to decide on how to move the matter forward.
Michael Lowry was the last politician to face the cross-party Dáil move formally reprimanding him and urging him to step down over the damning findings of the Moriarty Tribunal, but he refused to quit.
Mr Wallace originally maintained he was not personally liable for the €2.1m owed to Revenue, and that since the business is insolvent, the funds would not be repaid to the authorities.
However, during his personal statement to the Dáil last month, he later pledged to use half his TDs salary to settle the bill as a mark of solidarity to Irish citizens.
Mr Wallace earns more than €130,000 a year in pay and expenses. His actual salary is around €90,000, which would see him paying back about €45,000.