PN Leadership candidate Bernard Grech failed to declare close to €32,000 earned from hosting English-language students at his home over a five year period.
Malta Today confirmed that a 2018 investigation by the Tax Compliance Unit uncovered the income revenue, accounting for a chunk of his previously unpaid taxes. The report says that the residence is not registered with the Malta Tourism Authority.
The issue dates back to income he made between 2012 and 2016. The report says Grech made a profit of just over €16,000.
In response, Grech said that he has “exhaustively explained his tax position” and settled his outstanding bills.
Grech’s tax issues have been under the microscope ever since he entered the leadership race. Times of Malta and MaltaToday reported how between 2014 and 2019, Grech, who works as a family lawyer, failed to pay over €29,000 in VAT between 2014 and 2019. He settled the bill soon after.
“Bernard Grech firmly believes that since politicians are judged by higher standards, he ensured that before entering politics, no pending liabilities subsisted, in order to fulfil his values of political transparency and correctness. In fact he voluntarily chose to pay more than any ordinary citizen would do by retracting his right at law and settling the whole amounts due even if these were still under remission,” a spokesperson for Grech told MaltaToday.
Grech has regularly played down the tax issue during the leadership race, stressing that his affairs are now in order.
“A few weeks ago, before I started this journey, I made sure to verify and check any outstanding dues,” he said in a video message. “I also understand that I must do way more than that because I believe politicians must be held to a higher standard.”
Grech hasn’t explained how he managed to settle his dues but said he voluntarily withdrew a dispute on the pending amount to ensure he enters the PN leadership race without any unpaid taxes.
“I can now say that I don’t owe a cent to the VAT Department. I also understand why all of this came out… because the party in government is seriously worried at the positive surveys that fill us with courage,” he continued.
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