Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi has submitted his completed tax returns for the years 2017 to 2019, after facing harsh criticism for failing to do so earlier.
The completed returns were submitted last week, as the Labour Party went on the offensive against Azzopardi for his failure to provide details about his professional income when he submitted his tax declarations to the Commissioner for Inland Revenue.
Azzopardi, who has built a political profile around issues of good governance and the fight against corruption, explained away his failure to disclose his professional income by pointing to the fact that he is currently undergoing separation proceedings from his estranged wife.
He stressed that he had always filed his tax returns in time, with the exception of the last two years, adding that it was “normal in all personal separations for there to be late filings of returns”.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, Tax Commissioner Marvin Gaerty noted that taxpayers are obliged to submit their returns, irrespective of any situation. That said, he did acknowledge that it was a common situation that during separations, spouses do not agree to provide income information to each other.
So what do Azzopardi’s declarations reveal? The Nationalist MP declared a total income of €44,264 in 2017, €68,103 in 2018 and €49,447 in 2019. In each year, his income included that from his profession as a lawyer, local dividends ranging from €982 in 2019 to €3,621 in 2017, his MP’s honorarium, as well as a relatively small income from lecturing at the University of Malta.
Earnings from his profession amounted to €19,255 in 2017, €29,434 in 2018 and €23,250 in 2019.
The average declared income by MPs in 2020 was €71,240 while the median income was €57,210.
Azzopardi’s missing returns are being investigated by the Standards Commissioner following a complaint by Jason Micallef.
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