Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has again fallen behind on his tax obligations, failing to declare how much he earned in 2018 to the tax authorities.

Times of Malta sought a copy of his 2018 income tax return in a bid to reconcile his earnings with his debts and expenses, which topped €100,000 that year.

His salary as opposition leader in 2018 stood at €44,782.

Delia has in the past refused to disclose to Times of Malta how much he made from the 2018 sale of shares in his legal practice and consultancy business, which he says was being paid to him in monthly instalments and was being used to fund his debts and expenses.

Since taking office, Delia has consistently declared to parliament that he has no savings or positive bank balances.

A request to parliament by Times of Malta for his 2018 income tax return could not be met, as the Inland Revenue Department “is not yet in a position” to provide the information.

The tax return should have been submitted to the Inland Revenue Department last year.

In 2018, Delia cut a deal with the tax authorities which saw them waive €23,000 in interest on unpaid taxes between 2007 and 2013.

A settlement was also reached on unpaid tax balances between 2014 and 2017.

'I will be making a public statement' - Delia

Replying to questions by Times of Malta about why no tax return was filed for 2018, Delia said he is still in the process of compiling all the documents needed to present to the PN commission responsible for scrutinising the party’s leadership candidates.

“This is a process which I personally pushed to be the most rigorous possible. Once this process is over, I will be making a public statement with all the relevant documentation,” he said. 

I had made public an audit into my financial affairs

“I remind you that at the very outset I had undergone and made public an audit into my financial affairs.”

The statement published by Delia on the eve of the 2017 leadership race showed his loan dues, overdrafts and credit card bills stood at €829,000.

Delia told Times of Malta that all politicians should show their net worth prior to entering politics and when exiting politics in order that the public can understand and scrutinise with full transparency. 

“I trust the same will be done by each candidate who will contest the leadership,” he said, referring to an upcoming election among PN members to select a party leader.

Applicants have until 3pm on Monday to submit their application to contest that election. As of 12pm on Monday, lawyer Bernard Grech is the only candidate other than Delia to have shown an interest in contesting.

For the first time in its history, the PN will vet leadership candidates and require them to pass a due diligence process before they can run for the post.

In a Facebook post put up after replying to Times of Malta’s questions on Saturday, Delia said “at times like these there are those who deem it fit to raise old questions and will continue to do so in relation to my finances. I welcome these questions and will of course keep on answering as I have always done honestly and clearly.”

A magisterial inquiry is under way into claims murder suspect Yorgen Fenech passed on €20,000 monthly to Delia in a bid to scupper PN MEP David Casa’s re-election in 2019.

Delia has denied the claim.

Bernard Grech turns down interview request

Delia's leadership rival Bernard Grech declined an interview request by Times of Malta last week, saying he was told by the party’s electoral commission not to participate in interviews before they instruct otherwise.

PN electoral commissioner Peter Fenech confirmed the commission had directed candidates who had submitted their declaration of interest last week not to respond or give interviews up until the list of persons interested in contesting Athe leadership post is issued by the commissioner.

Grech, however, gave an interview to The Malta Independent on Sunday which references statements made by the leadership hopeful after he applied to contest the post.

Questions sent to Delia 

Why didn’t you file a tax return for 2018 (year of assessment 2019)? 

Did you comply with a request by the Standards Commissioner to declare your income over the past years?

Can you tell us what your income was in 2018 and 2019?

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