Tax Agent withdraws status appeal

The company of tax evader Accountant Imran Mohammed Kamal has withdrawn its appeal of a Wellington High Court decision that it should lose its tax agency status.

The appeal by Accountants First Ltd was due to be heard in the Court of Appeal in Auckland in November 2015, but was withdrawn shortly before the hearing’s scheduled date.

This means the company is no longer a tax agent and cannot promote itself as such.

Inland Revenue Department (IRD) Deputy Commissioner (Service Delivery) Arlene White was pleased that the October 2014 High Court decision stood and that the matter has ended.

“Tax agents play an important role in New Zealand’s tax system by helping taxpayers to understand and meet their tax obligations. Tax agents who are approved by IRD hold an elevated position of trust and are expected to model exemplary compliance behaviours,” she said.

Key player

Kamal was a key player in the high profile tax evasion case involving Brent Gilchrist, Scott Anderson, and Accountants First Ltd.

Following the convictions of Kamal and Accountants First Limited in 2013, IRD decided to remove the company from its list of approved tax agents.

The Department had considered that the company could not be trusted as a tax agent to comply with the law. Under the Tax Administration Act 1994, IRD can revoke a tax agent’s status if the integrity of the tax system would be adversely affected.

Ms White said that the offending involved significant deception and dishonesty, including creation of false invoices and money being paid overseas and channelled back to a bank account of Kamal’s in Vanuatu.

“It is important that taxpayers can trust their tax agent, and in turn those companies and agents have a duty to uphold the integrity of the tax system,” she said.

Inland Revenue Department Press Release

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