Two tradesmen have been given prison sentences for each evading nearly $1 million in tax.
Hamilton plasterer Paul Andrew Mills was sentenced on February 9, 2018 to two years and one month, while Auckland builder Hamish Paul Aegerter received a sentence of two years and seven months on February 16, 2018.
Mills was sentenced on 11 tax evasion charges relating to 2009-2017 tax years, while Aegerter was prosecuted for three representative charges of filing false GST and income tax returns and failing to file returns.
Inland Revenue Legal Services Leader Karen Whitiskie said Mills had not filed any income tax or GST returns during the nine-year period, and also failed to pass on his employees’ PAYE when he became an employer. In total, he was liable for $996,107 in GST, income tax and PAYE on undeclared earnings of nearly $3 million.
Aegerter had existed largely outside the tax system for 17 years. When he finally filed some income tax returns, he grossly under-reported his income – for one six-year period he returned income totaling $230,717, but bank records showed he had received $2.5 million.
A wider investigation into Aegerter’s affairs showed he had evaded a total of $879,340 in tax, including failing to pass on $630,682 in GST he’d charged his clients. Bank deposits into company accounts over this period totaled more than $7 million.
Ms Whitiskie said this was a deliberate and calculated abuse of the tax system by these tradesmen.
“The consequences of their actions were that they deprived other New Zealanders to the tune of just under $2 million in tax revenue. That money could have gone towards funding a range of important social services. It is really disappointing these tradesmen thought this behaviour was acceptable. We recognise that sometimes businesses will get into difficulties. In such cases, people should come and talk to us and we can discuss their options.”
Source: Inland Revenue
The above is an edited version. Full text at www.indiannewslink.co.nz