Company Director Fined for Tax Evasion

July 7, 2010 New Zealand Taxation

gavelA New Plymouth company director has been fined for two counts of failing to adequately declare his income. In his defense, the man partially attributed the omission to supposedly not understating the meaning of the “$” symbol.

On July 6th, Stephen Blackman, director and shareholder of Plant and Platform Consultants LTD, was fined NZD 1500 in addition to court costs on July 6th, for two charges of filing false or incomplete tax returns. According to the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) Stephen Blackman failed to declare a shareholder salary of NZD 150 150 in the year 2007, and NZD 158 408 in the year 2008. He claimed that he did not receive any payments, and that the IRD was confused by documentation provided by his company which contained “…[an] impressive numbers preceded by a $ symbol”. He argued further, claiming not to be aware of the meaning of the “$” symbol, and stipulating that no one employed in his company understood the “$” either.

Jonathan Matthews, Assurance Manager of Investigations for the IRD, commented on Stephen Blackman, calling his claim of not knowing the “$” as hollow and ridiculous, and despite his alleged ignorance his tax obligation remained. He said further that the IRD will continue to investigate tax evasion to ensure that honest tax payers are not disadvantaged by the actions of evaders. Jonathan Mathews concluded by saying that if taxpayers are genuinely confused by their tax liabilities, they can seek assistance from tax advisers or the IRD.

Photo by bloomsberries