IRD Catches Church Tax Scam

December 3, 2012 New Zealand Taxation

Sentence for Tax ScamA tax scam which netted three individuals approximately NZDD 55 000 has also earned them earned them fines, community work and community detention.

Last week three member of a Lower Hutt based church were sentenced for their involvement in a tax scam which saw them receive NZD 56 378.27 from issuing false donation receipts and claiming tax rebates belonging to 33 other people.

The accused, Faalemalo Ipiniu Letoga, Mau Veletaloola and Ita Vienna Aiomata, were ordered to serve 150 hours of community work each, sentanced to six months community detention each and also ordered to pay the Inland Revenue Department NZD 10 000 in reparations.

Explaining the actons taken by the trio, the group manager of investigations and advice at the IRD Patrick Goggin said that “…the actions of these individuals were a deliberate attempt to claim money to which they were not entitled. They used the names of other people to request funds without their knowledge. They cheated not only these people but all taxpayers with their actions.”

The IRD first noticed the false claims when one of the 33 affected taxpayers tried to claim their tax rebate themselves.

Photo by Txspiked