Tax evasion results in home detention for Richmond tradesman

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A Richmond tradesman has been sentenced to four months’ home detention for failing to file tax returns involving more than $92,000.

Anthony Robert Pearce was sentenced in Nelson District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to four representative charges of failing to file tax returns with the intention to evade tax for himself and a company, JAK Holdings Limited.

Pearce had worked as a roofing contractor for local roofing companies and originally worked as a sole trader. He took deliberate steps to make it appear as if he was not self-employed and had no association with JAK Holdings Limited by using his son’s name to incorporate the company.

Inland Revenue’s Group Manager Investigations and Advice, Patrick Goggin, said the case sent a strong message to those trying to dodge their tax liability.

“It’s important New Zealanders realise that Inland Revenue will investigate people who don’t meet their tax obligations, and we will prosecute them if they continually flout their social responsibility and not do the right thing.

“Taxes pay for social services that we all use such as hospitals, roads and schools, so it’s important everybody pays their fair share,” Mr Goggin said.

Both Mr Pearce and JAK Holdings were required to file income tax and GST returns accounting for the income that they had received. Although Mr Pearce received regular reminders from Inland Revenue about overdue returns and debt, he did not file the returns, or make any payments.

Nine income tax returns and 18 GST returns were not filed. This resulted in income tax of $51,044.17 and GST of $41,762.85 being evaded by Mr Pearce and JAK Holdings Limited.

Pearce was also sentenced to 120 hours of community detention and ordered to pay reparation of $45,000.