A Tauranga-based accountant has been sentenced to 10 months home detention and 150 hours of community service on charges of tax evasion and a further six months home detention to be served concurrently for perjury.
Bruce Woodward was sentenced today in the Tauranga District Court after he was earlier found guilty on eight charges of filing misleading tax returns, five charges of failing to file returns, and one charge of perjury.
Group Manager, Investigations and Advice, Patrick Goggin, said this is the first case for Inland Revenue involving a charge of perjury.
"Inland Revenue requested that Woodward attend an interview in July 2009 and provide us with all of his company's accounts and records. He was also advised that he was required to answer all questions truthfully under oath.
"At the start of the interview, he acknowledged that anything he said to us could not be used in criminal proceedings except on a charge of perjury, yet he deliberately withheld relevant information, and he also admitted that he had not co-operated with our officers.
"Accordingly he was charged with perjury in addition to tax evasion."
Mr Goggin said that Woodward's company, Turnstyle Management Limited, failed to return $41,000 of income tax between 2002 and 2007. Woodward personally was found to have evaded tax of $69,500.
As a result of his offending, Woodward avoided returning a total of just over $111,000 to Inland Revenue.
"This case shows what can happen when a person does not comply with their obligations and intentionally does not co-operate during an investigation.
"A key foundation of our tax system is honesty and voluntary compliance with the rules.
"Most people do the right thing and our message to those breaking the law is to think again, you will be caught, and you will face the consequences," Mr Goggin said.