More tax evaders nabbed, says IRD

By Owen Hembry

Robert Russell, Commissioner of Inland Revenue. Photo / Getty Images






NAD 04Apr09 -
BOP 09Oct09 - Robert Russell

HBT 24Dec09 - Robert RussellDavid Collins
Robert Russell, Commissioner of Inland Revenue. Photo / Getty Images NAD 04Apr09 - BOP 09Oct09 - Robert Russell HBT 24Dec09 - Robert RussellDavid Collins

Inland Revenue says it is beating the targets set when its funding was boosted last year to chase tax evaders.

It was given an extra $119.3 million in the 2010 Budget over four years, which Commissioner of Inland Revenue Robert Russell says was to target the hidden economy, debt recovery and to continue work in the property sector.

All public services needed revenue to support them, including defence, hospitals, schools and roads, Russell said.

"People who are non-compliant are basically stealing from their neighbours," he said.

The extra money had been used to enhance fraud and evasion work, and for the 10 months ended April brought in $118.5 million of additional tax revenue - exceeding the return on investment target for 2010/11.

The department today releases its 2011/12 compliance focus report.

There were changes in emphasis throughout the latest report, Russell said.

"We're going to have more of a focus on losses this year than we had in the past couple of years," he said.

"Just because we know that coming out of recession companies will have incurred losses and will be starting to utilise them [to offset tax liability] and the rules around losses can be complex and we just want to make sure people are getting that right," Russell said.

The limit on charitable contributions was removed a few years ago and people could make as large a donation as they wanted and get a tax credit, he said.

"So we've started doing some work in the charitable sector just to see how much abuse of those provisions is there and we're finding some."

It was also Rugby World Cup year, Russell said.

"So we'll be doing some work recognising that that will present some opportunities for people to make some quick money and some of them might decide that probably doesn't need to be declared."

The additional extra funding took the department's annual budget to about $600 million and came with an expectation it would return $745 million over four years.

Inland Revenue had completed 55 prosecutions for people working in the hidden economy in the year ended April and received several voluntary disclosures, including one for $2.2 million from within the hospitality industry, the report said.

More than 100 investigations were being conducted in the cafe and restaurant sector.

Inland Revenue had been working with other government departments to ensure compliance in the horticultural industry, from which PAYE payments had increased from $88 million to $150 million during the past five years, while the size of the industry had remained relatively unchanged.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a5 at 20 Oct 2014 21:22:29 Processing Time: 604ms