A Taradale businessman has been sentenced to nine months' home detention for multiple tax evasion offences, despite having reimbursed tax authorities to such an extent he had become almost $320,000 in credit.
Jeffrey Stephen Wallace, 55, appeared in Napier District Court last week having previously pleaded guilty to 15 charges relating to what had been unpaid goods and services, PAYE and personal income taxes totalling just over $300,000.
He had multiple property and business interests, but it was the low ratio of wages to sales at the Drift-In Lunch Bar in Hastings which drove an Inland Revenue investigation which started early in 2014.
It was accepted in court that Wallace had evaded $48,643.08 in GST and $95,584,07 in personal income tax and failed to forward $152,299.12 in PAYE taxes.
Interest and penalties increased the total which had become due to Inland Revenue to $402,291.11, but defence counsel said that due to department miscalculation Wallace had since paid it $722,000, an overpayment of $319,705.89.
Wallace initially claimed he had declared all unpaid tax, but after being fronted with evidence of wage payments and the failure to declare the PAYE, told tax officials he would "admit to everything" and that their evidence made everything he had told them "a pack of lies."
Judge Tony Adeane made little comment last week, but when Wallace pleaded guilty in September, Judge Geoff Rea said that if Wallace hadn't been caught the Inland Revenue wouldn't have seen any of the money.
He suggested Wallace was prepared to"rip-off" the tax department as long as he could, although he had the means to pay.