Business owner convicted over $63,000 tax evasion

By Rob Kidd

Daniel James Parker appears in the Dunedin District Court this week. Photo / Rob Kidd
Daniel James Parker appears in the Dunedin District Court this week. Photo / Rob Kidd

A North Otago business owner racked up more than $63,000 in unpaid taxes and became involved in an incident with an ex-All Black in the meantime.

In the middle of the 18 months of tax evasion Daniel James Parker was shot in the arm during a duck-shooting accident, after which Andrew Hore was stripped of his firearms licence.

On May 2, 2015, Parker was given a gun by the former rugby player, in contravention of his firearms revocation.

The incident brought the defendant before the Alexandra District Court where he was sentenced to 120 hours' community work.

While Parker was in hospital recovering from the gunshot, which he said nearly killed him, his business - Southern Lakes Earthmoving Limited (SLEL) - was experiencing severe financial problems.

Between August 2014 and January 2016, the company deducted PAYE and Kiwisaver contributions from its employees' wages and filed tax returns.

Although Parker filed the paperwork on time, the corresponding amounts were not paid to Inland Revenue.

The total owed was $63,486.

"The defendant knew at all material times that SLEL was failing to comply with the PAYE obligations, and the nature and extent of those failures," a summary of facts said.

Counsel Alastair Logan told the court at sentencing this week his client did not have the appropriate level of commercial ability to run a business.

There was a degree of arrogance in Parker's refusal to use an accountant, he said. In April 2016, SLEL was put into liquidation and Logan said his client had been declared bankrupt.

He had been given a "gift" of $15,000 from his partner for reparation, the court heard, and had recently secured short-term employment at a dairy farm.

Logan said Parker was able to pay $1000 a month while in the job, which he hoped would become a long-term position.

The court heard the defendant had discussed the issue with the Official Assignee, which had approved him opening a bank account for the purposes of paying back what he owed to the state.

Judge Kevin Phillips sentenced Parker to 300 hours' community work and ordered the reparation be paid in a $15,000 lump sum with payments to follow at $1000 a month.

Hore is still awaiting a decision from the Dunedin District Court after his case was called in November disputing the police's decision to revoke his firearms licence.

Judge Michael Crosbie's judgement is pending.

- Otago Daily Times

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