A plasterer and seller of health food supplements who aligned himself with anti-tax movements has been sentenced to home detention for tax evasion.
David John Buisson, 69, of Whangamata was sentenced in the Tauranga District Court yesterday to 12 months' home detention and 300 hours' community work for tax evasion.
The court heard Buisson failed to file accurate tax returns and actively evaded $214,668 in GST and income tax.
Inland Revenue legal services leader Karen Whitiskie said Buisson's attitude showed a complete disregard towards his tax obligations.
"This is someone who's experienced in business and knew his responsibilities but intentionally evaded them," Whitiskie said.
"He chose to consistently align himself with anti-tax groups and advisers, adopting various schemes purely to avoid paying tax."
Buisson took deliberate actions to hide his income and refused to co-operate and provide necessary documentation during two audits. He also took active steps to defeat debt collection efforts.
Whitiskie said Buisson was not naive or gullible about how the tax evasion schemes worked, and the court rejected his evidence regarding his honest belief they were lawful.
"The court found instead that he had done everything he could to evade paying tax and even though he knew his obligations, he sought advice that would suit his purposes.
"There's nothing clever about shirking your responsibility to contribute towards the essential services we all need, such as roads, health care and pensions.
"Those that participate in anti-tax groups and schemes should reflect on this sentence."