A courier driver who blamed a non-existent tax agent for mishandling his affairs has been ordered to pay $180,000 to Inland Revenue.

Dave Rawiri Tekani was also sentenced to 12 months' home detention and 400 hours of community work.

Tekani earlier pleaded guilty to 37 charges of tax evasion totalling more than $160,000.

At Tauranga District Court today, he admitted to an additional $70,000 in tax evasion.


Patrick Goggin, an Inland Revenue investigations manager, said Tekani knew what his tax obligations were but deliberately ignored them.

Inland Revenue said Tekani started a courier business in 2009. He employed staff and charged GST on services he provided.

But he never registered his company with Inland Revenue or filed a GST, PAYE or income tax return.

Mr Goggin said Tekani blamed his tax agent when Inland Revenue first confronted him.

"When we dug deeper, we found Tekani's tax agent didn't even exist," Mr Goggin said. "Tekani had lied and made up a false name, thinking he could get away with not paying his fair share of tax."

Inland Revenue said Tekani evaded more than $70,000 of GST, more than $58,000 of PAYE and almost $34,000 in income tax.

Mr Goggin said Tekani had cheated "all hard-working taxpayers of New Zealand" and his actions had denied people money to pay for vital services such as hospitals and schools.

Mr Goggin said Inland Revenue had tools available for new businesspeople to find out what their tax obligations were.


"We encourage everyone to talk to us early if they are setting up in business so we can help," Mr Goggin said. "Our online business videos are a great tool for anyone starting out and make understanding tax easier," he said.