An 80-year-old Auckland businessman's fight against a $470 million tax bill has failed in the Court of Appeal.

The IRD last year won a judgment for $367m against John George Russell and is attempting to bankrupt him while the debt bulges with interest and penalties.

After a High Court loss, Mr Russell took his claim to the Court of Appeal in June.

Today, Justices John Wild, Ellen French and Helen Winkelmann delivered their decision to dismiss the appeal, saying it was an "abuse" of the court process.


Mr Russell had originally offered to pay off the debt at $1000 a week for the rest of his life but the IRD turned that down in order to pursue insolvency.

The justices said Mr Russell's judicial review application was "patently a tactic to delay" the IRD's push to have Mr Russell declared bankrupt.

"It was thus not a proper use of the court's process, but an abuse of it".

Mr Russell was also ordered to pay indemnity costs to the IRD commissioner, who said the appeal was "hopeless" and simply brought to further delay proceedings.