An Auckland-based builder has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison after being found guilty of 23 charges of tax evasion.
Mate Jukich, 42, appeared in the Auckland District Court for sentencing on three charges of knowingly providing misleading information to Inland Revenue, seven charges of failing to file GST and income tax returns and 13 charges of failing to account for PAYE along with Raven Buildings Limited, said the Inland Revenue.
The outstanding amount he owes to the IRD is $517,000.
Mr Jukich traded through an unregistered entity called Raven Developments Limited and issued tax invoices and charged GST for work he had done, said IRD assurance investigations manager Jonathan Matthews.
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"He represented himself as a company to avoid withholding tax and used a false GST number on his invoices that belonged to another firm who knew nothing of its use," he said.
Mr Jukich registered the business in 2003 and returned the income but then claiming subcontractor expenses using invoices that contained invalid addresses, incorrect contact details, or invalid IRD numbers, said Mr Matthews.
Inland Revenue traced one subcontractor, who denied issuing them.
A former employee of Mr Jukich admitted writing false invoices in the person's name, saying his boss instructed him to do so, he said.
"Mr Jukich made a concerted effort to evade his tax obligations yet ultimately he failed to stay ahead of the law. The key message in this case is that no matter how much effort, time, and even money you spend trying to avoid paying tax, you will be caught in the end.".