IRD

Explaining is losing: “New Zealand is definitely not a tax haven” – Key

John Key has said that the IRD will be looking into all of the 11.5 million documents that were leaked from law firm Mossack Fonseca, dubbed the Panama Papers.

He says it will take the small team assigned the task some time to sift through the documents given the sheer volume, and they will follow any leads they get from the probe.

“There is an expectation that every New Zealander will pay their rightful share of tax,” Mr Key said at a press conference today.

“In the end if there is a New Zealand individual that comes out of the Panama Papers that hasn’t paid their fair share of tax, they can expect a knock on the door from the IRD.”

Mr Key says the answer is not to simply close all foreign trusts in the country, this may cause flow on effects with companies that operate in partnerships for example.

“It would be a dangerous decision to ban a foreign trust overnight.”

The Prime Minister says foreign trusts are not the issue and that some members of Parliament own foreign trusts.

Oooh, now there’s a shot before the bow.  Because Key won’t just be talking about National MPs.
Read more »

Comrade Morgan wants rich pricks to cough up even more tax

There is only really one thing I agree with Gareth Morgan on…death to cats.

As for everything else, the man is a commie and a lunatic to boot….like his plans to tax people even more.

Economist Gareth Morgan believes New Zealand could be missing out on up to 25 percent of total income tax because the rich aren’t paying their fair share.

Morgan also told The Nation it is possible to get global corporations like Apple and Facebook to pay more tax on what they earn here.

The Government collects about $30 billion per year in income tax, but Mr Morgan says that take could be much bigger. The figures come from a soon-to-be-published report from the Morgan Foundation.

Dr Morgan says the report on New Zealand’s current tax system shows that the burden is falling on middle- and working-class families.

“There’s no free lunch here. If the rich aren’t paying their fair share, someone else has to pay more than they otherwise need to,” he says.

Read more »

Tagged:

A Little elephant in the room – Part 3

Where were we? That’s right, it had just been established that the Council of Trade Unions via then-head Helen Kelly had issued a “please explain” to Unite Union and Matt McCarten. But it is McCarten’s response to Dominion-Post journalist Rebecca Stevenson that is the most enlightening:

Unite head Matt McCarten confirmed yesterday that the union owed money to the IRD but said he had made choices to pay for union campaigns rather than clear the debt. “I don’t shy away from these decisions, I make the calls.”

So Matt McCarten, is now Chief of Staff for the Leader of the Labour Party, fellow former union boss Andrew Little. But some time around the time of the 2008 General Election, McCarten made a conscious decision not to pass on PAYE deducted from Unite Union staff to the IRD as he is legally required to do.    Read more »

Ignore the hysteria, listen to the experts

Labour are going all in on so-called tax dodgers, conveniently ignoring their own expert tax dodger working from Andrew Little’s office.

The Media party are doing it too, as usual, laundering stolen and illegally obtain documents in order to create murk. Essentially they are playing dirty media.

However the experts don’t agree with their rhetoric.

If someone gets run over by a car, the response by the government should not be to ban all cars on the road.

That’s how tax specialist and former Deputy Commissioner of Policy IRD Robin Oliver describes the early hysteria, as he calls it, to the so-called Panama Papers data dump.

The massive leak of documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca has put the spotlight on foreign trusts registered in New Zealand and whether they are used to avoid tax or cover dodgy dealings.

“There will always be some abuse,” Mr Oliver told NBR Radio’s Andrew Patterson. “But you would expect a reasonable response and, to me, that means continuing down the line we currently have with rules that ensure that the financial information held by NZ trusts is available.

“Now we have a series of laws the government is introducing with I think general support for automatic exchange of information, which means that there will also be more vigorous identity verification. All that info will be sent to IRD and exchanged with other countries.”   Read more »

Labour’s hypocrisy in going after tax dodgers

As we blogged earlier the Labour party is mounting a campaign to go after tax dodgers.

Instead of shrugging, John Key should immediately be doing three things:

  • Stop New Zealand being used as a tax haven;
  • Stop multinationals dodging the tax they owe here;
  • Urgently launch a full Parliamentary inquiry into tax dodging in New Zealand.

John Key’s doing his best to protect the mega-rich.
But we can force him to take action.

CLICK HERE TO FORCE ACTION ON TAX DODGING NOW

Together, let’s make John Key do more than shrug,

Labour Campaigns Team

Read more »

Hide: Your government is spying on you

The Privacy Commissioner reports the big three that ask for information are the Inland Revenue, the Ministry of Social Development and police. These three departments issued 11,333 information requests to just 10 companies – two telcos, seven financial services companies and one utility.

The Privacy Commissioner found ” virtually 100 per cent” compliance. The only non-compliance was when the individuals concerned weren’t customers – so the companies didn’t have the information.

The police need a warrant for the bulk of the requests they make. Thanks to powers given by Parliament, the IRD and Social Development don’t. We’re not talking information about gun-toting, murdering terrorists but everyday taxpayers and beneficiaries.

In 2012, the IRD served Trade Me with a notice demanding the details of nearly one million customers. To Trade Me’s great credit it resisted the demand and after much to-ing and fro-ing provided information on 44,368 customers. That’s still an astonishing number.

It is worrying there were more than 11,000 requests on just 10 sampled companies over three months – but consider this: the IRD’s request for personal data on one million customers would count as just one request.

Our personal information is being hoovered up by Government agencies on a massive scale. And there is no obligation on the companies or Government departments to tell us. Read more »

Paul Thomas Staples: Dishonesty right to the bitter end

JAILED TAX cheat Paul Thomas Staples invented a story about his wife having breast cancer so he could con money out of sympathetic friends to pay his bills.

That’s the latest disturbing allegation to surface following the three-year prison sentence imposed on Staples a fortnight ago for half a million dollars worth of GST and income tax fraud.

Between September 2008 and August 2011, Staples filed 27 fraudulent income tax and GST returns for companies that existed in name only.

He also falsified sale and purchase agreements, claimed a shareholders salary when he wasn’t one and registered companies when he was a bankrupt.

But it is his conduct in recent months that gives possibly the best insight into what a unconscionable and ruthless character Staples is when his back is to the wall. After being well and truly caught for ripping off the Government, Staples tried thieving off his employer – and worse still his mates.

During sentencing in the Manukau District Court a fortnight ago, Staples lawyer tried to argue that his client had done everything in his power to try and repay the $477,000 he defrauded from the taxman.

Paul Pati tried to present to the court an image of a man who was devoted to his friends and family – ‘a good husband and father’ who was well liked by people.

It’s now emerged that nothing could be further from the truth.

A source close to the case this week revealed the despicable lengths Staples went to in the months leading up to sentencing to try and get IRD off his back.  Read more »

Tagged:

Tax cheat Paul Staples jailed for three years

Paul Thomas Staples and Jean Staples leave the Manukau District Court

Paul Thomas Staples and Jean Staples leave the Manukau District Court last week

TAX CHEAT Paul Thomas Staples was today sentenced to three years imprisonment on multiple counts of GST and income tax fraud.

The former police officer and failed businessman cut a forlorn figure as he was taken into custody to spend the first of what will be many long days and nights in the company of those he once used to help lock up.

As Staples left the dock this morning to begin his three-year prison sentence, his wife Jean, the chief collaborator in much of her husband’s offending, leapt to her feet in one final but ultimately futile act of solidarity.

Before she was able to reach her husband to say her final farewells, she was abruptly ordered back to her seat where she was told in no uncertain terms to sit down.

Outside court there were no tears, no posturing, no histrionics – just a quiet sense of inevitability about a prison sentence both Paul and Jean Staples must have seen coming months ago.

Staples was warned back in August that a lengthy spell behind bars was likely unless he could make significant restitution towards the nearly half million dollars he owed Inland Revenue.

Today during sentencing it emerged he hadn’t paid a cent towards what he owed.   Read more »

Tagged:

Lies upon lies upon more lies

Paul Thomas Staples and Jean Staples leave the Manukau District Court

Paul Thomas Staples and Jean Staples leave the Manukau District Court

LIES, lies and more lies.

Today in the final installment of our three-part investigation into notorious tax cheat Paul Staples, we reveal more details about the extraordinary lengths the 52-year-old went to in defrauding Inland Revenue out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Staples has admitted charges of forgery, tax evasion and knowingly providing false information to Inland Revenue – offences which carry maximum penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment.

Between September 2008 and August 2011, Staples filed 27 fraudulent income tax and bogus GST returns with IRD under three different companies.

During that time he also claimed a salary as a shareholder of a company when he wasn’t one, falsified sale and purchase agreements and legal documents and registered companies when he was a bankrupt.

Inland Revenue has assessed the debt at around $320,000, but with penalties and interest it is likely to run to well over half a million dollars.

Two of Staples companies, STH Investments Ltd and 380 Express Ltd, existed in name only – the company had no taxable activity, and no assets or income apart from GST refunds which for the most part were always transferred into the personal account of Staples’ wife and used to pay personal expenses along with a bank loan for a property the couple had bought in Botany.    Read more »

Tax fraud, forgery and benefit rorts all part of the package

Paul Thomas Staples and Jean Staples leave the Manukau District Court

Paul Thomas Staples and Jean Staples leave the Manukau District Court

THE WIFE of a notorious Auckland tax cheat spent five years on the domestic purposes benefit while she was still living with her husband – but was never charged with benefit fraud.

Between 2006 and 2011 Jean Staples, the wife of 52-year-old former bankrupt Paul Staples, received more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded benefits while she was helping her husband cook the books for companies set up by him under her name to defraud IRD.

Paul Staples will appear in the Manukau District Court on December 3 for sentencing on charges of forgery, tax evasion and knowingly providing false information to Inland Revenue – offences which carry maximum penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment.

Court records show that between September 2008 and August 2011, Staples filed 27 fraudulent income tax and bogus GST returns with IRD under three different companies.

During that time he also claimed a salary as a shareholder of a company when he wasn’t one, falsified sale and purchase agreements and legal documents and registered companies when he was a bankrupt.

Inland Revenue has assessed the debt at around $320,000, but with penalties and interest it is likely to run to well over half a million dollars.

It appears a deal may have been negotiated between the prosecution and Staples where in return for guilty pleas on all counts no charges were laid against his wife, who judging by the police summary of facts was a party to most of the offending.    Read more »