Tax Challenged

Tax cheat Matt McCarten has the temerity to abuse politicians as being maths challenged.

This from the man who cheated the tax payers by failing to pay the PAYE of his employees.

Who is the one who is maths challenged, huh?


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  • Gazzaw

    I would have thought that the maths for McCarten would have been quite basic.  

    $350k PAYE deducted from union employees’ wages =  $350k remitted to the IRD.

    Matt obviously finds basic maths very challenging.

  • I’m far more concerned at how IRD staffers, following orders, apparently, are openly ripping off honest, decent taxpayers:

    • Sarrs

      Could you please link to the legislation drafted (drafter, or enacted?) that your comment pertains to?

      It is possible that you got one of the IRD employees that makes love to their rule book – they give all IRD employees a bad name much in the way as certain accountants give us all bad names. In my experience it certainly isn’t standard practice, I have had many returns restated since the GST rate change when clients have made errors and never encountered a problem similar to yours. They calculate everything at 15% (usually through a computerised cashbook) but when they are grossing the amounts up in the return they x9 rather than x23/3 – resulting in the correct amount of GST returned and paid but errors in the return that need correction. 

      •  I’ve not looked, it’ll be Tax Administration Act … I think it must be typical mean spirited literal interpretation as IRD seem want of late, and may not be factually right – which makes it worse. We’ve requested from the officer concerned (Napier), and the two in-house legal opinions she got, that they send us the relevant sections of legislation they are supposedly following. I’ll post to the original blog if they send same. When I get time (end of April) I’ll have a good look into it myself.

        … mind you, I’ll also ask Peter Dunne’s office to send me this relevant legislation his department is apparently following.

      •  By the way Sarrs, to add to my (below – whichever way comments go) comment: the Napier officer were adamant they were right, to the point of making us go through the complaints process, a complete waste of time for everyone concerned given it was just a flaming typo. And that office will certainly be applying this nonsense (fraud in my opinion, even if ‘legal’) as stated. They didn’t even seem to understand how ludicrous and straight unjust it was – and that’s the truly frightening part. Like you, we’d never run across it before, including some similar issues around the rate change period, and I’m still open mouthed stunned, frankly. … um, am I? Probably not. Nothing is getting to surprise me anymore.

      • Sarrs

        Thanks for your reply Mark, I would be very interested to see the guts of the legal opinion because it seems to have the potential to smack every client who makes an error on a return. Although you mention in your blog that you had a 43% error rate in tax return processing from the IRD…that would suggest some level of incompetence on behalf of the Napier office surely! The Invercargill office isn’t infallible but we certainly don’t have the issues that you are experiencing. Maybe people battling to justify their positions in the face of public sector cut backs? 

      •  Sarrs, we’re dealing with Napier office on this one (or did), but the client is South Canterbury, and I should normally be dealing with Chch office (not hard to understand why not much is going through there), or Timaru (which seems to be off the map these days). I originally went to my Chch account manager, a great bloke, but he replied it was beyond his authority and I would have to use complaints process. That was a first time ever also.

        That 43% error rate was before efile. And yes, IRD could make a lot of money out of this, but I can’t see it as anything different than a fraud (certainly would be in private sector). Things must be getting pretty desperate with the country’s finances.

        As I said on the end of my blog post, the real problem here is this just makes taxpayers rightfully disrespectful of ‘the law’ because it is a government, if correct when I see the legislation, acting way out beyond the rule of law. Arbitrary government at its worst.

      • Sarrs

        I have never had to use the customer complaints line, even when things have got bad. I was always under the impression it was for customers that weren’t represented by a tax agent. 

        The application of interest and penalties is totally senseless – this from their own website 

        I couldn’t see how a shortfall penalty would be relevant because there was no shortfall and seeing as the adjustment didn’t result in any additional GST to pay, initial interest should also not have been charged. Sounds like someone in the department trying to make a name for themselves!

      •  I’d never used the complaints process either. My account manager had to send me a link.

        Yes, per your link, and common sense and common decency and the rule of law, there’s no way they can do this: but they say ‘they’re just following orders’ per changes in legislation last year: so it will be interesting if nothing else.

      • Sarrs

        I wonder what would have happened if the client had made an error in the return and actually paid the incorrect amount, resulting in overpayment. The guidelines posted on their own website suggest that UOMI would be paid on the balance and no penalties charged. Perhaps they are taking this from the point of view that the error couldn’t be classed as minor and they feel they are now being deprived of the additional income, even though it wasn’t theirs in the first place. 

        I don’t think trying to understand this is going to get anyone any where! It’s a senseless breach of their own guidelines and hopefully an isolated incident. The client should really be compensated for the additional accounting fees charged for sorting it out though; or if you didn’t charge then you should be compensated. 

        Look forward to your remarks come April (and things for both of us getting a bit quieter!)

    •  Sarrs, I don’t know if you’re still following this thread, but, while waiting for IRD to send me their reasoning, I’m wondering from reading TIB Vol 24 No. 1 out today, if it arises from the item under case notes relating to the judicial hearing on IRD refusing to accept amended GST returns from the Russel Template transactions.

      If so, they’re interpreting a case against a tax evader over into the reasoning for not fixing a typo, or a genuine mistake, from Jo Average taxpayer. Absurd, but they’re getting to be so literal minded, it wouldn’t surprise me. If they stick to that, fixing anything wrong will move from inconvenient to infuriating, at the moment, to next to impossible. No wonder everyone, including IRD, are struggling with their work flows.

  • Grizz30

    I thought the same thing when reading this. A union hack who has lost his credibility.

  • Phar Lap

    Seems the do nothing people ,in fact a waste of space have all the answers .Mccarten and the creep from ,Interest .nz, Hickey seem to get into print at the drop of a mouthful. Up till now the both mentioned have all the “answers”.Both couldn’t run a bath or work in an iron lung.

  • Thorn

    Nothing wrong with his maths – he just refuses to pay his fair share like the rest of us.

    • Gazzaw

      Not only his fair share Thorn but his employees’ fair share as well!

  • Greg M

    Why has the IRD done nothing about this? Don’t pay GST or child support for two months and watch the shitfight begin.
    How come m.m.m.m..Matt seems to be f.f.f.f.f.fucking getting away with it?

    • Sarrs

      Because the IRD have liquidated the company there are clearly no assets available to offset the debt. From the stuff article I read they are investigating an interest in a building lease…this was July 2011 so wouldn’t surprise me if that’s still tied up in court. He’s not liable in his own name, just the company’s (limited liability at it’s finest…not) and because the IRD don’t request personal guarantees like banks do it is unlikely that the money will ever be repaid or that Mr McCarten will face any significant personal consequences. Perhaps the IRD should start requesting personal guarantees from shareholders and directors if the company tax debt exceeds $10,000 past due at any point in time. 

      • Troy

        Wouldn’t sending to jail as a punishment not be an alternative – at least he will get to count which jailbirds to stay away from or being rogered by, and the taxpayers will feel justice woulda been served.  He’s a tttttwit of the highest order, just another goat’s cock.

      • Sarrs
      • Greg M

         Very interesting, cheers Sarah.

      • Gazzaw

        For a commie Matt displays remarkable capitalist running dog skills.

      • Callum

         The IRD needs to grow some balls and start using companies legislation in a lot of these cases, debt to the IRD but continuing to trade clearly shows they are trading while insolvent and therefore the directors can be pursued.

  • Owl

    Matt’s Unite union have not filed their financial returns since 2009. that is the real story here. The MED show delist the union now