Shearer advised IRD of his hidden off-shore bank account, but wants us to believe he “forgot” to tell parliament

The IRD announced a crackdown on people with offshore accounts in 2011:

Group Tax Counsel, Assurance, Graham Tubb said Inland Revenue was aware of New Zealand tax residents who may have taxable offshore income held in an offshore bank account, which is accessible in New Zealand, and this income may not be returned in New Zealand for income tax purposes.

He said that people who conceal income offshore are cheating other New Zealanders by not contributing their share of tax. “They do this by paying less income tax and child support, can decrease their student loan repayment obligation, and may claim a larger entitlement to Working for Families Tax Credit than they should.”

“Some people hold credit or debit cards issued by a foreign bank and these cards are being serviced by funds held in an offshore bank account. The types of funds deposited into these bank accounts can include income paid by a non-resident employer, overseas life insurance policies, superannuation schemes, or equity investments held in portfolio accounts,” he said.

Mr Tubb warned that if people deliberately divert income into an offshore bank account to evade or avoid the payment of tax, or to claim a greater amount of Working for Families Tax Credits, they may be committing criminal offences under the Tax Administration Act 1994. 

“Inland Revenue is working in close collaboration with the revenue authorities of other countries to reduce the use of offshore bank accounts and offshore schemes to misrepresent income or assets and evade tax in this country. We have signed 18 tax information exchange agreements, with more under negotiation. These agreements give us access to key ownership and banking information,” he said.

“Failure to declare offshore income or to make appropriate disclosures to Inland Revenue can attract serious penalties. Penalties may be reduced by making a voluntary disclosure.

Looks like Shearer has made a voluntary disclosure…So he was declaring his offshore accounts to IRD all along, that then makes all his pecuniary interests declarations since 2009 false.

On TVNZ last night he claimed that he had advised IRD but simply forgot to tell parliament.

He said he picked this up when he was doing his tax returns. He has declared this to the Inland Revenue Department, but he forgot to declare it to Parliament, he said.

David Shearer really is in a pickle here. He has avoided tax problems, but along the way through he has misled parliament…there is no easy way out of this…and simply claiming that you forgot isn’t going to cut it.

That excuse didn’t work for not doing your homework and it shouldn’t work for the man who would purport to want to be Prime Minister.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.