Yes, it’s true. The IRD has started giving away free all inclusive holidays with your room, meals, beverages and even some sports activities included. To be eligible, you’ll need to stop filing tax returns and start specialising in cash-jobs. The most recent “winners” were in the building sector but that doesn’t mean they won’t open this up to your industry too.
In all seriousness, if this hasn’t crossed your radar yet, two tradesmen were given a holiday, in the form of jail time, this month for tax evasion. They were pretty hefty sentences with one receiving more than two years prison time. Now, tax evasion might sound like something you’d never get mixed up in but it can be as simple as not filing your returns and that’s something I regularly see, as a Chartered Accountant. Weirdly, it’s often the most generous normal people, who’d never risk a parking ticket, but when it comes to filing tax returns they take on the most lackadaisical of mindsets. For example, I’m currently hounding a high achieving, high earning client to file his returns but he just doesn’t seem to care. I’m up against the attitude of “she’ll-be-right” but, given recent developments, perhaps it won’t be.
It’s not just income tax returns. Not paying GST or PAYE are equally serious offenses. Why? Because basically, you’re collecting other peoples money when it’s not yours to keep. Those bills might feel like any other unpaid bill piling up on your desk but, if you think about it, they’re really not. Staff tax, in particular, is seen as theft because it’s stolen from hardworking employees. Personally, I find it difficult when I see people not paying their staff tax (PAYE) and then heading out to buy another pair of yoga pants or posting photos of their latest Fiji holiday, all paid for with their employee’s money. I guess they just don’t realise the enormity of what they’re doing so that’s why I’ve shared this with you today.
Anyway, I’m not here to lecture you but for the wonderful 99% of us that do everything right and pay loads of tax, it’s nice to see the IRD handing down some decent punishments to those that don’t.
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Boutique Financial Chartered Accountants & Business Commentators
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