New Zealand Police v Kesha [2017] NZDC 25018

Published 20 July 2018

Failure to account to the Commissioner — default — PAYE — deductions — tax — sentencing — Tax Administration Act 1994. The defendant was the joint director of two companies: an accounting company and a cafe. The defendant was sentenced for failures by each company to account to the Commissioner for PAYE deductions, KiwiSaver employee deductions, superannuation cash contributions and student loan deductions. There was a default of almost $200,000 spanning a period of four years. The court noted that one of the companies involved in the offending was an accountancy business and that the defendant was well aware of the company's tax obligations. The offending was described as deliberate and calculating diversion of payment for other uses. The offending was aggravated by premeditation and the court applied an uplift of four months' imprisonment to a starting point of two years and six months. Mitigating factors were a lack of previous convictions, references and prompt guilty pleas. The defendant was sentenced to two years and one month imprisonment on each charge, to be served concurrently. Judgment Date: 3 November 2017.