Commissioner of Inland Revenue v Naisbitt [2017] NZDC 25304

Published 10 August 2018

Tax fraud — false income returns — fraudulently obtained income tax and GST refunds — R v Masters HC Auckland CRI-2003-092-30868 — Hogan v Ministry of Social Development (2005) 23 CRNZ 500 — James v R. The defendant was sentenced on 26 counts of tax fraud after he claimed losses in income meaning that withholding tax and PAYE credit was refunded. When the IRD began an investigation, the defendant provided false documents. The defendant had filed over 60 tax returns between 2007 and 2014 using six different entities. The defendant pleaded guilty at a late stage to the offending. The total amount of the loss caused by the fraud was $139,050.81. The court noted, with reference to authorities, that fraud committed against a Government Department was to be treated no differently than other fraud cases. The offending was described as serious given the amount of money involved, the premeditation and the somewhat sophisticated nature of the offending. In sentencing, the court took into account the defendant's offer of reparation in the sum of $82,000 and ongoing payments of $2,000 per month and the defendant's guilty plea, but declined a discount for his gambling addiction. The defendant was sentenced to 11 months' home detention with reparation. Community work was not imposed as the court viewed the term of home detention to be significant and sufficiently stern. Judgment Date: 9 November 2017.