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Tauranga tax advisor sentenced to home detention

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A Tauranga man working for a tax agent who was earlier found guilty of tax evasion has received a sentence of 6 months home detention and 150 hours community service.

John Richard Cox, a tax advisor was sentenced in the Tauranga District Court today on eight charges of Tax Evasion.

Investigations and Advice Group Manager, Patrick Goggin, said that tax agents and advisors have a duty to ensure their clients' tax affairs are correctly reported to Inland Revenue.

"Mr Cox not only breached his clients' trust by acting illegally but also that of Inland Revenue which trusted him to act with honesty and uphold the integrity of the tax system.

"He falsified his clients’ spread sheets by deleting their income details and then filing false GST returns on their behalf but without their knowledge.

"As a result of these actions, which occurred between July 2008 and September 2009, he was able to understate his clients’ income by a total of $326,606.08."

In other GST returns, Mr Cox added expenditure that had already been claimed in an earlier return over claiming expenditure by $129,360.

"When Inland Revenue spoke to Mr Cox, he admitted that he deliberately took steps to reduce his client’s GST liability and filed the various GST returns knowing that they were not paying the correct amount of tax.

"He was the person responsible for the completion and filing of those GST returns for his clients, and as a tax advisor, he knew the rules.

"Our tax system relies on honesty of individuals and their business entities, and when someone fails to pay their fair share and cheats the system, they are taking money from services such as schools, healthcare and other essential government services," Mr Goggin said.

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