Lower Hutt: Businessman sentenced following Tax evasion

The owner of a spray painting business in Petone has been sentenced to 10 months’ home detention and 250 hours’ community work for tax evasion of almost $250,000.

Robin Claude Smith, 66 of Wainuiomata was earlier found guilty in Wellington District Court of 95 charges of tax evasion.

Between 1999 and 2007, Smith conducted his spray painting business using two sets of books — one under the name Robin Smith Spraypainting, the other using the name R Smith Painting.

He used two invoice books and two bank accounts, but only supplied one set of records to his accountant, Inland Revenue investigations manager assurance Richard Philp told the court.

Smith deliberately set up the second entity and bookkeeping system with the intent that payments from certain clients would not be declared for tax purposes, Mr Philp said.

He declared only modest income, or small losses in his tax returns over the eight years reviewed, and used the undeclared income to fund a lifestyle that included overseas travel, purchasing expensive motor vehicles and importing pedigree dogs.

Mr Philp said this was a crime of greed. Smith not only cheated the Government out of the taxes due, he also obtained an unfair competitive advantage over legitimate businesses that pay their taxes.

Smith was found guilty of evading $245,578.96.

The court ordered reparation for the full amount of the outstanding tax evaded.

Upper Hutt: IRD Centre evacuation over envelope

Inland Revenue staff in Upper Hutt had to be decontaminated after an envelope containing white powder was opened by a mailroom employee this morning.

The building, in Jepsen Grove, was evacuated about 7.20am, police said. Cordons were put outside the building to stop members of the public entering.

Sergeant Steve Dearns said staff were allowed to return about 9am after the package was removed and taken to ESR for forensic analysis.

Upper Hutt area commander Inspector Michael Hill said preliminary analysis suggested the powder was not a dangerous substance. But Inland Revenue staff who had contact with the package went through a Fire Service “decontamination process” as a precaution.

Police were investigating.