A retired Whitianga property developer has been sentenced after pleading guilty to stealing taxpayers' money that he admitted he knew he was not entitled to.
Inland Revenue Group Manager for Investigations and Advice, Patrick Goggin said Michael Raymond Holmes was a tax cheat who deliberately tried to beat the system and deny hard-working New Zealanders.
"Holmes knew what he did was wrong but continued to use his companies to evade paying $775,000 of tax for four years. By stealing taxpayers' money from Inland Revenue he attempted to cheat those of us who abide by the rules. The money he claimed is used to pay for essential services like our schools and hospitals.
"Holmes registered three of his businesses for GST and used them to buy further commercial buildings and units. When some of his purchases did not go through, he still claimed the GST on them," said Mr Goggin.
One of Holmes' companies, Danyon Investment Limited entered into a purchase agreement on an Auckland property which resulted in him receiving a GST refund of $300,000. In June 1998, investigations by Inland Revenue found the purchase had not in fact gone ahead.
"Holmes stated he was aware the GST should have been returned but was struggling with financial difficulties," said Mr Goggin. "He also used another of his companies, Avila Property Investments Limited to buy ten units for which no GST was paid on the sale of these either," he said.
This pattern of offending continued and Holmes used his third company, Westvue Property Investments Limited to buy another Auckland property.
"Holmes knew this purchase never went through but instead of notifying Inland Revenue, he banked the cheque and spent the money," Mr Goggin said. "This was blatant tax evasion by Holmes who was fully aware that what he was doing was wrong.
"Our tax system is one of voluntary compliance and the majority of New Zealanders who pay their fair share can be confident that those who deliberately try and cheat will be caught and face the consequences," he said.
Holmes was sentenced to ten months home detention at at Hamilton District Court yesterday and ordered after pleading guilty to eight various charges in relation to tax evasion.
He was ordered to to pay reparation of $252,649.00. The remaining amount was not able to be ordered by the court as Holmes owned no assets in his own name or they were held in a Trust.