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Auckland man jailed for make-believe GST refunds

A prolific Auckland offender has been jailed for more than two years for fraudulently claiming GST refunds on behalf of several fictitious businesses.

While serving home detention, Andrew Myer McGirr filed false GST claims on several occasions in 2010 for a property maintenance business that wasn't actually operating.

The 43-year-old received $22,375 in false refunds under his name and that of another person. He was also involved in $15,177 worth of refunds being received by an additional person.

Patrick Goggin, Inland Revenue's Group Manager, Investigations and Advice, said the small minority who try to cheat the system will be caught.

"McGirr's offences show that while some people try to rip off honest taxpayers, we have effective systems in place to catch those who enter false information on their returns," Mr Goggin said.

"The vast majority of taxpayers do the right thing and supply us with the correct information. We take criminal activity extremely seriously and continue to use new tools to identify and combat patterns of offending like this.

"The money McGirr stole would have gone towards essential services, such as roads, healthcare, schools and welfare.

"The sentence of two years and three months sends a strong message: committing tax fraud has serious consequences," he said.

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