A Wellington security company director who evaded paying nearly $1 million in tax has been sentenced to eight months home detention.
Paul Cornel Coffey was sentenced in Wellington District Court today after being found guilty of 79 tax offences relating to two security companies.
Inland Revenue's Group Manager Investigations and Advice, Tony Morris, said Coffey was clearly aware of his tax obligations, but deliberately ignored them. He didnt file GST returns and failed to pass on PAYE deductions from his employees wages during a three-and–a-half year period.
"Coffey simply decided he didnt have to pay his fair share of tax like everyone else, and pocketed the GST he charged his clients and his employees PAYE. He used this money to live the high life, spending up large on overseas travel, restaurant meals and fast cars, including $165,000 on an Aston Martin," said Mr Morris.
"Coffeys actions completely undermine our tax system. While the majority of taxpayers do the right thing, there is a minority who think they can get away with ripping off honest New Zealanders.
"The tax Coffey refused to pay would have gone towards vital government services that we all rely on, such as hospitals, schools, roads and welfare," said Mr Morris.
The core tax he failed to pay was just under $900,000, but amounted to more than $1.5 million including penalties and interest.
Coffey has also been ordered to pay $20,000 in reparation and serve 280 hours of community work. The offences occurred between January 2008 and June 2011 and related to security companies trading as IMS and Alligator.