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Christchurch businessman gets 25 months' jail for failing to pay PAYE

A Christchurch businessman has been jailed for just over two years for failing to pay PAYE over a period of five years.

Raymond Martin Kesha was sentenced to 25 months jail in the Christchurch District Court for failing to pay $195,991.36 in deductions.

The deductions were to pay income tax on behalf of his staff as well as their KiwiSaver and student loan contributions.

Kesha was sole director and owner of Be Smart Accounting and Be Smart Group, which operated another accounting services business and Ray’s Café.

Both companies were placed into liquidation in 2015.

Inland Revenue’s Collections Group Manager David Udy says paying PAYE is a key responsibility for every employer but is one Kesha actively abdicated.

“He was given every opportunity and warning that this tax needed to be paid and had the consequences explained for not following the law.

“Kesha admitted to us that he knew PAYE was not being paid but thought that the business would be able to trade out of its cash flow issues.

“His responsibility to do the right thing by his staff didn’t end following the liquidation of his businesses and we’re pleased the court has recognised this in handing down this jail sentence.”

Media contact: Baden Campbell 029 8901674