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Trucker sentenced to 2 years in jail for not paying tax for years

A Hamilton trucking operator has been sentenced to two years in prison for failing to pay a single cent of tax for more than 10 years.

Karl Edward Barbalich, 41, was sentenced today in Hamilton District Court on three representative tax evasion charges relating to his business, which traded as KEB Transport. He operated several trucks making deliveries of produce throughout Waikato and Auckland.

Inland Revenue Group Manager Investigations and Advice Patrick Goggin said Barbalich seemed to think he could operate outside the tax system.   “Barbalich proved almost impossible to get hold of, despite repeated attempts by Inland Revenue to track him down,” Mr Goggin said. “He remained resolutely outside the tax system, failing to comply with any tax obligations despite charging his customers GST and employing staff.”

He failed to file income tax returns since 2005, GST returns since 2007, and provided no information to Inland Revenue regarding employees who he had been paying since 2010.

“When we finally caught up with him, he fully admitted he was solely responsible for running the business, managing its finances, and meeting any tax obligations.

“Our investigators have calculated that over this period he has evaded paying nearly $450,000 in income tax and GST. This money would have gone towards paying for roads, hospitals and schools.

“He was blind to the fundamental concept that paying a fair share of tax is one way citizens contribute to society, and that pays for the services all New Zealanders benefit from,” Mr Goggin said. “He just chose not to and that’s completely unacceptable.”