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Tax evading Hamilton tradie gets nine months’ home detention after tip-off

An anonymous tip-off has led to a Hamilton tradesman being sentenced to nine months’ home detention for not paying nearly $240,000 in tax.

Uelese Young Yen was sentenced on 29 charges relating to two building services companies, Myra Quality Services and Julz Property Services, in Hamilton District Court today.  He had failed to pay nearly $239,811 in income tax and GST over a six-year period.

Inland Revenue spokesperson Tony Morris said Young Yen had largely operated outside the tax system, filing only three GST returns and no income tax returns from 2009 to 2014.

After Myra Quality Services was put into liquidation in July 2011, Young Yen carried on with the same type of offending while controlling his other company.

“Mr Young Yen told our investigators he had a limited understanding of his tax obligations. But that’s simply no excuse for not filing any personal or company income tax returns for such a lengthy period. Ignorance, in this case, is not bliss.”

Mr Morris said Young Yen had even applied to receive Working for Families tax credits in 2015, making claims dating back to 2010. When asked to verify his income for those years, he filed income tax returns that under-reported his income by around $275,000.

“This type of behaviour is totally unacceptable and we want honest taxpayers who pay the right amount of tax to know that we do everything we can to make sure that tax evasion is detected and, if necessary, the people concerned are prosecuted.”

Young Yen was also ordered to pay $80,000 in reparation and undertake 180 hours of community work.