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Prisoner sentenced on tax fraud

A man has been sentenced to two years in prison for tax fraud.

Phillip John Smith, 47, has been in prison since 1995 on non-tax related charges and was sentenced on 17 July to two years imprisonment on tax fraud charges.

Smith was charged with dishonestly using documents intending to obtain a pecuniary advantage, namely a Small Business Cashflow Scheme application to Inland Revenue; 17 GST returns; and an income tax return.

The total fraud added up to $66,197.62. Smith received $53,593.41 and was ordered to pay full reparations on that amount.

Between October 2019 and March 2020, Smith registered five companies with the New Zealand Companies office. Shareholders and directors were friends, associates or third parties unknown to him.

Using friends and associates, he set up and activated myIR accounts for each company.

In June 2020 Inland Revenue started an investigation into the Small Business Cashflow Scheme loan application, GST returns, and income tax returns filed by the five companies.

Smith was interviewed under caution and denied he was involved in any of the offending. He claimed to have given a man named Josh Andrews authority over his personal bank account, but further investigation showed that person did not exist.

In court Smith plead guilty to the charges and accepted a previously given sentencing indication.

Covid Support

The SBCS was implemented under urgency using a high trust application model to ensure small businesses could access funds in a timely fashion.

On June 3, 2020, Smith caused to be completed a SBCS loan application for $11,800. The money was paid to a bank account in Smith’s name.

False and misleading GST returns.

Between 1 December 2019 and July 2020, Smith caused 17 false and misleading GST returns for the five companies none of which had traded or incurred expenses.

Smith caused the returns to be filed and $48,237.41 was paid into his and associates bank accounts.

Income tax returns

On 12 August 2019, Smith caused an income tax return to be filed in another man’s name, resulting in a tax refund of $4,160.21 being paid in Smith’s bank account.

Phillip John Smith has previously appeared for similar tax offending.


Last updated: 17 Jul 2023
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