Our tax lawyers have been representing New Zealanders with tax debt and disputes for over a decade – we’re well-versed in dealing with the IRD and a good at what we do. Our collective knowledge, experience and connections, means we have the necessary expertise to craft succinct and well-rounded cases for our clients. No matter the challenge, we aim to resolve tax problems in a timely manner and before they get to Court.
Who is liable for prosecution?
People can be prosecuted for various ‘tax evasion’ acts, these include, common examples include:
- Not declaring all income earned.
- Failure to file tax returns.
- Employers failing to pay for PAYE deductions.
- Claiming expenses when there is no entitlement.
Before prosecution plays out, the Inland Revenue will most likely want to interview you and/or send you legal documents. The Inland Revenue try to may gather information about your affairs from third-party sources – including staff, clients, banks and customers – they will try to build a case against you.
Why it’s important to seek legal advice and direction from a tax lawyer early on?
If the IRD begin prosecution action against you, or they are considering prosecuting you, it is vital you seek guidance from us before you engage with Inland Revenue. Any information you provide to the Inland Revenue could be used as evidence against you should they decide to prosecute. We aim to resolve matters before they get to Court. However, should criminal prosecution start we’ll be by your side every step of the way and craft a thorough defence response to better aid your case.
What if I have broken the tax laws?
Not all cases end up in Court, it all depends on the gravity of the situation and how it is handled. However If you criminal tax allegations and are found guilty or decide to plead guilty you could face one of the following penalties.
- Payment of reparation
- Community work
- Community detention
- Home detention
- Custodial prison sentence
As your tax lawyer, we’ll ensure you completely understand the ins and outs of charges against you what your defences are and the potential outcomes.
I’m being audited by IRD. Why?
The Inland Revenue audit people’s tax affairs to ensure tax laws are being complied with. You may be chosen at random – as part of routine activity – or for other reasons, such as an anonymous person sending information about you to the IRD, or you have failed to file returns, or pay income tax, to name a few.
Not everyone who is audited is in the wrong. You may have everything in order or a few minor errors that needed fixing. However, if the IRD find major errors – that may be perceived as a deliberate attempt to reduce tax payable – they can take a hard line.
What should I do when under IRD tax audit?
Your rights are at risk when under audit, so it’s essential to seek legal advice for your own protection. An audit can commence without you knowing about it – the first you may hear of it is when the IRD turn up on your doorstep or you receive an audit notification letter.
If the IRD staff arrive on your premises or ask you to attend an interview, contact us before engaging with them. We will ensure the right information is delivered to them and you are not left in the dark. As a spokesperson for our clients, we attend interviews and liaise directly with IRD officials on your behalf. This minimises stress and ensures clear communication.
What penalties could I face?
Depending on what is revealed and involved in your audit case, the IRD may choose to:
- Increase the amount of tax you have to pay.
- Impose shortfall penalties, which range from 20-150% of the increase in tax payable.
- Prosecute you for tax evasion.
Whatever the outcome, ensuring you have a trusted hand throughout the audit process is essential for greater peace-of-mind and achieving the best outcome. We can assist by reducing penalties and seeking tax debt write off under the tax laws.