The IRD regularly prosecutes people for tax crime. Jail is a real possibility. Some examples of the types of behaviour that can lead to prosecution include:
- Not filing a return with the intention of avoiding assessment or payment of your liabilities. A potential example of this, that we come across on a regular basis, is people who own rental property in New Zealand but live overseas. Generally this income must be declared to the New Zealand IRD. We often see examples where people have not filed in New Zealand for 5-10 years. People misunderstand their tax obligations, or they get behind and the problem snowballs. It can be hard to take the first step to put a situation like this right but you need to do so as this will reduce the money that needs to be paid and avoid the risk of a criminal prosecution.
- Falsifying documents to be provided to the IRD.
- False statements to the IRD (including concealing or failing to provide relevant information).
- Failing to cooperate with the IRD.
- Deducting amounts that are not paid to the IRD as they should be, including: PAYE, GST, student loan deductions, and employee Kiwi Saver contributions.
- Failing to make deductions required by law, e.g. PAYE.
- False IRD refund/deduction/rebate claims.