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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22502
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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My husband is knowingly engaging in tax fraud by falsifying

Customer Question

my husband is knowingly engaging in tax fraud by falsifying gst refund claims to the ird. i have told him that if he makes a voluntary disclosure to the ird before they investigate or audit him, he can avoid prison. is this correct. he has claimed appx 30k in refunds over a 12 month period. theyve given no iydication they are investgating, but ive just found out and imextremelu worried.
JA: What state is this in? And just to clarify, when was the purchase made?
Customer: new zealand
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no, not yet
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no, thankyou.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 month ago.

As you realise there is a good chance of jail if he is caught. GST money is regarded as being held on trust for the IRD, so failure to pay or making false returns are taken more seriously than failing to pay income tax. If he makes a voluntary disclosure, they may still prosecute him, but an early admission and cooperation will help avoid a jail sentence. He will also need to be able to repay the refunds and possibly penalties, and if he avoids jail, he will be fined. So he would need to be financially prepared to avoid jail. People sometimes try tax fraud when they are short of money, which is why I mentioned the need to be ready to repay. If they discuss this, the first thing mentioned would be repayment, and if he cannot do so, it would be more likely they will prosecute and ask for jail as the sentence

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks for that. I read that a voluntary disclosure before "notified" of an audit or investigation means they won't prosecute. Only after cases of evasion or fraud they will or could after notification?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 month ago.

The voluntary disclosure is where there are errors. A deliberate case of falsifying the records is different, and there would be no certainty about prosecution.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
OK. Understood. I guess there is no chance of avoiding prosecution, only jail if he discloses before they catch him. Would he approach them directly or through a lawyer?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
If so, would he use a tax or criminal lawyer?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 month ago.

He may be best to hire a lawyer and start the negotiations

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 month ago.

Criminal would be best even though this is a tax issue

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