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Man jailed for PAYE fraud

March 8, 2016

A Tauranga man who avoided paying $120,000 in PAYE, instead spending it on himself and his failed business, has been jailed.

Lance Rangitawa was the director of Drivehire, a company which provided truck drivers on a casual basis. Between June 2013 and March 2015, Rangitawa failed to pay his PAYE and was charged with 26 counts of failing to pay PAYE that he deducted from his employees. Rangitawa admitted using the funds to pay for personal and business expenses. The company was eventually put into liquidation on August 24 last year.

The 51-year-old appeared before Judge Peter Rollo in the Tauranga District Court for sentencing and despite his counsel asking for a community-based sentence, he instead jailed him for 14 months.

Department prosecutor Daniel Phillips said the judge rejected the defense submission that Rangitawa's actions were the result of bumbling incompetence and considered he was well aware of what he was doing. The sentence appears hefty compared with others given to those who have been convicted of similar offending against the IRD.

Lower Hutt tax adviser Patrick John Renshaw was given 10 months home detention in October last year after pleading guilty to 42 tax charges involving non-payment of PAYE, filing false GST and income tax returns, amounting to more than $345,000.

Christchurch scaffolding businessman Richard Lascelles also avoided jail, despite not paying more than $400,000 in PAYE deductions from work mostly during the Canterbury rebuild.

He was instead sentenced to 18 months' home detention.

At the time Inland Revenue group manager, investigations and advice, Patrick Goggin said Lascelles' offending was particularly disgraceful, given the hardship so many people in the region were experiencing.

Taken from NZ Herald.co.nz

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