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Tamihere Cleared? Yeah Right!

Tamihere cleared? Yeah right!

Tuesday 21 Dec 2004
Rodney Hide
Press Releases -- Other

"The soft language of the White Report and the Government spin can't disguise that the report is damning on John Tamihere," said ACT Leader Rodney Hide today.

"Mr Tamihere took a `golden handshake' that he told the electorate he wouldn't take; he didn't declare his income to the Inland Revenue Department as required by law; and no tax was paid on the handshake and several other payments paid to Mr Tamihere totalling $220,000 as required by the law.

"Mr Tamihere received seven payments from the Trust dating back to 1998 on which no tax was paid. The Trust also paid for his election expenses and for setting up his electorate office - again on which no tax was paid.

"Not only was no tax paid but John Tamihere didn't declare his income to the IRD.

"Douglas White finds that Mr Tamihere completed an income tax return for the year ended 31 March 1999 based on a Taxation Certificate from the Trust which did not include his bonus payment of $25,000 as required by law. He also found that Mr Tamihere's tax return for the year ended 31 March 2001 did not declare the payments totalling $145,000 received that year as part of his `golden handshake'. Mr Tamihere's failure to declare his income in these two years has been referred to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue for investigation.

"The IRD are also investigating whether Westland Ltd or the Trust ought to have paid FBT on the vehicles that were supplied to John Tamihere.

"All this from a man who cites himself as being a tax expert. The Government comes down hard on taxpayers who don't declare income and who don't pay their tax. There should be no exceptions just because John Tamihere was a Minister.

"Douglas White also found that John Tamihere failed to declare his ongoing use of a Toyota Land Cruiser in respect of which payments were made by Westland in the period covered by his declaration of interests and assets dated 21 January 2004. He found too that John Tamihere's electoral return did not add up.

"Mr Tamihere declares himself `cleared' and I suppose this is to be expected. After all he's learnt from a Prime Minister who refuses to accept responsibility for her speeding motorcade and for signing a painting she didn't paint.

"Today is good news for all taxpayers: There now exists the Tamihere defence: `I told everyone I wasn't receiving that income. I thought someone else was paying the tax on it, and I didn't declare it because I didn't think I had to'.... Yeah right.


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