Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Auckland Couple Sentenced For Repeated Tax Evasion

A South Auckland husband and wife, who a judge says used a repeat pattern of tax evasion and used their children as puppets in their ongoing businesses, have been sentenced to prison and home detention respectively.

Tamanini Muaiava and his wife Uputaua Muaiava were sentenced in the Papakura District Court this week on 65 charges each of evading or attempting to evade the assessment or payment of goods and services tax, and PAYE.

Tamanini Muaiava was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment and Uputaua Muaiava was sentenced to nine months home detention.

Inland Revenue spokesperson Tony Morris says Tamanini Muaiava has previous tax convictions and says someone who persistently evades their tax obligations in the way Mr Muaiava did, deserves to be held to account.

“Tamanini and Uputaua Muaiava jointly operated businesses supplying labour to agricultural growers in South Auckland. When they were confronted about one company’s failure to pay tax, that company would be wound up and a new company incorporated to continue their trading.

“On at least three separate occasions they used one of their children as sole director and shareholder in a company. The sentencing judge noted the children were “enlisted as mere puppets for the ongoing business”.

“The judge noted that English is a second language for Mr Muaiava but rejected any claim of misunderstanding about his tax obligations. He said while Muaiava’s ‘cultural’ obligation to ensure harvesters were paid may provide the context of his offending, it doesn’t excuse it.”

The various companies kept few records and traded mostly in cash for both income and expenditure and IR has had to reconstruct income from invoice records. The total tax evaded by the Muaiava’s is estimated at $431,644.66.

Tony Morris says the offending is straight theft from the community and a gross abuse of trust.

“The offending not only involved the deliberate failure to file GST and PAYE returns, but also the careful use of new companies to continue trading in the same business, with the same primary customers and in the same way.

“It’s why the judge found their offending was premediated, repetitive and deliberate. While the couple are of modest means and have few assets or exhibit a lavish lifestyle their family accepted considerable income from this tax fraud”, Mr Morris says.

In his judgement, Judge Winter accepted that Tamanini Muaiava felt pressure to pay his workers and may have tried to help them on occasions by giving them extra money for their special needs, such as family funerals. However, he didn’t accept that either he or his family made no financial gain from his tax evasion.

Judge Winter says there is a clear connection between Tamanini Muaiava’s personal, family, community and Samoan cultural background that explains but cannot excuse his offending. He also accepted the couples now deep sense of shame (Maasiasi) and profound remorse.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Rivals For The Covid Saliva Testing Dollar

If you want a good insight into what the limits of tiny, barely discernible steps to reduce poverty actually look like, delve into the latest Statistics Department figures on poverty in New Zealand Most of the nine measures utilised reveal little or no progress in combatting poverty over the 21 months to March 2020... More>>


 

Government: Reserve Bank To Take Account Of Housing In Decision Making

The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into ... More>>

ALSO:


RNZ: Alert Levels Remain

There are no new community cases of Covid-19 today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says at least half of the Papatoetoe High School community have been tested and the results that have come through so far have all been negative... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: Latest Release Of Child Poverty Statistics

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>

ALSO:


NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

Travel: Government Eases Visa Restrictions For Visitors In New Zealand

Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Minister of Immigration has announced. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels