Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Hidden economy campaign – IR visits hospitality businesses

29 OCTOBER 2019

Inland Revenue compliance staff have searched several Central Otago businesses and made unannounced visits to others, as part of its current hidden economy campaign targeting the hospitality sector.

Café, restaurants, bars and takeaways are the focus of the renewed campaign which follows the successful prosecution of five siblings in the Thai House case.

Inland Revenue spokesman Richard Philp says the recent visits to Queenstown businesses have confirmed the sector has a high risk of cash sales not being reported and employees being paid under the table.

“We certainly observed those behaviours during our visits. Using court issued warrants, Inland Revenue staff seized wage records, computers and other business records. Staff also seized information on employer provided accommodation, rental properties, working for Families Tax credits and payroll matters,” Richard Philp says.

“Some of the items we removed includes information on staff paid in cash without PAYE being deducted and documents detailing cash deposits in to private bank accounts without being returned for GST and income tax purposes.

“On unannounced visits we seized till records and lists of staff names and work rosters to check against employee details we hold.

“During the operation, a number of taxpayers referred unprompted to the Thai House case and were aware IR was conducting search activities in Queenstown outside of normal business hours.”

Since the operation ended two businesses have indicated they will make voluntary disclosures.

“It’s early days yet in the investigations but it’s always good to see taxpayers or their agents contacting us early after a compliance visit, wanting to make a voluntary disclosure. It helps the taxpayer as they receive a reduction in the penalties imposed,” Richard Philp says.

“Also, we appreciate that investigations can be stressful, and we work with taxpayers to resolve matters in a timely manner so they can get on with their business."

As a taxpayer, you can also tell IR voluntarily about your own tax situation especially if you think there’s something wrong with your tax returns because you’ve left out some cash sales

Richard Philp says most hospitality businesses are paying the right amount of tax and have good bookkeeping practices but there are still those that don’t.

“Knowing the books are all in good order takes a huge weight off a business owner’s shoulders and means they can sleep easy knowing they have good records,” Richard Philp says.

“We visited more than 30 taxpayers in Arrowtown, Queenstown, and Frankton to talk about our ‘Sleep Easy’ campaign and left information about record keeping with them. We want to support businesses to keep good records and ensure a level playing field for all.

“Everyone should pay their fair share of tax because that’s what pays for the essential things that make New Zealand a great place to live,” Richard Philp says.

If you think someone’s not being honest about their tax you can anonymously report tax evasion or you can contact Inland Revenue if you think hospitality businesses are not declaring their full earnings


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Auckland Transport: Successful Bridge Repair Opens Two Additional Lanes To Traffic

The opening of two additional lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning will help relieve some motorway congestion for motorists heading home to the North Shore tonight. More>>


Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>


Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>


MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>


University Of Auckland: Whale-Watching By Satellite – Follow Their Travels Online

Scientists have successfully attached satellite tracking tags to six New Zealand southern right whales, or tohorā, and are inviting the public to follow the whales’ travels online. Part of a major research project involving the University of Auckland ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Kiwibank Admits System Failures And Agrees To Pay Customers $5.2 Million

Kiwibank has entered into a settlement agreement with the Commerce Commission after reporting that it failed to have in place robust home loan variation disclosure policies, procedures and systems. In a settlement dated 27 August 2020, Kiwibank admitted that ... More>>

Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>


NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>


Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>