Couple fined for obstructing IRD

Last updated 11:25 18/12/2012

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An Auckland couple has been convicted and fined $15,000 each after obstructing the Inland Revenue Department.

Rosemary Julia Webb was charged with deliberately obstructing IRD officers and her husband Paul Nigel Webb was charged with aiding and abetting his wife following a search of their home in March last year.

Group tax counsel Graham Tubb said the couple deliberately withheld evidence that was being sought as part of an investigation into their tax affairs.

During the search Rosemary Webb got rid of two computer hard drives and paper documents and files that were relevant to the investigation, the department said.

She also liaised with her husband by phone and text messages, informing him that the material had been disposed of and not handed over to IRD officers. The messages showed Paul Webb encouraged his wife's actions, IRD said.

“Inland Revenue always ensures that appropriate action is taken in cases of non-compliance and there are consequences for those who deliberately break the law,” Tubb said.

“Searches are one of a number of tools available to Inland Revenue, however they are used sparingly, and when it is believed that people have deliberately not met their tax obligations.

“We will only search premises when we consider that it will increase the likelihood of securing records that are relevant to our investigation."

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