Wellington accountant Imran Mohammad Kamal has been revealed as one of the players sentenced in a tax evasion scheme that went before the High Court last year.
Scott Anderson received 3-1/2 years' jail after being found guilty of numerous charges relating to tax evasion. In July self-employed tax specialist Brent Gilchrist was sentenced to 10 months' home detention for a related fake invoice-writing scheme.
Kamal, who runs his own accounting company Accountants First, paid money to Gilchrist and Anderson based on fake invoices for IT services that were never performed. The funds were stashed in offshore accounts.
Kamal kept 90 per cent of the money himself while others received the balance as a "fee" for their involvement.
Kamal was sentenced last year on five charges of providing false tax returns and one charge of providing misleading information to Inland Revenue intending to evade tax but his name was suppressed until a judge lifted the order on Friday.
Accountants First Ltd also altered tax invoices in an attempt to hide the offending, and used the offshore bank account in a tax evasion scheme, redirecting the funds back into New Zealand by paying for renovations to Kamal's home.
Inland Revenue group tax counsel Graham Tubb said the decision to lift name suppression for Kamal reinforced the message that those who participated and facilitated tax evasion and fraud should be held publicly accountable.
"By acting as he did, Kamal has abused the trust placed in him and also used his knowledge and his position to try and cheat the system, but for all that, he still failed and will bear the consequences," Tubb said.
"We believe that tax professionals such as advisers and agents have a duty to uphold the integrity of the tax system and the vast majority work hard to ensure that those they offer help to are operating within the rules.
"Unfortunately, some will try and cheat the tax system as will those who choose to take that advice. The public can be confident that Inland Revenue will take action, including in some cases the removal of the right to act as a tax agent for others."
- The Dominion Post
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