Pair lose appeal over IRD raids

17:00, Sep 07 2012

The Court of Appeal has rejected a bid by a pair of high-profile Auckland businessmen to have an Inland Revenue search and seizure operation declared unlawful.

Inland Revenue conducted the raids last March at homes and business premises related to property developer Honk Group.

Honk Group's directors are Andrew Tauber, a former tax accountant with Ernst & Young, and Paul Webb, co-founder of collapsed domestic airline CityJet and former Dragon's Den panelist.

The Honk companies and related parties were under investigation for income suppression, claiming tax deductions without entitlement and tax avoidance.

The pair and several other appellants unsuccessfully challenged the search and seizure operation in the High Court, claiming the warrants were unnecessary and too wide-ranging.

A written decision issued yesterday by the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court ruling.

The Court of Appeal said it was satisfied that the applications for the search and seizure warrants were lawful and reasonable.