Canterbury businessman John Stevens admits failing to pay $250,000 tax bill

John Robert Stevens, 65, has admitted 34 charges relating to the non-payment of almost $250,000 in tax in the ...
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John Robert Stevens, 65, has admitted 34 charges relating to the non-payment of almost $250,000 in tax in the Christchurch District Court.

A Rangiora businessman has admitted the non-payment of nearly $250,000 to Inland Revenue, a year after his knitwear firm collapsed.

John Robert Stevens, 65, admitted 34 charges in the Christchurch District Court on Thursday.

Judge Tony Couch remanded him on bail for sentencing on October 20 and requested a report to consider him for home detention. 

Inland Revenue prosecutor Paul Saunders said Shalimar Knitwear was established in 1992 to supply knitwear to retailers all over the country. Stevens and his wife were joint directors.

When the company was liquidated in the High Court a year ago, on the application of the Inland Revenue commissioner, it owed the commissioner $920,572 in all types of tax, penalties, and interest.

Late payments received after the due dates reduced the figure to $248,394.

Stevens was involved in discussions about PAYE debt and warned by Inland Revenue officers that failing to pay the tax could lead to prosecution. "Despite this, the offending continued," Saunders said.

An analysis showed that on 28 occasions, payment in full could have been made, and that other creditors were paid during this period, Inland Revenue said.

Stevens explained to the department that cashflow issues arising from a defaulted loan, the aftermath of the earthquakes and insurance issues had led to the PAYE payments not being made.

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