Govt backs tax cheats

Written By: - Date published: 1:35 pm, August 7th, 2009 - 35 comments
Categories: crime, tax - Tags:

There is $4 billion in overdue tax owing. Every dollar of that means someone is pocketing cash that should be paying for schools, hospitals, superannuation etc, leaving those of us who pay our tax to pick up the tab.
Tax cheats are criminals free-riding on the rest of us. Fortunately, it’s very cost effective to hunt them down. Revenue Minister Peter Dunne told the Finance and Expenditure Committee yesterday that for every dollar spent chasing overdue taxes $65 is collected.
So it makes sense for the Government to invest in IRD officers to hunt down these tax cheats, especially at a time when the government is borrowing billions. It’s two birds with one stone – crims caught, coffers filled – right? Well, maybe on Planet Sensible but here the Key Government is cutting the IRD’s budget and cutting staff.
We shouldn’t really be surprised that catching people who are ripping the rest off is not a priority for this government. After all, tax evasion is a rich man’s game, they’re the ones with the accountants and the legal nous to hide the dosh, and the rich are National’s support base. The Government would rather pass ‘tough on crime’ laws that lock up more poor kids than tackle this multi-billion dollar swindle by the rich.
There’s one standard for National’s rich mates, another for the rest of us.

35 comments on “Govt backs tax cheats”

  1. Wow imagine what you could do with $4 billion.

    Auckland’s CBD Rail Tunnel, rail to the airport, a Howick/Botany line..;…

    OK, I’ll go back to my trainspotting buddies now.

  2. Tigger 2

    Cue right-wing comment about why the Left don’t advocate chasing beneficiary cheats with this same passion…

  3. deWithiel 3

    Standard left-wing bleeding heart response: are ‘beneficiary cheats’ ripping off the taxpayer to the tune of $4 billion?

  4. More sloppy work from Mr Sloppy.

    There is a big difference between tax cheats and tax minimisation. Indeed, the rich pricks that you so obviously despise are more than likely the ones who pay their accountants to ensure their taxes are legally minimised (altho as the banks have found out, it’s an art not a science). I’d suspect a lot of this is people too lazy to complete returns or who can’t afford accountants to legally minimise tax commitments.

    Anyway, facts have never bothered Mr Sloppy when cute slogans will do the job.

    • snoozer 4.1

      The difference is between tax evasion and tax avoidance – tax avoidence is legal but arguably not moral, tax evasion is illegal. Overdue tax obviously is not evaded tax, it is tax that has been determined to be due but hasn’t been paid.

      I don’t get your point anyway. Are you saying that we shouldn’t invest in IRD enforcing tax law, despite getting a return of $65 for each dollar invested?

      • Daveski 4.1.1

        Mr Sloppy (no facts, no evidence) assumes that it’s the rick pricks who have not paid their tax “swindle by the rich” etc etc.

        What was that phase .. .”dittoheads”.

        The point I was making is that the “rich” are far more likely to manage their taxes in a way to legally pay less tax.

        It’s just another nonsensical post by eddie built around a slogan.

        • Bright Red 4.1.1.1

          Is it just me or does ‘Mr Sloppy’ sound worryingly sexual to anyone else?

          • Daveski 4.1.1.1.1

            You’re obviously embarassed about it 🙂

            Heck, I thought I was being witty – a play on Mr Floppy – but now I’m worried what you’d think about that 😉

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.2

      You should get your facts right Daveski. The word used by Eddie is evasion, evasion is illegal whether assistance by an accountant or not. Avoidance is a different matter. So who is it thats sloppy aye Daveski?

      • Swampy 4.2.1

        “There is $4 billion in overdue tax owing. Every dollar of that means someone is pocketing cash that…”

        Clearly implying every single dollar is deliberate tax evasion.

        Only implying because it carefully written obtusely.

        Captcha: LABOR A TORYS

  5. Pat 5

    I’ve got some overdue tax to pay. I don’t think I’m a tax cheat, I am just having cashflow problems like most businesses. IRD don’t need to hunt me down, they know who I am and where I live and who my accountant is what arrangements I have made.

    Emotive language Eddie but the IRD don’t need to team of CSI-type super slueths.

    • snoozer 5.1

      Actually, they already have a team of and they get $65 that otherwise would be lost in revenue for every dollar spent.

      Obviously not every dollar overdue will never be paid but a large portion won’t be. You can’t expect Eddie or anyone to declare that a certain portion of that $4 billion is just people being late and the rest is people never intending to pay.

      • Swampy 5.1.1

        We can, it is called “the facts”. Whereas what is written to date is called “hyperbole”.

    • Bright Red 5.2

      Hmm. I always pay my tax on time, like I’m legally required to do. But if you need a little helping hand, Pat, give you a little extra time and the rest of us cover for you in the mean-time, I have no trouble with that. What shall we call it? Free-riding or corporate welfare?… Bludging?

  6. Lew 6

    Heh, cue moral reversal ‘tax is theft so it’s doubly immoral to use stolen money to chase more money which shouldn’t be stolen in the first place’ argument …

    L

  7. Pat 7

    On Planet Sensible “overdue tax” does not mean there are “tax cheats” or “tax evaders”. It means the tax is overdue.

  8. Gordon Shumway 8

    Really? You’re sure most of the unpaid tax is from “rich men” and not small/struggling businesses or sole proprietors?

  9. Ianmac 9

    I read somewhere that there are 10 “inspectors” to hunt down tax cheats who are in the low income perhaps beneficiaries etc, for every one inspector to hunt the bigtime big money cheats. Yet by far the biggest money is with the latter. Is that still right?

    • Gordon Shumway 9.1

      Ian – can you show us the stats for your claim that “by far the biggest money” is with “bigtime big money cheats”. Or did you make that up?

      • snoozer 9.1.1

        The rest of the country doesn’t earn enough to be owing that much tax! And workers and beneficiaries pay their tax before they get paid.. so it can only be businesses, the slef-employed, trusts etc that are failing to pay up.

        • Gordon Shumway 9.1.1.1

          Correct, but you realise that most businesses in NZ aren’t “big business”, don’t you?

      • Armchair Critic 9.1.2

        A breakdown of the type of tax and the amount owing would provide a bit more clarity.

      • Ianmac 9.1.3

        Sorry but no. It was part of a NZ doumentary a few years ago, and I assumed it was IRD but it may have been wider in that it included benefit fraud. It was just a general principle. Did Fay/Ritchwhite manage the system to avoid tax?

  10. cocamc 10

    Eddie
    Wasn’t obviously an issue for the previous govt either, unless this $4billion has been built up since last November.

    • Bright Red 10.1

      ah ‘they did it too’. That’s meant to be your fall-back argument, cocamc

  11. burt 11

    Hell $4b unpaid since the election… who would have guessed….

  12. Bryan 12

    Although Bernard Hickey showed the bipartisan foxes well and truly in charge of the hen-house today:

    http://blogs.nzherald.co.nz/blog/show-me-money/2009/8/6/can-landlords-be-unbiased/?c_id=8&objectid=10589084

  13. Murray M 13

    Burt @ 4.39pm – got it in one. Why was there no outrage when Labour were in power.

    • Armchair Critic 13.1

      Did you read past the second paragraph? Once you get past that the post explains the government are cutting budget numbers and staff at IRD.
      The post implies that when Labour were in power, some of the staff that are to lose their jobs were busy tracking down the outstanding tax, until now. National’s plan is to cut the staff so less overdue tax will be collected and more will be written off as uncollectable. Meaning the tax burden falls more heavily on people who actually do pay tax. How about debating this, rather than trying to blame Labour.

      • Swampy 13.1.1

        If you want to debate the facts, state exactly what work those laid off IRD staff were doing.

        • Armchair Critic 13.1.1.1

          Swampy – Firstly, I made the same suggestion over 24 hours ago. Get with the programme.
          Second, have a read of the comment I made that you replied to. I never claimed to know what the staff at IRD were doing, I just summarised the original post.
          Like the person I was replying to, it appears you have some difficulty with comprehension. I can’t be bothered explaining the subject further as you sound like a dumb-arse troll who won’t read or even get what I have to say in any case. Please make your reply stupid enough to get yourself banned.

  14. brownsbayboy 14

    [lprent: deleted and banned. Pretty clear this idiot doesn’t have the required skills to write here. Reflexive troll]

  15. Swampy 15

    Wow, everyone who hasn’t paid their tax must automatically be a tax cheat. Have you stopped to think that a lot of this is from struggling small business people or sole traders who are behind on their tax payments due to the financial conditions?

  16. GNZ 16

    Swampy why don’t you borrow money from someone who actually agreed to lend it to you – as opposed to us actual tax payers. And if you can’t get credit from them why should you have credit from us.
    IRD and the commerce comission should be giving lots more money.

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