Businesses and individuals who do not show their proper income in their annual returns and those who do not file their returns properly or on time, will come to grief, Inland Revenue Commissioner Robert Russell has warned.
He said the Department was aware of some people evading tax either by diverting their personal income to other companies and trusts or by hiding their real earnings.
“We are aware some high-wealth and high-income individuals use internal restructuring and business shelters with no underlying commercial benefit to get a tax advantage.
“There are also people doing jobs for cash without paying any tax.
“The Department has the ability to identify and bring such people to justice,” he said.
Mr Russell said his officials were employing a number of methods to track down tax offenders, no matter how long it would take.
But the Department was aware of the hardships experienced by many small and medium businesses and was prepared to assist them, he said.
Releasing the Department’s Compliance Focus for 2010-2011, he said businesses struggling due to recession would be able to pay their taxes in instalments.
It is understood that about 30,000 businesses have applied for such a facility.
“We have made the move so that the effects of recession do not enter the new financial year. But we do not want people to misuse the facility and avoid paying taxes,” he said.
The Department is keen to alleviate the problems faced by taxpayers, while simultaneously ensuring that there were no defaulters, he said.
“It is about making sure people are fully aware of their tax obligations as well as their social entitlements.
“The hidden economy, debt and enhanced online services are among the areas of emphasis for the Department during this financial year,” Mr Russell said.
He said the Compliance Focus last year had achieved its objectives. The facilities including structured finance arrangements and early intervention to help people manage their debt or a particular situation.
“We know that the economic environment has been particularly hard for some and they may continue to experience the effects for some time.
“We will therefore continue to support them, while taking action where there is tax evasion or avoidance,” he said.
Photo : Robert Russell