Former Auckland financial adviser Peter Coleman jailed on tax charges

The judge said Coleman used IRD as a "bank to prop up failing businesses".
The judge said Coleman used IRD as a "bank to prop up failing businesses". Photo credit: File

A former financial adviser who went 24 years without filing a tax return has been jailed for nearly five years.

Peter Martin Coleman was sentenced on 41 charges relating to the Crimes Act and the Tax Administration Act in the Auckland District Court on Monday. He filed GST returns so he would receive money from Inland Revenue (IRD) but didn't file returns where he would have to pay tax or GST.

Coleman was under investigation by the IRD from 2014 and his house was searched in 2015.

More than 30 of the charges against him were knowingly providing false information in GST and income tax returns.

As a result of Coleman's actions, the IRD lost more than $1 million. His financial history includes company liquidation, unpaid tax debt, near bankruptcy, unpaid child support and hidden bank accounts, a statement from the IRD said.

IRD spokesperson Tony Morris said Coleman made a living operating a failing business.

"The evidence against him was overwhelming and the judge, in this case, found him guilty on all charges.

"While most people are honest and pay tax on all their income, those who intentionally avoid paying tax or claim money they aren't entitled to, are robbing honest people of services they might have had."

Coleman was sentenced to four years and nine months.