Christchurch businessman served home detention for unpaid taxes

Calculating numbers for income tax return with pen and calculator
Photo credit: File

A Christchurch businessman has been sentenced to six months' home detention and community work for unpaid taxes after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Hayden George Jones, 43, admitted seven representative charges relating to companies that are now in liquidation in the Christchurch District Court on Monday. He was ordered to immediately pay $205,000 in reparations.

Jones ran breweries and bars in Christchurch that went into liquidation following the earthquakes.

Inland Revenue spokesperson Karen Whitiskie says between December 2010 and June 2014, Jones didn't hand over $381,325 in PAYE deductions.

"This sort of offending is a threat to the integrity of the tax system. It wasn't a temporary slip; it was premeditated and prolonged. He deducted the money from his staff's wages but didn't pass it onto IR.

"Jones isn't a newbie in the business world - he's been the director of 34 companies since 1997. He was a registered director of each of the companies involved in this case and a signatory on the bank account of each. He could have fixed this, but chose not to."

It is not the first time Jones has appeared before the courts. In 2014, Jones was fined $35,000 after he was convicted of four offences of failing to file financial statements under the Financial Reporting Act, Ms Whitiskie says.  

Jones' sentencing on Monday should serve as a deterrent to anyone else thinking of holding on to their staff's PAYE deductions, she says.

"He's being held to account."

The maximum penalty on each of the seven charges is imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding $50,000, or both.


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