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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Information Services Department)

Community service orders for two property owners over tax evasion

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     A couple, convicted on May 12 at the Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts of evading tax, were sentenced today (May 23) to community service orders.

    The first defendant was convicted on five charges of evading salaries tax and property tax. She was sentenced to 160 hours' community service. The second defendant was convicted on two charges of evading property tax. He was also sentenced to 160 hours' community service.

    The first defendant, aged 43, pleaded guilty to five counts of evading tax, wilfully with intent, by making false statements in connection with claims for deduction of home loan interest in her tax returns for the years of assessment 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10, and omitting rental income for the years of assessment 2008-09 and 2009-10, contrary to section 82(1)(c) and section 82(1)(a) of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (IRO) (Cap. 112).

    The court heard that during the material times, the first defendant owned a property in Hong Kong which was let out for the period between July 7, 2008, and March 6, 2010. An investigation by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) revealed that she made false statements in connection with claims for deduction of home loan interest in the amount of $241,355 in her tax returns for the three years of assessment 2007-08 to 2009-10 and omitted rental income of $457,500 in her tax returns for the two years of assessment 2008-09 and 2009-10. The total amount of tax evaded was $83,291.

    The second defendant, aged 41, pleaded guilty to two counts of evading tax, wilfully with intent, by omitting rental income in his tax returns for the years of assessment 2008-09 and 2009-10, contrary to section 82(1)(a) of the IRO.

    The court heard that during the material times, the second defendant owned another property in Hong Kong which was let out for the period between November 10, 2008, and October 9, 2009. An investigation by the IRD revealed that he omitted rental income of $231,000 in his tax returns for the two years of assessment 2008-09 and 2009-10. The total amount of tax evaded was $27,720.

    A spokesman for the IRD reminded taxpayers that tax evasion is a criminal offence under the IRO. Upon conviction, the maximum penalty for each charge is three years' imprisonment and a fine of $50,000 plus a further fine of three times the amount of tax evaded.

Ends/Friday, May 23, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:08

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