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Partners of printing company jailed for tax evasion

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Two partners of a printing company were jailed for 4 months and 3 months and fined a total of $616,000 after being convicted of tax evasion at Wanchai District Court today (October 9).

The defendants, former partners of the printing company, were charged of signing fraudulent Profits Tax Returns willfully with intent to evade tax for the years from 1992/93 to 1996/97, contrary to section 82(1)(d) of the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

The Court heard that the defendants, in the course of preparing tax returns for the years of assessment from 1992/93 to 1996/97, had instructed the return preparer to scale down the operation of the printing business including the turnover, purchases, subcontracting and salaries expenses. The company had understated profits totalling $4,408,506, and thus a total amount of $645,880 tax had been undercharged for the five assessment years. In passing sentence, Judge Browne said that immediate custodial sentence should be normally expected for tax evaders.

An IRD spokesman reminded members of the public that tax evasion is a criminal offence. Upon conviction, the maximum sentence is three years' imprisonment and a fine of $50,000 for each charge, plus a further fine of treble the amount of tax undercharged.

End/Wednesday, October 9, 2002

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