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Former association deputy director given suspended jail sentence

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A former deputy director of an association was today (August 15) sentenced to six months' jail suspended for two years after being convicted of salaries tax evasion.

The defendant, who was also a former part-time lecturer with the association, was fined $361,800 in the District Court. The fine represented about 180% of the tax evaded.

The court was told that the defendant made use of a sole proprietary business owned by his father to receive his part-time remunerations. His part-time lecturer's remunerations totalling $1,365,550 were omitted from his Tax Returns for the years of assessment 1996-97 to 2001-02, contrary to section 82(1)(d) of the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

As his father was an aged retiree, the part-time lecturer's income reported by the sole proprietary business did not exceed the personal allowance due to his father. As a result, his father was not required to pay any tax for the part-time income. The total amount of tax evaded was $201,255.

The Inland Revenue Department reminded taxpayers that tax evasion was a criminal offence under the Inland Revenue Ordinance carrying a maximum penalty of three years' imprisonment and a fine of $50,000 and a further fine of three times the amount of tax evaded.

A department spokesman said the department adopted a zero tolerance policy against tax evasion and would carry out prompt investigation and institute prosecution action as appropriate.

"Depending on the complexity of the case and transactions involved, the department takes every possible step to complete investigations as soon as possible and initiate criminal prosecution if there is sufficient evidence," the spokesman said.

Ends/Wednesday, August 15, 2007

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