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Court of Appeal upholds tax evasion sentence

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The Court of Appeal today (September 25) dismissed an appeal against a 12-month jail sentence by a property owner in respect of his tax evasion convictions.

The Appellant, aged 75, was convicted by the District Court on June 25 of offences contrary to section 82(1)(a) and 82(1)(d) of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (IRO).

He was also convicted for submitting a false written reply to the department's request for information on the use of the car parking spaces, contrary to section 82(1)(e) of IRO.

The total amount of tax evaded was $244,851.

The Appellant rented out a residential flat and three car parking spaces and received monthly rental through his bank account during the six years of assessment 1997-98 to 2002-03. In his tax returns for those six years, he declared that none of his properties were rented out.

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

Ends/Tuesday, September 25, 2007

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