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Taxpayer jailed for false claims of dependent parent allowances

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A taxpayer convicted today (May 25) at Eastern Magistrates' Courts of evading salaries tax has been jailed for six weeks.

The defendant who was an employee, 44, pleaded guilty to nine charges of wilfully and intentionally evading tax by making false statements in connection with claims for Dependent Parent Allowances (DPA) under the Inland Revenue Ordinance for seven years of assessment 1997-98 to 2003-04, contrary to section 82(1)(c) of the Ordinance.

The court heard that the defendant made false statements in her tax returns for the years of assessment 1997-98 to 2003-04. She falsely declared that her father-in-law was her dependent parent. She further submitted a form to supplement her claim for DPA falsely stating that during the year of assessment 2003-04, her father-in-law was residing with her and was maintained by her. Subsequently, in a form submitted to lodge her objection against the tax assessments, the defendant again falsely declared that she maintained her father-in-law during the years of assessment 2000-01 and 2001-02 and that the dependent parent passed away in the US in August 2003.

An investigation by the Inland Revenue Department revealed that the defendant's father-in-law passed away in August 1995.

The defendant had made false claims of DPA of $207,000 for the seven years of assessment 1997-98 to 2003-04. The total tax evaded was $35,910.

A spokesman for the department reminded taxpayers to file correct tax returns. Tax evasion is a criminal offence. Making an incorrect statement in connection with a claim for any allowance is an offence under the Ordinance. The maximum penalty for each convicted offence is three years' imprisonment and a fine of $50,000, plus a further fine equivalent to three times the amount of tax evaded.

Ends/Monday, May 25, 2009

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