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(Source : Information Services Department)

Tax evasion sentence suspended by court upon appeal


     The High Court today (August 26), upon an appeal by a taxpayer against a four-week jail sentence in respect of her tax evasion conviction, ordered that the imprisonment sentence be suspended for 18 months, but imposed a fine of $7,000 for each charge, making a total fine of $14,000.

    The appellant is now pregnant and the expected date of delivery is October 29. The Honourable Mr Justice Tong stated that the sentence of imprisonment was appropriate, but on humanitarian grounds he ordered suspension and imposition of fines.

    The appellant, aged 37, was convicted by the Tsuen Wan Magistrates' Courts on May 28 of two counts of wilfully and intentionally evading tax by making false statements in connection with claims for Dependent Parent Allowance (DPA) and Additional Dependent Parent Allowance (ADPA) in her tax returns for the years of assessment 2010-11 and 2011-12, contrary to section 82(1)(c) of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112) (IRO).

    The appellant made false statements in her tax returns for the years of assessment 2010-11 and 2011-12. She falsely declared that during each of the two years (1) her father was ordinarily resident in Hong Kong; (2) her father resided with her continuously for the full year without paying full cost; and (3) she had contributed not less than $12,000 in money towards the maintenance of her father. An investigation by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) revealed that the appellant's father passed away in February 2010. The total of the appellant's false claims of DPA and ADPA for the two years was $132,000 and the total tax involved was $22,440.

    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/Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:22