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Tax evader jailed after abandoning appeal against sentence

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A taxpayer today (August 29) abandoned his appeal to the Court of First Instance of the High Court against a two-month jail sentence previously imposed by the Tuen Mun Magistracy.

The man must now begin serving the original sentence.

The appellant, aged 52, was convicted on June 3 on eight counts of making false statements in connection with claims for Dependent Parent Allowances (DPA) and Additional Dependent Parent Allowances (ADPA) under the Inland Revenue Ordinance (IRO) for eight years of assessment 1996-97 to 2003-04, contrary to section 82(1)(c) of the ordinance. He was jailed for two months.

The appellant made false statements in his tax returns for the years of assessment 1996-97 to 2001-02, falsely declaring that either or both of his parents were residing with him and that he had contributed money towards their maintenance. He also submitted two Forms of Claim for DPA falsely stating that during the years of assessment 2002-03 and 2003-04, his mother or both parents were living with him and that he had contributed money towards their maintenance.

An investigation by the Inland Revenue Department revealed that the appellant's father and mother had passed away in November 1987 and April 1985 respectively.

The appellant had made false claims of DPA and ADPA of $456,500 for the eight years of assessment 1996-97 to 2003-04. The total amount of tax evaded was $79,800.

A spokesman for the department reminded taxpayers that tax evasion was a criminal offence. Making an incorrect statement in tax return in connection with a claim for any deduction or allowance is an offence under the ordinance. The maximum penalty for each charge is three years' imprisonment and a fine of $50,000, plus a further fine equivalent to three times the amount of tax evaded.

Ends/Friday, August 29, 2008

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