Tax Rebates & Refunds

NZ accountant struck off for tax rebate fraud

November 16, 2012
Posted in Fraud, Tax Rebates — Written by Geoffrey

An accountant based in the New Zealand city of Auckland has reportedly been struck off after he was caught using clients and their financial details to get tax rebates for himself.

Stephen Naismith Fleming was found to have made arrangements with around 60 of his clients which involved him giving them money to donate to a specific charity. The former accountant, who was said to have “had a substantial economic interest in” the charity, would then claim tax rebates for the charitable donations himself, rather than his clients doing it.

Mr Fleming set up this arrangement to get around rules which limit the amount of tax rebates one person can claim on donations, dependent on their income.

At a New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) Disciplinary Tribunal, Mr Fleming was officially struck off and ordered to pay a fine of $31,000. The tribunal said when making its decision:

“The Member used clients to obtain a donations tax rebate greater than that to which his own taxable income entitled him to,”

“The Member undertook only minimal enquiry as to the validity of these arrangements for taxation purposes, thereby potentially exposing his clients to repay the rebates that they had not received together with penalties and interest.”

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