Cut Your Excuses And Sort Your Tax

Published: Tue 9 Apr 2024 09:41 AM
In a last chance warning to the construction sector, Inland Revenue is telling businesses and sole traders to do the right thing and get on top of their tax obligations.
Inland Revenue’s Richard Philp says if people do the right thing, Inland Revenue will help them. If they don’t, Inland Revenue will find them and start follow-up action.
“Most people and businesses in New Zealand pay tax in full and on time but there is a core group who don’t.
“We’re not blind to the fact that businesses in the construction sector have struggled with increases in the cost and availability of materials, and labour shortages over the last few years. But we also know that while some are struggling just to keep up with the everyday grind, others are actively avoiding their tax obligations.”
Tax debt is high in the construction sector and our data shows that under-declaring income, often via cash jobs, is commonplace.
“Each year across all sectors, we get nearly 7,000 anonymous tip-offs about cash jobs and the like. Construction is the industry most often anonymously reported to Inland Revenue. That shows a level of concern by New Zealanders and their belief that paying the correct amount of tax is the right thing to do.
Inland Revenue took a ‘softly, softly’ approach across the board during the pandemic years but that’s now changed. We ran a campaign last year to help construction business do the right thing and now we’re taking an even firmer approach.
“The message is cut the excuses, ask us for help if you need it, and don’t stick your head in the sand or you could find yourself talking to someone from our audit team, or worse still, staring down a prison sentence as several people in other sectors have this year.
“Now is the last chance for people working in construction to sort their tax affairs and avoid finding themselves before the courts.
“In a couple of months, we will send emails and letters to 40,000 construction customers with outstanding debt, overdue tax returns, or both. We’ll then text about 2,500 of those customers asking if they would like support to get their outstanding tax sorted. Those who reply “yes” will be contacted via phone by a dedicated team of compliance officers.
“Our compliance officers will also be doing site visits in high construction areas in key locations across New Zealand. Our audit team will also be looking to select a number of customers to follow up and investigate.
“Do the right thing and get your outstanding debt and returns sorted now.”
Information to help the construction sector nail tax this year is available at Tax toolbox for tradies (

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