10 Aug 2016

Accountants lose appeal over tax fraud convictions

12:30 pm on 10 August 2016

The Supreme Court has ruled against an appeal by two Wellington accoutants jailed for fraud.

The NZ Coat of Arms on the Supreme Court building in Wellington.

Photo: PHOTO NZ

Barrie Skinner and David Rowley were jailed in August 2012 for eight years and eight-and-a-half years respectively for defrauding Inland Revenue of $2.9 million.

At the time they were the longest prison sentences imposed in a tax case.

Their lawyers argued in the Supreme Court that because Skinner and Rowley's tax returns were never disputed by the Inland Revenue Commissioner, they could not be questioned in court.

Crown lawyers said the section of the Tax Administration Act in question applied to civil, not criminal, proceedings.

The Supreme Court agreed, and dismissed the appeal.