Tax-dodging New Zealanders cheated the country out of at least $80 million in undeclared income last year … The Inland Revenue Department has revealed to the Herald that it received about 177 tip-offs a week from disgruntled Kiwis about earnings being concealed.
That's enough to feed more than 375,000 families of four based on the average amount spent on food in Auckland. It could have funded more than 8000 breast cancer surgeries, 1650 open heart surgeries, the redevelopment of children's hospital Starship twice over, or rebuild the earthquake-ravaged Christchurch Cathedral.
"Often people are in pretty dire straits when they start evading tax by not paying PAYE and GST, they're often up against the wall financially already," said the IRD's group tax counsel, Graham Tubb."So you can understand that we might have difficulty recovering the money." He said there were cases of tax evasion that the department may never find out about.