Businessman ready with $205,000 tax repayment

Financier and hospitality businessman Hayden George Jones is ready to pay back $205,000 to Inland Revenue before he faces sentencing in 10 days for failing to pay tax obligations.

The reparations discussed at his Christchurch District Court sentencing submissions was more than half the final reparations amount of $381,000. It has already been paid into a lawyer’s trust account, ready to be paid to IRD as soon as the court makes an order.

That order will be made at his sentencing which has now been set for September 24. Judge Stephen O’Driscoll heard submissions today and then reserved his decision about the sentence to be imposed.

The court was told that Jones was responsible for companies’ contacts with IRD.

Defence counsel Jonathan Eaton QC said the group of companies run by Jones had been “crushed” in the earthquakes. “It was hospitality and it got hit very hard,” he said.

Jones ran various bars and breweries around Christchurch – companies which the Inland Revenue Department has listed in its summary of the offending.

The companies were Matson’s Brewery NZ Ltd, Swiggers South Brighton Ltd, NZH3 Ltd, Swiggers Hoon Hay Ltd, Matson’s BWS Ltd, The Pier Limited, and the Hibernian Hotel Ltd.

Jones, 43, pleaded guilty to charges referring to the seven companies now in liquidation, admitting that he aided and abetted the companies to apply tax deductions totalling $402,441 for purposes other than payments to the tax deparment.

Inland Revenue Department senior prosecutor Paul Saunders said Jones was a director and joint shareholder of each of the companies.

The companies ran businesses around Christchurch during the period of offending between December 2010 and June 2014.

Each of the companies was required to account to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue for tax deductions made from employees’ wages and for other deductions. These included PAYE, Kiwisaver employee and employer contributions, child support deductions, student loan deductions, and superannuation contributions.

Mr Eaton said there had been negotiations for a $4.7m deal for sale of one of the companies which would have enabled the outstanding tax to be paid. That sale had fallen over, and the company was finally sold for $1.5m and that meant that only secured creditors were paid.

Jones was now employed as a real estate agent. He remains on bail while he awaits sentencing.

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