The last remaining director and minority shareholder of Queenstown’s Revolver Bar has been forced to pay for his fellow investors’ alleged tax dodges.
Matthew Mark Smith was ordered to pay $3250 to Inland Revenue after his company Independent Holdings (2006) Ltd failed to file tax returns since 2007.
Smith, a 25 per cent shareholder of the company which ran popular live music venue Revolver, pleaded guilty to the 13 charges brought against Independent in Queenstown District Court today.
Former Independent directors are fellow Queenstowners Jono Stapleton – currently a 50 per cent shareholder – and Graeme Frank Dumelow, who owns 25 per cent.
Smith told Judge Dominic Flatley that Independent ceased trading in April 2010, when all chattels were sold to pay off debt.
Working as a graphic designer and bar manager, Smith says “at no point was I privy to the accounts” and alleges he was told by Dumelow “all the requirements by law were being fulfilled”.
It was only after an audit was carried out earlier this year that Smith discovered Dumelow’s statements were false, he claims.
Smith says he’s been unsuccessful in trying to contact either Stapleton and Dumelow to help pay the IRD debt.
Judge Flatley told Smith: “It just shows you when your name’s on documents you need to keep right up to speed with what’s going on with all matters financial.
“It’s a big lesson to you and to others – you cannot dodge tax.”
Smith was also ordered to pay $132 court costs and $145 of prosecution fees.