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What is tax crime

Find out what tax crime is and why it's important people pay their fair share.

Tax crime happens when people cheat the tax system through deliberate and dishonest behaviour with the aim of obtaining financial benefit.

These people are considered tax criminals.

While most people are honest and pay tax on all their income, those that intentionally avoid paying tax or claim money they aren't entitled to, are robbing honest people of services they might have had.

That's why we help people do the right thing and take action when people deliberately try to avoid paying tax.

Why everyone pays tax 

If you work in New Zealand you have to pay tax on any money you earn. We collect tax on behalf of the Government and your tax helps benefit the New Zealand community. Your tax pays for public services and that's why it's fair when everyone contributes.

You have to pay tax even if you:

  • are paid in cash
  • only earned a small amount, or
  • are only in New Zealand for a small amount of time.

What your tax is used for 

Your tax pays for public services you can't fund on your own, such as:

  • social security and welfare
  • health
  • education
  • transport and communications
  • emergency services, and
  • law and order.