Decision date: 13 February 2013
Case: Craig Reece Ross v the District Court
Act(s): Tax Administration Act 1994, Crimes Act 1961
Keywords: Section 147, section 148, period in which to lay charges
Tax charges can be laid either under section 147 or section 148 of the Tax Administration Act 1994 ("TAA").
The decision upholds the Commissioner's interpretation of sections 150A and 150(4)(b) of the TAA. It is a useful authority regarding the 10-year period in which to lay informations under section 147(1).
The application for Judicial Review was in respect of Her Honour Judge Aitken's decision declining an application for discharge under section 347 of the Crimes Act 1961 in respect of charges laid under section 147 of the TAA.
The Commissioner commenced proceedings against Mr Ross's companies alleging they had committed offences against section 143A(1)(d) of the TAA. In July 2010, the Commissioner laid informations against Mr Ross charging him under section 148 of the TAA. In June 2011, the Crown Solicitor filed the indictment charging Mr Ross under section 143A(1)(d) and section 147 of the TAA.
At the trial, Mr Ross made an application pursuant to section 347 of the Crimes Act 1961 for discharge on the basis that a six-month time limit applies to information for an offence under section 147 of the TAA and that the informations were filed out of time and therefore the indictment was a nullity.
Her Honour Judge Aitken dismissed the application for discharge under section 347 of the Crimes Act 1961 in respect of charges laid under section 147 of the TAA. Aitken J's reasoning was that the six-month time limit in section 14 of the Summary Proceedings Act 1957 applied but the broad scope of sections 345 and 329 of the Crimes Act permitted the Crown to file the indictment.
The Honourable Justice Peters rejected submissions on behalf of Mr Ross and found that section 150(4)(b) is clear and is as the Crown submitted.
Peters J found that the Court of Appeal in Evans v Commissioner of Inland Revenue  NZCA 240 was not required to address the same issue and there was no indication that section 150(4)(b) was brought to the attention of the Court.
The application was dismissed.