Cleary ends fight with taxman
Auckland financial adviser Grant Cleary has settled with Inland Revenue over a “pain in the arse” tax dispute, an experience he says he’s not keen to repeat.
Wednesday, July 25th 2012, 6:38AM
by Niko Kloeten
The tax department applied to the High Court earlier this year to liquidate one of his companies, Cleary Planning Services, but earlier this month the two parties reached a settlement.
Cleary wouldn't say how much money was involved but said the dispute related to the "volume of tax" paid by his business.
"They had a crack at us in, I think, the early second quarter this year, which it's fair to say was a little bit of a surprise... but all good things come to an end."
This isn't the first time Cleary has had to brush off a liquidation bid against one of his companies; last year Cleary Planning Services and Cleary Financial Services settled a wind-up application by the Registrar of Companies.
Cleary said the Registrar of Companies action arose after a restructure of his business and "it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect" the IRD case was related to it as well.
"Essentially one of the issues was we used to have quite a complicated company structure which cost a fortune to run; probably 10 or 15 years ago it made sense but all it did was cost us money."
He said everybody involved in the dispute seemed relaxed but he had heard of people being "railroaded" at the last minute by the IRD.
"It's just a pain in the arse; gone are the days in the 1990s when you used to talk to them and say, ‘this is what I want to do'. They won't have a bar of that these days.
"One of my clients budgets $50,000 a year for disputes with the IRD; we just can't afford to do that."
Niko Kloeten can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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