1 Sep 2014

Head of IRD scam Katrina Briggs jailed

10:22 pm on 1 September 2014

The head of a sophisticated online IRD scam that cost tax payers $700,000 has been jailed.

Katrina Briggs was the head of an organised syndicate that used friends and family to claim tax refunds that they were not entitled to.

The Manukau District Court heard how Briggs was at the head of the group and got others to gather names and details of tax payers.

Briggs used the information to claim refunds on the IRD website and took a cut from each one.

Today she begins a prison sentence of four years and three months after pleading guilty to a representative charge of causing loss by deception.

Judge Gerard Winter said the New Zealand tax system relied on honesty and Briggs' offending was against every New Zealand taxpayer.

The IRD's tax counsel Graham Tubb said New Zealand's tax system relied on honesty but people who cheated the system would be caught.

He said it was important for taxpayers to protect their IRD number and they should treat it like their Pin number.