Tamanini and Uputaua Muaiava were sentenced in the Papakura District Court for evading or attempting to evade the assessment or payment of GST and PAYE.
The duo ran a labour supply business to agricultural growers in South Auckland.
Judge Winter accepted that Mr Muaiava felt pressure to pay his workers by giving them extra money for special needs, such as family funerals.
But he did not accept that no financial gain was made by the tax evasion.
Mr Muaiava was given 21 months imprisonment and Mrs Muaiava nine months' home detention.