Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Thieving employers should be prosecuted

Radio New Zealand reports that employers are stealing their employee's KiwiSaver contributions:

Tens of thousands of workers are missing millions of dollars from their KiwiSaver accounts because their employers have failed to either pass on payments docked from their pay, or pay their own employer contributions.

Figures obtained by RNZ News show Inland Revenue is chasing thousands of employers for $29.3 million in outstanding payments and penalties that have accumulated since the retirement savings scheme was launched in 2007.

At the end of June 2015, 1663 employers had failed to pass on $15.3m in KiwiSaver payments deducted from their employees' own salaries to the IRD.

IRD views this simply as a tax issue to be handled by negotiation. But it seems to me to be an open-and-shut case of theft by a person in a special relationship (previously "theft by a servant"), which carries a penalty of seven years imprisonment. And that's the case regardless of whether the money is repaid or not. So why aren't they prosecuting?