[ORIGINALLY POSTED in March 2017 at http://www.dennis.co.nz/2017/03/36-media-release-barter-tax-avoidance-warning/index.html]
FOR: IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: 8 March 2017
FROM: DENNIS A. SMITH, INVESTIGATIVE BLOGGER
SUBJECT: BARTER COMPANY DATA BREACH CAUSES TAX AVOIDANCE WARNING
CONTACT: www.dennis.co.nz, firstname.lastname@example.org; +64 272 046-112
BARTER MEMBERS – TAX AVOIDANCE WARNING
A data breach from barter company BBX reveals all to the Tax Man
Auckland, New Zealand: A data security breach from Australian operated barter company BBX International has gained the attention of the Tax Man. Investigative blogger Dennis A. Smith confirms that New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has been in contact with him to discuss potential breaches of tax compliance.
“New Zealand has very strict privacy laws, and the IRD will not disclose any details to third parties like myself, but I am certain that BBX members throughout New Zealand will be the subject of their attention in due course,” Mr Smith says.
He wishes to forewarn all barter members that using barter (such as BBX) as a form of tax avoidance can be a costly experience if investigated. “The raw BBX data is out there,” Mr Smith says, “They’ve got it, I’m sure, and if they find anything untoward in there, I’m sure they will be talking to their colleagues around the world!”
Mr Smith says that goods and services received though any barter system still require accounting for GST and Income Tax purposes. “Another area of confusion can be business and personal expenditure. Using a barter account for wining and dining Mum and the kids may not be a legitimate business expense, and the Tax Man often focusses on these sorts of slip-ups”.
BBX International suffered a serious data breach in February 2017, and members’ financial and personal data and has been available online for weeks. It is believed that the company has not reported the breach to the Australian authorities as required to do by law, but has instead downplayed the significance.
In an email to all affected 88,000 members, BBX International CEO, Carolin MacDonald explained, “BBXI discovered that a server containing member information was accessed without authorization . . . we have ensured all pins have been updated.”
“BBXI has no evidence to date that such data has been used inappropriately,” she explained to the barter members.
Mr Smith recommends that following the BBX data breach, all barter members should ensure that they comply with relevant taxation laws with urgency and rectify any errors or omissions as a matter of priority.
About the Author: Dennis A. Smith is an author and investigative blogger operating from New Zealand. He specialises in providing analysis and commentary in the alternative currency sector which includes commercial barter. His investigations include the international Ormita fraud, the report of which led to the fraud’s speedy closure; a three-year expose of a Dutch scam & his book The Qoin Con that led to Qoin’s bankruptcy for more than £500k; a damning analysis of the Australian barter company, Bartercard which he claims operates like a Ponzi Scheme, and more recently, The BBX Investigation, in which his blogging has revealed serious deception & management deficiencies across eight countries.