During the early part of the 20th century Al Capone was an American gangster operating out of Chicago. Accused of many crimes Capone was eventually brought to justice and sentenced to 11 years in prison in 1932.

But of all the things that could have brought Capone down, the one he was convicted for was tax evasion.

The Inland Revenue Department has similar powers when it comes to the more serious end of the tax penalty scale and can bring these charges against anyone who tries to evade their taxes.

This week has seen two large Court cases involving tax offences and while not common, one of these has resulted in prison time. On Thursday, the High Court confirmed the prison sentence of 19 months handed down to the taxpayer convicted of failing to provide information to the Commissioner with intent to evade the assessment or payment of tax.

The second case did not involve any imprisonment but did concern a prosecution for promoting an abusive tax scheme with the defendant ordered to pay $18.4 million to the Department.

These cases show that at the more serious end of the scale the Department does and will prosecute through the Courts when required.