The publication of actual BBX figures, showing massive currency debasement is a two-edged sword. First and most obviously when reality hits home that we’ve been defrauded, it hurts, but there is an upside to this. We can now legitimately claim huge tax losses with a devalued currency. Furthermore for those who have kept business transactions within the BBX system hidden out of their business accounts (or who may have ‘confused’ personal and business expenditure) this is now the opportunity to rectify any past ‘indiscretions’, come clean and escape serious consequences.
Income tax around the globe is essentially the same – when you earn, you pay a percentage of those earnings to the Tax Man. Barter systems are often perceived, and in many cases are, used to avoid tax. Having credits in the BBX currency does not always come up on the Tax Man’s radar. How, with millions of companies all merrily trading around the globe will Mr Tax Man know that you are one of (in NZ’s case) 184 trading members in a barter scheme?
Well most of the time they won’t, thus it is quite easy for many to ‘forget’ to declare Barter income, or what is a little more common, ‘confuse’ business and personal expenditure when it comes to accounting for their funny-money.
Mr Tax Man however doesn’t look at things that way, and the heat is likely to go on BBX Members around the globe now that the words “fraud”, “BBX” and “barter” are being bandied about. This is how things work in the cogs of the authorities. I speak specifically about New Zealand, but the same type of thing occurs around the globe.
Apart from me, a mere private individual calling himself an “investigative blogger”, there are three entities involved in investigating BBX in New Zealand – the Police; the Commerce Commission and the IRD (Tax Man).
Because the amount of the fraud within BBX NZ exceeds $2m (it’s around $6.9m from their own current figures – but will likely increase as historical transactions are included) the matters have escalated to the Serious Fraud Office. The SFO complaint has been laid. They have the Raw BBX Data (including the PINs that I redacted in the publicly released version) and will proceed with their enquiries and do whatever they will do. I too will prosecute at a lower level with the crimes that I wish to charge and prosecute over.
The Commerce Commission is all about Fair Trade. In New Zealand when you sell something you must act fairly, tell the truth about your products and services; not conceal important facts (such as a debased currency!) and generally act fairly. The Comcom has a good track record in ferreting out crooks and calling them to account, often gaining criminal prosecutions. When an industry-wide problem is identified (such as a widespread real estate industry collusion) they will take an active role in recommending and securing law changes to deal with problems effectively. (More on the very serious ramifications of how Bartercard and BBX have really screwed it up for the global barter industry in future posts).
The Tax Man too has extraordinary powers to delve into an individual’s life and business(es) to ensure that things are all above board. Mr Tax Man does NOT like to be defrauded of his rightful share of taxation as many will know all too well.
What happens behind the scenes, especially when the seven figures plus of a fraudulent business such as BBX comes to their attention is that all three entities work together. They share information and cross-pollinate their investigations. When they do their investigations one will look into the legal aspects, another will look into the fair trading aspects and Mr Tax Man will identify if there is any possibility of tax evasion.
I have shared in The BBX Investigation already that the SFO has received a formal complaint. I laid that complaint. I have already shared that the SFO has the entire BBX Dataset – including PIN numbers. Now with the knowledge that nine times out of ten those that lie and steal also attempt tax evasion what do you think the chances are that the Tax Man has the entire list of BBX Members in New Zealand, along with their financial data?
Hint: It’s ULTRA HIGH!
So, that said, I’ll just let it sink in for a moment, grab yourself a cuppa (or whiskey) . . . stop your worrying and I’ll share the good news . . .
[cold sweat all over now?]
The release of The Raw BBX Data and The BBX Investigation has now created a huge opportunity for (in this case) New Zealand businesses to come clean if they haven’t been doing things right. The reason is that a devaluation of a currency creates a loss, sure, but it can also create a reciprocal reduction in tax liability – legitimately.
Let me explain . . . Say a business in Christchurch traded $100,000.00 worth of goods over the last couple of years. They’ve spent a little here and there and now they have a credit of say $T60,000.00 in their BBX account. None of this has been declared in their company accounts as earnings (I mean who would want to pay cash tax on funny-money receipts anyway?). Now, all of a sudden that $60,000.00 is actually only worth 1.31c in the dollar; and the likelihood that the Tax Man could be knocking on the door shortly saying, “Hello! I’m from the Government and I’m here to help!” then asking you to show where you declared the $60,000.00 credits that you have in the BBX system came from!
OMG! You see the point?
So . . . without telling anyone how to suck eggs, a legitimate devaluation of the $60,000.00 credit down to a mere book value of $786.00 makes it a very different story and one that any smart operator will realise may not be worth the risk in tax evasion activities – savvy?
Now, that said, the Tax Man does not work for me. He has his own agendas and interests and motivations and processes but I can tell you something very obvious to those who have ever dealt with him . . . if he finds just one or two people with large credits in the BBX barter system that haven’t declared their income properly, you can be VERY sure that he will be going through every single one of those people on the BBX Membership list and bumping them up into their “Investigate” folder in short order.
From New Zealand, that intel will flow to the Aussie Tax Man and the UK Tax Man and . . . you get the picture.
All you need in order to devalue BBX credits for tax purposes legitimately is a printout of The BBX Investigation and if you really want to be cover your bases, grab a copy of the BBX Raw Data while it is up there, send a copy to your lawyer for safe-keeping (that’s what I did the instant I got it) and keep it locked away in case you have to argue your case. If you want to be conservative, value the NZ BBX Trade Dollar at 4.1c in the Cash Dollar; realistic at 1.71c in the Dollar or even 1.31c in the dollar.
Even writing it all off is an option if you want to get out from BBX and suspicion.
What next? That’s up to you . . . sue whoever caused you the loss, or just take the hit and get on with life, but my advice is not to mess with the Tax Man. He doesn’t have a sense of humour from what I have seen!
The BBX Investigation Series
- PUBLIC WARNING: BBX Barter (2381 words)
- 2. War Erupts Within BBX Barter (4090 words)
- 3. BBX is Busted – Working it Out (2388 words)
- 4. BBX has big, Big, BIG Problems (1778 words)
- 5. The Demise of BBX (3489 words)
- 6. BBX – A Summary (1308 words)
- 7. Reflections on Investigating BBX (6394 words)
- 8. BBX – The First Criminal Charges (3625 words)
- 9. BBX Crimes – The Significance (2,710 words)
- 10. BBX Causes Problems for IRTA (2,251 words)
- 11. BBX: Rats Off a Sinking Ship (1,715 words)
- 12. BBX Data Security Breach (1,852 words)
- 13. BBX Threatens – Sue Me PLEASE! (1,511 words)
- 14 The BBX Knives Are Coming Out (1,791 words)
- 15. BBX Memberships – Names in a Database (2,774 words)
- 16. BBX UK & The Franchise Show (2,840 words)
- 17. OPEN LETTER 1 – BBX Members (162 words)
- 18. BBX Currency Analysis – 10c/$1.00 (1,527 words)
- 19. The BBX People Speak (11,726 words)
- 20. More Words from BBX People (15,206 words)
- 21. How BBX Did It – Lies & Theft (3,663 words)
- 22. BBX – Winding Down/Winding Up (3,217 words)
- 23. BBX New Zealand Analysis (828 words)
- 24. BBX UK Membership Analysis (1,143 words)
- 25. BBX NZ – Serious Fraud Office (1,261 words)
- 26. BBX – Thailand Member Analysis (1,165 words)
- 27. BBX Minor Countries Analysis (574 words)
- 28. The BBX People (2,290 words)
- 29. BBX International in a Nutshell (295 words)
- 30. The Raw BBX Data (4,463 words)
- 31. BBX Members React – It’s War (5,617 words)
- 32. BBX and Issues of Morality (1,363 words)
- 33. Warning to BBX Staff & Associates (1,944 words)
- 34. BBX Devaluation Helps With Tax Losses (1,269 words)
- 35. BBX Rips Open the Barter Industry (1,237 words)
- 36. MEDIA RELEASE: Barter Tax Avoidance Warning (516 words)
- 37. BBX Whistleblower: Cameron McKean (4,994 words)
- 38. The BBX Investigation Final Comments (1,504 words)