Capital’s oldest gym chain given 'last chance'
Wellington’s oldest gym chain, Sports-Wide Ltd, has until May 21 to arrange a payment plan with Inland Revenue Department for more than $1 million in unpaid taxes.
“One final chance and the last adjournment - an order [for liquidation] will be made if no agreement is reached,” Associate Judge Tony Christiansen said in the Wellington High Court yesterday.
IRD made an application to place the company, which was formed in 1983 and operates two gyms in the capital, into liquidation in January.
“There has been an initial proposal put to the department which has been declined,” Sports-Wide lawyer Kevin Smith told the court.
He says a new proposal with an initial $130, 000 immediate “down payment” with “more substantial” monthly payments of between $7000 and $8000 would be put to the commissioner.
Rocky Meng, for the IRD, opposed a request by Mr Smith for a postponement to allow the company’s accountant to sort out anomalies in accounts.
“The debt is significant and is over $1 million, with $700,000 owed in PAYE,” Mr Meng says.
Mr Smith told NBR ONLINE there was “nothing sinister” with anomalies in accounts prepared for the commissioner but, rather, IRD had “not understood the accountant’s notes”.
“There were some problems in the commissioner’s view regarding the accounts prepared by the company’s accountant. Those problems are being addressed, but cannot be addressed before the end of this coming week,” he said.
The anomalies, he says, will be explained within the next week.
This is not the first time Sports-Wide has been in trouble with the law.
In 2006, the company was convicted and fined $2000 after a breach of the Health and Safety Employment Act at its Atrium gym on The Terrace.
In a December 2005 breach, a gym member became trapped beneath 300kg of weights after the leg press machine he was using failed.
The weights cradle detached from its rails and fell on the man, fracturing his vertebrae in the process.
The company reassembled the machine but failed to report the serious harm incident to the Labour Department.
The matter was taken to the District Court after the injured man contact the department.