Tax woes muted Terrible Talk
A company that claimed to have developed revolutionary computer technology was brought down by its GST liabilities.
Terrible Talk New Zealand (previously known as Terribletalk) was a vehicle for young Christchurch technology entrepreneur Alberic Whale who claimed to have advanced artificial intelligence technology with super computers, one of which was called Zach. Whale’s computer expert father, David, was associated with the project.
The computer was to be housed in a restored heritage building in central Christchurch, to be known as the Terrible Discovery Centre.
Whale claimed the company had 5.6 million customers and Zach could turn doctors’ patient consultations into brief, understandable reports that would transform healthcare.
The company and an associated company called Terrible went into voluntary liquidation on December 21.
Liquidator Brenton Hunt’s first report on Terrible Talk New Zealand, released on Tuesday, shows a reassessment of previous tax returns resulted in the company becoming insolvent. Inland Revenue was claiming GST.
Trading had also ‘‘slowed down significantly over the last few years’’, the report says. It did not mention media exposure that coincided with the decline of the company.
The company’s bank account was empty and Whale had advised the company was not owed any money, the report says.
It also disclosed Whale approached Hunt to give an opinion on the voluntary liquidation of the company in October.
No figures were provided in the report apart from zero dollars owed to general secured creditors. A separate report for Terrible showed it owned a software licence and also had nothing in the bank.