Tax woes muted Ter­ri­ble Talk

The Press - - News - Stuff re­porters

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.

STUFF

Al­beric Whale in 2017 when his com­pa­nies ap­peared to be do­ing well.

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