Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

September 03, 2009 12:46 ET

Toronto Fishing Bait Supplier Fined for GST Evasion

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 3, 2009) - Panagiotis Tourikis, of Toronto, sole proprietor of Peter Live Bait, pled guilty on August 31, 2009 to three counts of failing to remit GST. He was fined $72,000 in the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto. The fine is in addition to any taxes and interest owed, as well as any civil penalties that may be assessed by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

A CRA investigation revealed that Tourikis failed to remit $140,616 in GST that he charged and collected for various reporting periods from 2002 to 2004. The GST was charged and collected on worm sales made to several wholesalers located in Ontario.

"Canadians have to be confident that the administration of the tax system is fair," said William V. Baker, Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency. "That's why the Agency works to ensure that the vast majority of Canadians who pay their taxes are not penalized by those who don't."

Individuals who have not filed returns for previous years, or who have not reported all of their income, can still voluntarily correct their tax affairs. They will not be penalized or prosecuted if they make a full disclosure before the Agency starts any action or investigation against them. These individuals may only have to pay the taxes owing, plus interest. More information on the Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) can be found on the CRA's website at

The Agency seeks publicity on convictions to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the self-assessment system and to increase compliance with the law through the deterrent effect of media coverage.

When individuals or corporations are convicted of tax evasion, they have to pay the full amount of tax owing, plus interest, and any penalties the CRA assesses. In cases of gross negligence, the Income Tax Act and Excise Tax Act allow the CRA to assess a penalty of up to 50% of the unpaid tax or the improperly claimed benefit. In addition, the court may, on summary conviction, fine them 50% to 200% of the tax evaded, and sentence them to a jail term of up to two years.

The information in this news release was obtained from the court records.

Further information on convictions can also be found in the Media Room on the CRA website at

Contact Information

  • Canada Revenue Agency
    Colin Kohlsmith