Canada Revenue Agency - Toronto Tax Services Office

Canada Revenue Agency - Toronto Tax Services Office

April 03, 2007 09:59 ET

Canada Revenue Agency: Ottawa Man Fined $25,000 for Filing False GST Returns

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 3, 2007) - Robert Potvin of Ottawa, Ontario, pleaded guilty to three counts of wilfully obtaining or attempting to obtain false goods and services tax (GST) refunds in the Ontario Provincial Court in Ottawa yesterday and was fined $25,000. The fine represents 120% of the amount of the GST refund he obtained or attempted to obtain. Mr. Potvin has five years to pay the fine or face one year in jail.

A Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) investigation revealed that Mr. Potivn had filed false GST returns during the years 1998 to 2001, concerning business transactions or purchases that never transpired. In particular, Mr. Potvin, through three separate corporate entities he owned, claimed input tax credits for the purchase of two franchises he did not pay GST on, and for supplies that did not exist. Mr. Potvin used fictitious documentation or documentation from his spouse's business to support the false claims. The GST refunds were eventually used by Mr. Potvin's for personal expenses.

When individuals or corporations are convicted of obtaining GST refunds to which they are not entitled, they have to repay the GST amount that they obtained, plus interest, and any penalties the CRA assesses. In addition, the court may, on conviction by way of indictment, fine them up to 200% of the tax evaded and sentence them to a five-year jail term. Under the Excise Tax Act, the CRA may assess a penalty of up to 25% of the tax evaded or the rebate improperly claimed.

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 Web site at

Contact Information

  • Media information:
    Canada Revenue Agency
    Sam Papadopoulos, Manager, Communications
    (416) 973-4163 or Cell: (416) 275-4823