Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

March 06, 2009 13:38 ET

CRA: Local Residents Fined for Tax Evasion and for Not Filing Tax Returns

OSHAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 6, 2009) - Three local residents pleaded guilty in Ontario Court of Justice recently to counts of tax evasion and of failing to file tax returns.

On February 26, 2009, Brian Masson of Pickering pleaded guilty to one count each of tax evasion and GST evasion. Masson, a commission salesperson, was fined a total of $7,334 in the Ontario Court of Justice in Oshawa. The fines, which are in addition to any taxes and interest owed, must be paid within 12 months.

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

Kevin Mitchell of Willow Beach pleaded guilty to one count of failing to a file tax return on February 26, 2009 in Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket. Mitchell, a consultant, was fined $1,500 and given sixty days to pay the fine.

Shirley Wheatley of Sunderland pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to file tax returns on March 2, 2009 in Ontario Court of Justice in Oshawa. Wheatley, a registered occupational nurse, was fined a total of $3,000 and given six months to pay the fine.

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 www.cra-arc.gc.ca/voluntarydisclosures.

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.

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

Further information on convictions can be found in the Media Room on the CRA website at www.cra.gc.ca/convictions.

Contact Information

  • Colin Kohlsmith
    Manager, Communications
    905-615-2838