Niagara area subcontractor fined for tax evasion
St. Catharines, Ontario, November 25, 2009… Scott Hudson, of Niagara-on-the-Lake, pleaded guilty on November 16, 2009 in the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines to six counts of income tax and 19 counts of GST evasion. He was fined a total of $14,036. 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).
Hudson operated a construction business under the names Armstrong Fencing and Scott Hudson Construction, involved in the building of wood decks and other carpentry projects. A CRA investigation revealed that from 1999 to 2004, Hudson did not report income from his business. He was fined $8,562 for evading $17,111 of federal income tax and fined $5,474 for evading $10,948 of GST.
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 http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/voluntarydisclosures/index.html
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.