Tax preparer found guilty of tax evasion

LAVAL, QC, Feb. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Martine Laprise, a Saint-Sauveur tax preparer, pleaded guilty yesterday to tax evasion charges at the Saint-Jérôme courthouse. She was fined $41,252, which represents 50 % of the federal tax she tried to evade.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) investigation revealed that, for the 2002 to 2005 tax years, Ms. Laprise voluntarily contravened the Income Tax Act by providing third parties with a total of $518,197 in false child care receipts. This scheme enabled the third parties to fraudulently reduce their income taxes by $82,505. In addition to the fine imposed by the Court, the taxpayers involved will have to pay the full amount of taxes owing plus related interest and any penalties that apply.

The investigation also revealed that Ms. Laprise hired fictitious caregivers, who declared income equal to the amounts on the receipts issued in order to avoid raising suspicions from the tax authorities. Expenses were also claimed against this income, which allowed the parties to avoid paying income tax.

The taxpayer is responsible for the information on his or her income tax return, even if the return was prepared by someone else. Any fraudulent activity can be anonymously reported to the Enforcement Division of the tax services office nearest you.

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 CRA takes any action or starts an investigation concerning them. These individuals will only have to pay the taxes owing, plus interest. More information on the Voluntary Disclosures Program can be found on the CRA Web site at www.cra.gc.ca/voluntarydisclosures.

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

Additional information on convictions can be found on the Media page of the CRA Web site at www.cra.gc.ca/convictions.

SOURCE Canada Revenue Agency

For further information: For further information: Julie Pronovost, Communications Manager, (514) 283-2464, ext. 8270, Toll-free: 1-800-292-3430, ext. 8270


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