Lake Cowichan businessman sentenced for tax evasion

November 16, 2018     Vancouver     Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced today that David Gonyea of Lake Cowichan, British Columbia, was sentenced on November 15, 2018 to a 9-month conditional sentence order, which includes 30 hours of community service. Mr. Gonyea was also fined $50,496.50, after pleading guilty on July 31, 2018, to three counts of tax evasion under the Income Tax Act and to one count of tax evasion under the Excise Tax Act.

Mr. Gonyea operated and maintained the books and records of Coast Hydrovac, a company that provided inspection, testing, and hydro-excavation services for municipal governments, developers, and contractors. A CRA investigation determined that Mr. Gonyea cashed over 100 cheques payable to Coast Hydrovac at a payday loan company, instead of depositing the cheques into the business's bank accounts. In total, he failed to report taxable business income of $159,683.77 for the 2010, 2011, and 2012 tax years. Mr. Gonyea also failed to report and remit a total of $59,438.41 in goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) collected from business operations during that period.

All case-specific information above was obtained from the court records.

The CRA takes tax evasion very seriously. Tax evasion occurs when an individual or business wilfully ignores or disregards Canada’s tax laws. For example, those participating in tax evasion under-report taxable income or claim expenses that are non-deductible or overstated. Those who do not fully comply with tax laws place an unfair burden on law-abiding taxpayers and businesses and jeopardize the integrity of Canada's tax base. For the 5-year period of April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2018, the courts have convicted 307 taxpayers of tax evasion. This involved $134 million in federal tax evaded and court sentences totaling approximately $37 million in court fines and 2,949 months in jail.

Wilfully failing to follow tax laws could result in serious consequences, including reassessments, the imposition of civil penalties and criminal tax investigations and prosecutions resulting in the imposition of court fines and jail time. Under the income tax and excise tax laws, persons convicted of tax evasion will face fines ranging from 50% to 200% of the evaded taxes and up to five years imprisonment. If convicted of fraud under Section 380 of the Criminal Code, an individual can face up to 14 years in jail.

The CRA has set up a free subscription service to help Canadians stay current on the CRA’s enforcement efforts.

Associated Links

Offshore Tax Informant Program
Informant Leads Program
Voluntary Disclosures Program

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