The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced that, on November 30, 2020, Hien Van Tran (Tran) of Brampton, Ontario, was sentenced to eight months in jail and was fined a total of $364,000. On June 21, 2019, Tran pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice, A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse, in Brampton, to one count of goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) evasion under the Excise Tax Act. In addition to the court imposed fine, Tran will also have to pay the full amount of tax owing, plus related interest and any penalties assessed by the CRA.
The CRA investigation revealed that Tran, the sole shareholder of 2346011 Ontario Ltd., operating as VN Live Bait Ontario Ltd, did not remit $726,723 in GST/HST during the period of January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2015.
All case-specific information above was obtained from the court records.
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 court fines, jail time and a criminal record. When taxpayers are convicted of evading GST/HST, they must pay the full amount of tax owing, plus interest and any civil penalties that may be assessed by the CRA. In addition, a court may fine convicted taxpayers up to 200% of the tax evaded and impose a jail term of up to five years.
The CRA remains dedicated to maintaining the integrity of Canada’s tax system, as well as the social and economic well-being of Canadians during these unprecedented times. The CRA continues to aggressively pursue tax evasion and false claims with all tools available to them. The CRA is continuously working towards making sure that individuals and businesses claim income earned, eligible losses, and benefits to which they are entitled, so that important benefit programs can be administered to those who need them. As a result of COVID-19, we are seeing the increased importance of these benefits, and are working to make sure that they continue to be available to Canadians. Any individual or business who underreports income, or claims losses or benefits to which they are not entitled, including ineligible claims for COVID-19 benefits, may have to repay the benefit amounts and may be subject to other possible action.
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