North Bay, Ontario, October 9, 2012 … A Mattawa, Ontario woman was fined $10 000 after pleading guilty to 10 counts of failing to file personal, corporate and GST returns. The fine is in addition to an earlier sentence of eight months of house arrest.

On February 1, 2012, Michelle Lahay-Doucette was sentenced in the Ontario Court of Justice in North Bay to eight months of house arrest in relation to her having pleaded guilty in May and November of 2011, to three counts of failing to file personal income tax returns for 2007 to 2009. As the Director of 1594665 Ontario Ltd, Lahay-Doucette also pleaded guilty to not filing the 2007 to 2010 corporate returns as well as three counts related to not filing GST returns. The CRA subsequently appealed the February 1, 2012 sentencing, and on September 27, 2012, she was fined $10,000 in addition to the eight months of house arrest.

The preceding information was obtained from the court records.

When taxpayers or corporations are convicted of failing to file tax returns, in addition to any fines imposed by the courts, they are still obligated to file the tax return and pay the full amount of taxes owing, plus interest, as well as any civil penalties that may be assessed by the CRA.

Taxpayers 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 may not be penalized or prosecuted if they make a valid disclosure before they become aware of any compliance action being initiated by the CRA against them. These taxpayers 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.gc.ca/voluntarydisclosures.

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

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