Newmarket, Ontario, October 31, 2011… The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced today that Joseph Bouganim, of Thornhill, Ontario, pleaded guilty on October 27, 2011 to one count of filing a false GST return under the Excise Tax Act, in the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket. He was fined $9,908, representing 100% of the total amount defrauded. Judge Peter Bourque gave Mr. Bouganim one year to pay the fine. 

A CRA investigation revealed that Mr. Bouganim, the sole director of a business called Decorevents Inc., obtained a GST refund of $9,908 for the August to September 2003 GST reporting period. According to Mr. Bouganim, his business was engaged in event decorations.

During the audit and subsequent investigation, CRA determined that the suppliers listed in the invoices used to support Bougamin’s claim for the GST refund were fictitious companies. The services described on the invoices were not performed.

The preceding information was obtained from the court records.

Taxpayers who claim false expenses, credits or rebates from the government are subject to serious consequences. They are liable not only for corrections to their tax returns and payment of the full amount of tax owing, but also to penalties and interest. In addition, if convicted of tax evasion, the court may fine them up to 200% of the tax evaded and sentence them for up to a five-year jail term.

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 valid disclosure before they become aware of any compliance action being initiated by the CRA 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 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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