Frank Russo of Maple was convicted of wilful evasion under the Retail Sales Tax Act on June 1, 2010 in the Ontario Court of Justice in Richmond Hill.
The Ministry of Revenue’s Special Investigations Branch charged Russo after discovering he failed to report and remit $39,200 in retail sales tax collected by the corporation between January 2005 and July 2008. In addition to the fine, he must also pay a surcharge of $9,800 to the Victims’ Justice Fund.
The corporation was also convicted of wilful evasion and received a suspended sentence.
In addition to court-imposed fines and surcharges, businesses convicted of tax offences must repay any taxes owing plus civil negligence penalties and interest, if any. Under the Ministry of Revenue’s voluntary disclosure program, corporations and individuals may come forward and voluntarily report past violations of provincial tax laws and pay any amounts owing.
The current Ontario retail sales tax will generally cease to apply on July 1, 2010 and will be replaced with the harmonized sales tax (HST), administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. Businesses collecting Ontario retail sales tax are responsible for filing their retail sales tax return and remitting any tax collected with their final Ontario return due July 23, 2010.