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Vernon city councillor loses legal fight with Canada Revenue Agency

Vernon city councillor Patrick Nicol has lost the appeal of his conviction on charges of paying his income taxes late.
Image Credit: City of Vernon
October 11, 2013 - 2:40 PM

VERNON - Some say you can’t fight city hall. A Vernon city councillor has learned you also can’t fight the taxman.

Patrick Nicol will not get a new trial on charges laid by the Canada Revenue Agency. A B.C. Supreme Court judge has upheld the lower court ruling.

Nicol, who also serves as board chair of the Regional District of the North Okanagan, was found guilty in February of failing to file his taxes on time in 2007 and 2008. He was fined $2,000 for two counts of failing to comply with the Income Tax Act.

Nicol was asking for a new trial based on the argument that the lower court hadn’t dealt with the question of due diligence on his behalf. He said as soon as he learned there were taxes owning, he not only paid what he owed, he overpaid.

“I’ve always overpaid my taxes all my life,” Nicol says. “It was never my intent not to file.”

The former GM of Kiss FM radio in Vernon says he has spent over $100,000 fighting the legal battle with the CRA.

The nine-time city councillor lost his job with the radio station just a day after the charges were laid. He had worked at the station for almost 42 years.

Nicol says the court fight was all about standing up for his principles.

“I’m very disheartened by the decision, but we have to abide by the rule of law,” he says. “I did it all in a dignified way throughout.”

Nicol doesn’t deny he was late paying his taxes. He feels he always demonstrated his intention to file and pay the late fees.

“I have to accept this (decision) and I do.”

During the interview from his home in Vernon, The Beatles “Let it Be” could be faintly heard playing in the background. Nicol says that’s exactly what he’s going to do now, “Let it be.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email or call 250-491-0331.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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