Penticton lawyer fined $15K for professional misconduct and not paying taxes | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton lawyer fined $15K for professional misconduct and not paying taxes

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February 20, 2020 - 6:30 PM

A B.C. regulator has fined a Penticton area lawyer $15,000 for racking up $175,000 of unpaid taxes while reporting to the Law Society that all was paid up.

In a Law Society of B.C. decision issued Feb. 18, Penticton lawyer Daniel Kay Lo admitted to five allegations of professional misconduct and agreed to pay a $15,000 fine.

According to the decision, Lo, who is the sole employee at TNG Legal Services MDP, did not file GST returns for five years from 2013 to 2017. The lawyer, who mainly practices corporate law, family law and real estate along with wills and estates, also skipped out on filing PST returns for several years leaving him owning $175,669.20 to the Canada Revenue Agency.

While Lo collected the tax from his clients, he did not pass the payments on to the government.

During this time, Lo submitted annual trust reports to the Law Society stating all his payroll deductions had been paid.

"(Lo) received notices from the CRA regarding missed filings, which should have alerted (Lo) that his firm’s financial obligations were not being met," reads the decision. "Even after the respondent began to receive notices of missed filings, the pattern of missed or late remittances continued."

Along with his missed tax payments, Lo also admitted to professional misconduct for failing to verify the identity of an overseas client purchasing real estate in B.C.

"The real estate transaction proceeded without the Respondent having taken reasonable steps to identify the client," the decision says.

The Law Society says the overseas property deal was legitimate but the lawyer's failure to confirm the identity of a client can "potentially result in significant harm and a loss of confidence in the profession."

The decision says Lo has been a Law Society member since 2005 and had no prior record for professional misconduct.

Lo agreed to pay the $15,000 by June 1 and was also ordered to pay $1,000 in costs.

The decision states the lawyer has cleared the debt with the CRA by October 2018 and was making his payroll remittances as required.

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