Witholding taxes to get explanation from Canada Revenue Agency results in fine

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PENTICTON - An Osoyoos man learned the hard way withholding taxes isn’t the best way to get an explanation from the Canada Revenue Agency.

Erhard Unger appeared in Penticton court on five counts of failure to comply with the Income Tax Act today, March 21.

Crown Prosecutor Ginger Holmes told Judge Gale Sinclair that Unger’s five counts stemmed from several years of tax arrears, which had since been paid, eliminating all but one count for failure to file.

Holmes says Unger had been approached by a Canada Revenue Agency agent and offered several chances to file returns from 2012 to 2015 before returns were finally filed in January of 2016.

She asked Judge Sinclair for a fine of $1,000.

Unger offered an explanation to court for his failure to pay, saying he claimed a bad debt on his return in 2002 but it was denied by the agency. He said he had tried for five years to find out why his return had been denied, but could not get an explanation.

“I decided to hold onto my returns and wait until somebody answered me,” he said, adding everyone in the Canada Revenue Agency he had talked to claimed the issue was not their problem.

Judge Sinclair agreed to Crown’s submission, fining Unger $1,000 on one count of failure to comply with the Income Tax Act.

“I still don’t have an answer,” Unger told court as he accepted Judge Sinclair’s verdict.

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