CRA: Claiming wedding costs as business expenses in corporate tax returns is tax evasion

The offending corporation and shareholder were fined a total of $22,849

CRA: Claiming wedding costs as business expenses in corporate tax returns is tax evasion

A Toronto-based corporation was convicted and fined for tax evasion after the Canada Revenue Agency found that the wedding expenses of its shareholder’s son had been claimed as business expenses in its corporate tax returns.

According to the CRA, the wedding expenses of shareholder Vincenzo Mariani’s son were paid and then claimed as business expenses in the corporate tax returns of Mariani Metal Fabricators Limited. As Mariani failed to report the shareholder benefit of $86,938 on his individual tax returns, he and the corporation collectively evaded income tax amounting to $35,508.

The Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto convicted the corporation and Mariani of two counts of tax evasion and for making false or deceptive statements under the Income Tax Act in relation to their corporate tax returns. Mariani, a resident of Kleinburg, was additionally convicted of two counts of income tax evasion and for making false or deceptive statements on his individual tax returns.

In addition to being required to pay the tax owed plus interest and penalties, Mariani and the corporation were also imposed fines of $15,127 and $7,722, respectively.

In 2018 to 2019, there were 22 convictions, with 12 taxpayers sent to jail for a total of 19 years, sentenced for willfully evading payment of $4,179,089 in taxes, the CRA said.

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