By Marianne Curtis
A chiropractor from Lorette has been sentenced to six months in jail and fined $162,513 after being found guilty of tax evasion in a Manitoba court. Fifty-three year old Rosalie Chobatar is the first Manitoban in recent history to receive jail time for not paying their taxes.
Prior to sentencing, the court heard that Chobatar who operated the Lorette Chiropractic Centre was reporting nil income.
“It came to the attention of the CRA that she was reporting nil income on the tax returns that were filed during the years 2002 to 2007 and that she had signed those tax returns and included the phrase, “to the best of my knowledge without understanding,” stated Kevin Lloyd, with Revenue Canada. “The CRA investigation determined that her actual income for that period was $802,280 and that the Federal income tax being evaded totalled $162,513.”
It has been years since a Manitoban has received jail time for not paying their taxes but this case has been unique from the start. The court heard how Chobatar had links to anti-tax crusaders claiming they don’t have to pay income tax or recognize the authority of the courts. What she took exception to was her name and identity and having to pay income tax explained provincial court Judge Lynn Stannard.
“It does not reflect me – my name is not me,” Stannard quoted Chobotar from the trial back in October before the defendant announced she was absconding.
At her sentencing on February 28, she continued to accept the judges decision and authority as she was being taken into custody.
“With all due respect, I do not accept this offer,” Chobotar told the judge before being taken into custody. “This offer is not accepted.”
The CRA is concerned that individuals who mistakenly confuse opinions with facts may expose themselves to serious financial and legal problems if they fail to comply with the Income Tax Act and other tax laws.
“There are people who promote the idea that individuals can chose to not comply with the Income Tax Act,” added Lloyd. “This information is not correct.”
For more information, please see the CRA’s “Debunking Tax Myths” web page, at www.cra.gc.ca/myths.