Tax court rules against Bountiful leader 0
A photo of Bountiful, B.C.
A tax court has ruled against Bountiful leader Winston Blackmore, deciding his Mormon community doesn’t fit the definition of a religious “congregation” and is therefore not exempt from paying taxes on $1.8 million made during a seven-year period.
On Aug. 21, the federal tax court released its decision, ordering Blackmore to pay $148,983 for omissions made in tax returns from 2000 to 2003.
Blackmore argued the polygamous community in southeast B.C. was a congregation and his company, J.R. Blackmore and Sons Ltd., was owned by three shareholders on behalf of the entire community.
“The evidence established that the appellant (Blackmore) was the directing mind of the company, controlled the corporate finances, was the only shareholder that had sole signing authority on the cheques, and had control over the corporate books and records,” Judge Diane Campbell wrote in her decision.
“Consequently, the appellant knew or was in a position that he ought to have known that he was receiving benefits from the company which were substantially in excess of the amounts of income reported in his tax returns.”
The total amount of income he made from 2000 to 2004, plus 2006, Blackmore had claimed, was $171,971, an average of $28,661 annually.
The judge found Blackmore was “grossly negligent” and that he gave little reason for why such “massive misstatements” in his income reporting was made.