West Vancouver dentist fined more than $500K for tax evasion, CRA says

A sign sits outside the Canada Revenue Agency's National Headquarters in Ottawa, Ont. (Supplied/CRA)

A West Vancouver dentist has been fined more than half a million dollars and ordered to pay taxes on more than $2 million worth of income that he failed to report over a period of five years.

According to the Canada Revenue Agency, Dr. Peter Balogh was sentenced in provincial court earlier this week in a case that dates back more than a decade.

The court ordered Balogh to pay a fine of $578,885, a total equivalent to the amount of tax he evaded during the 2005 to 2009 tax years, according to the CRA. Balogh is also required to pay the taxes he owes, plus any accumulated fines and interest, the CRA said.

The agency said Balogh was also given an 18-month conditional sentence in the case.

Balogh was originally found guilty of one count of making false statements and five counts of failing to report taxable income under the Income Tax Act back in August 2016.

After the verdict, the court stayed the proceedings "for a failure to be tried within a reasonable time," the CRA said in its release. That stay was later overturned, and an appeal from Balogh was dismissed by the B.C. Court of Appeal.

The CRA said Balogh was a follower of a group that promoted "the pseudo-legal notion that a person can self-classify as a 'natural person,' and thereby be exempt" from income taxes.

Beginning in 2005, Balogh opted to invoice his dental practice for services rendered, rather than receiving a salary as he had in previous years, the CRA said.

"Dr. Balogh wrote cheques to himself and instructed the company's accountant to record all payments to him as contractor fees, despite repeated warnings from his accountant that his claim to be a natural person was not supportable," the agency said.

The CRA said its investigation found that Balogh under-reported his income for the 2005 and 2006 tax years, and did not file tax returns for 2007 through 2009.

"In total, Dr. Balogh failed to report $2,177,000 in taxable income, and evaded $578,885 in income tax for the 2005 to 2009 tax years," the CRA said.